The thing with a healthy eating plan, like everything in life, you need to constantly reassess and see where you stand and a food diary is a key to this. In a weight loss plan, you also need to assess where you currently are or going and this is even more so if you hit a weight loss plateau.
A food diary, although it seems so simple, is the easiest and most efficient way to establish what you are currently eating. Below are a couple of pointers in writing out a food diary.
- Draw a table with the days of the weeks and times of eating. Make it a one pager so you can take it with you or put on the fridge.
- Set aside a time each day to write down what you ate.
- Don’t change your eating routine. You need to eat what you would normally to see where the issues are.
- Be honest. This is between you and yourself. If you are not honest you cannot improve or identify problem areas.
- Note what time you are eating.
- Ideally do it for a week or at least one weekend day and two weekdays. Ensure they are normal eating days rather than a day travelling or a sick day (Although if you spend a lot of time travelling with work then it is good to incorporate one of those days too. It is whatever is normal to your eating routine).
- Try to indicate how much you ate i.e. 1 cup of cereal. ½ glass of milk. 1 small apple. 1 hand sized piece of meat.
- Once you have completed the food diary read over it and examine where you think you need improvement.
- Ask yourself some questions:
i. Am I eating at a good time?
ii. Do I binge at certain times of the day? How could I avoid that?
iii. Are my portions to big?
iv. Do I eat enough vegetables?
v. Do I eat enough fruit?
vi. Do I eat too many sweets?
vii. Do I eat too many snacks?
viii. Are my snacks needed or am I unconsciously eating them? Can my snacks be better?
ix. Am I an unconscious eater?
x. Where can I improve? Breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks?
10. Then you need to action and fix the issues you have identified. That may mean:
i. Look for some new recipes like here on our site.
ii. Including more vegetables (5 serves per day) or fruit (2 serves per day).
iii. Changing to healthier snacks. Some good options are here.
iv. Think about different ways to include breakfast or even a Healthy Mummy Smoothie if the day is rushed.
v. Sit down when you eat to avoid unconsciously eating snacks.
vi. Have a good healthy snack like a piece of fruit, or some dip with veggie sticks to avoid eating a chocolate bar 1 hour later.
vii. Having a better for you option for dessert so you do not snack on sweet biscuits late at night.
It really depends on what you find on your food diary as to how you action it.
If you need a good example of a healthy eating plan to start you off, maybe think about our 28 diet and exercise plan. It is great for new mums and it is incorporates all normal foods or you can sub in Healthy Mummy Smoothies too.
You can also you the weight loss tools on our site here to assist you in keeping your goals and weight loss up to date.
Have a great Friday!