What’s the point of keeping a food diary

What is the use of keeping a food diary?

What is the use of a food diary? Why should you keep track of this and when should you do it? Do you know what you eat and even better the question; when you eat what?

But why track?

Keeping a food diary

Whenever I talk to people about nutrition or tell them I'm a weight consultant, the conversation always turns to weight loss and healthy eating. At some point the conversation almost always turns to "I don't get it, I'm eating really little and not losing any weight. Because I do not want to start with the story that eating too little does not work for losing weight.

Do I start by asking questions and during the conversation I gradually find out what someone is really eating. This is often much more than you have in mind. Eating the last bite of your child's bread, tasting a bite from the pan. Eat a slice of cheese while standing at the kitchen counter. What are you actually eating without realizing it?

And do you keep a food diary?

Advise to write it down

When I have these conversations with people, I always advise them to keep a food diary for a few days. By filling in what you eat, you become aware of what you put in your mouth. So you learn to recognize when you're more likely to reach for a snack, what your difficult moments are and what times you eat.

By looking at this you can discover a pattern. Are you eating enough?? Or do you eat too little, but then snack at five o'clock?.

Do you eat enough hot food or are you always hungry after dinner and go snacking?

The sticking points

By filling in your eating behavior you can see bottlenecks. You can also see which nutrients you get enough of and which nutrients you lack. Becoming aware of what you eat and how much is a good step toward losing weight or living healthier.

Know what you eat

There are several ways to keep a food diary. This can be done on paper, then you can see the quantities of what you eat, but you do not know what the nutrients are. There are several apps you can use nowadays to keep a food diary.

Think of MyFitnessPal and the Fitbit app where you can indicate exactly what you are eating and drinking.

The Nutrition Center

My favorite to fill out your food diary on is the one from the nutrition center. This is in Dutch so knows almost all the products I eat. Not only can you fill in your diet, but you can also see in the advice how many nutrients you are getting and whether your eating habits are in line with these nutrients.

It is wise to just keep track of your nutritional intake for a while. You can use the food meter from the nutrition center or just a paper food diary.

Do you keep a food diary? Or have you ever done that and also saw where your sticking points were?