Eat and write : How to maintain weight with a Food diary

Eat and write : How to maintain weight with a Food diary

Many people decide to start on a diet regime for several reasons such as weight loss, weight gain etc. Initially the motivational levels are very high and then it starts dwindling as time passes. Many of them come back to square one and the interest deteriorates. Now this is not a good sign. I have patients who try to visualize themselves with the physiques of movie stars but then give up when they realize that it is not an easy task.

Hence I have a perfect plan to stick to a routine is by maintaining a food diary. I use this technique for many of my clients and believe me it works.

Food diary basically involves writing down the food routine i.e. the every morsel of food taken inclusive of fluids. This helps you to keep track of what you are eating. All you need is book/diary, a pen and color markers and last but not the least the virtue of honesty.

It is written either after every meal or after the last meal of the day. This will help you to maintain an accurate track of food intake.

It should also consist the timings of the meal and the place where the food was eaten such as office, restaurant or at home.

Every detail should be mentioned such as the type of gravies, what kind of flavors, deserts, sauces etc.

Do not think this is only a methodical way of checking your food intake. It has an emotional side too. Food intake can also depend on a person’s mood (happiness/ sadness) and environment too.

Even the activity done while you are eating too can be written such as watching television or reading a book.

It should be divided into 3 large meals and 2-3 small meals. Large meals can de breakfast, lunch and dinner. Small meals can be a midmorning snacks, evening teatime, pre or post exercise snack and after dinner.

Any extra snacks should be also written on a separate column and the number of beverages per day too should be mentioned.

This should be written daily without fail on a regular basis and the quantities should be written as accurate as possible such as three cookies, half a glass of milk etc.

After a week, the diary can be reviewed to see whether you have been following a good diet routine or not. All the high calorie foods, wrong snacks, foods eaten out can all be highlighted with different colors.

After 4 weeks, again a review can be done and to find out the week which you have the least color markings or vice versa. This will help you to remain focused. Be true to your self as you will be the winner or loser.

I am sure by this method, even a doctor or a dietitian can review your eating habits and correlate if there is any medical condition to be treated or managed.

Get the pens out and start writing.

Sanjana M Shenoy is a A dietitian from Mangalore, Karnataka, India. Having worked as a Dietitian for the Manipal Group of Hospitals namely KMC hospital Mangalore, India. She is also a consultant for corporate's like Infosys and others, conducting talks and presentations for various associations and local television shows. She consults at her Diet and Nutrition clinic "Nutrihealth" in Mangalore. Also is a visiting consultant to various hospitals in and around Mangalore and also runs an active online consultation.

4 Replies to “Eat and write : How to maintain weight with a Food diary”

  1. I think using a food diary is one of THE most helpful things to me when I lost 70 pounds last year. I’m not saying to brag but to show that food logging really works.

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