Dear food diary, my diet is out of control. I keep breaking out and the pudgy stomach won’t quit. I love myself and everything, but this ain’ it. What ever shall I do?
You are what you eat, they say. So do your really know who you are, or nah?
I didn’t, so I started food diary. And let me tell you…I am most certainly an emotional eater MOST of the time. And yes, it’s been keeping me from my dream body.
After keeping a food diary for a week, I now feel, at least a litte, more in control of eating habits.
Why? Because I can SEE MY ISSUES ON PAPER. I can’t lie to myself anymore. I can no longer run from my compulsions. I’ve gotta woman-up and fly right. Because the extra mom flab is annoying me, and I want more control over my life.
Let me share with you my experience so you can decide if keeping a food diary, even if temporarily, may be right for you and your goals.
What is a food diary?
Like the name suggests, a food diary is a notebook where you keep track of your food intake, as well as your emotions surrounding the food. You can read a simple explanation here.
How to Keep a Food Diary
You can make your food diary as simple or as complex as you’d like. You could keep a digital document, or a small tangible journal like the one shown above. All you have to do is commit to writing down your foods, along with any information about your thoughts and feelings about the food you are eating, or about the thoughts and feelings that trigger your eating.
Why to Keep a Food Diary
The point of a food diary, at its core, is self-knowledge. If you want to make real, stable change in your life it’s important that you know where you are in relation to your goals.
In many ways it’s like a science experiment. You’ll jot down your food and emotions, so that you can truly see what you are becoming. After all, remember, you are what you eat!
A food diary can help you
Lose weight (or find out why you aren’t losing weight)
Make better food choices
Uncover detrimental eating habits
Be accountable to yourself
Gain emotional insight and learn more about yourself
Develop more self understanding and mastery
Feel more empowered about taking responsibility for your health
Create your dream body!
So what have I learned from keeping a food diary?
It’s hella easy to eat without thinking.
Before my food diary, I ate whatever I wanted without considering how much I was eating, what I was eating, or even why I was eating.
I would down a bag of chips due to boredom, or eat pizza multiple times in a week (without considering it’ll thwart my workout and weight-loss efforts.)
I would eat processed foods without realizing or acknowledging it would likely show up as acne on my face in a few days.
But now, since I know I have to write the foods down, I’m way more mindful of what I put in my mouth. It has made me more accountable to myself and my goal of eating more fruits, vegetables, and healthy meals.
Now that I’m writing the foods down, I can’t run away from myself and my food choices. I must face the foods on the page, and therefore, the body that comes as a result of said foods.
Keeping a food diary is a fun ego boost and instills personal pride.
I’m so proud of myself when I’m jotting down fruits and veggies. It makes me feel accomplished, and like I’m taking positive steps towards my physical health. This boosts my mood, sense of accomplishment, self love and esteem.
Eating can be very emotional! I already knew this, but keeping a food diary has really forced me to see it plainly. Often times before I eat, there is an emotional trigger such as boredom, nervousness, etc.
Writing it down has allowed me to gain more control over the choices I make, which I love. I’d rather live in control and understanding of my emotions, rather than eat powerlessly.
I need to eat more beauty foods! Recently I borrowed The Beauty Diet from the library, and it was a real slap in the face that I needed.
The enemies to a beautiful, healthy body generally include:
Unhealthy fats and sugars, in unhealthy amounts
Duh right! We all know junk foods are bad for us. (Chips are my WEAKNESS!)
But it’s a different situation when you can see clear as day how you are going against your own self. I said I wanted clear skin but I’m not eating in a healthy, balanced way. My food diary has shown me this.
If you are struggling with eating healthy or maintaining your ideal weight, perhaps keeping a food diary can help you with:
Tracking your eating patterns
Being more accountable to yourself for your bodily health
Gaining more control over what you put into your body
Learning more about your emotional triggers
Ultimately becoming a better, healthier, and more beautiful version of yourself.
I wish you the best on your journey!