Why you should try keeping a Food Diary

I'm sure you will have heard the saying "You can't out-train a bad diet" - well, that's as true now as it ever has been. Some people exercise purely so they can eat what they like, and in some respects this works, but I think we all really know that it doesn't mean you can actually eat what you like.....😀

If you have ever used a personal trainer, one of the things you will no doubt be familiar with is keeping a food diary. This can be really useful when it comes to making positive changes and at Get Fit Today, we would encourage everyone to try this, even if just for one week.


The pure process of keeping a record of what you eat will provide immediate results for you.  The moment you decide to become aware of all the little snacks and extras that you sneak in throughout the day, you will automatically stop having them (as much 😀) 


The mental process of keeping a food diary helps to re-affirm your decision to become fit and healthy, and will help keep you on track as you won’t want all of your good efforts to be wasted.


What to include

A good food diary shouldn't take you too long to fill out. There are some great online version you can use and one we would strongly recommend is 'My Fitness Pal' - which allows you to scan bar codes of food and drinks you consume and automatically add them to your days diary.


However, if you decide to keep a written record instead, then consider including the following as a bare minimum:

  • Breakfast

  • Lunch

  • Dinner

  • Snacks

  • Drinks

Ideally, you want to also include some of the following as well:

  • Amount of sleep you have had that night

  • Times of your meals

  • How you felt after the meal (hungry or full)

  • Any exercise you completed that day together with how you felt before and afterwards (energetic, tired, lazy etc )

  • Portion sizes


Honesty

There is no point in keeping a food diary if you are going to fib to yourself 😀.  That snack you had mid-morning? - that needs to be included.  Those few sweets you munched on whilst driving to work? - add them to your diary as well.  An accurate diary can be really beneficial and will probably surprise you.


Reviewing

Once you have finished keeping a food diary for at least a week, you need to review it so you can look for areas to improve.  We can do this for you if you wish, please see below.


Ask yourself the following questions as you look back through your diary:


  • How healthy is my diet?

  • Am I eating vegetables and fruit every day? If so, how many servings?

  • Am I eating whole grains each day?

  • Am I eating foods or beverages with added sugar? If so, how frequently?

  • Do my moods affect my eating habits? Do I reach for unhealthy snacks when I’m tired or stressed?

  • How often do I eat on the run?

  • Am I eating enough.........?🤔

Quite often, we find that busy people with busy work and home lives tend not to be eating enough and when you do, its the wrong type of food. We all try to be healthy, but life just gets in the way.


Making healthy changes

Obviously, having kept a diary for a week, reviewed it and identified areas where you can improve, you need to make some healthy changes. Our TOP TIP is not to change too much at once. Start slowly with one change maybe and let this settle in for 2-3 weeks before making the next change (see our blog on creating healthy fitness habits)


Allow the change to become 'normal' for you before moving on to make another one. Try to involve your partner or family in with any changes you make as this will help a lot.


The Secret to success

For anyone looking to lose some weight, starting fitness is the right thing to do. Your body needs to burn energy in order for you to burn fat and the more you exercise, the more this will happen. However, if you have unhealthy eating habits you are still going to struggle with making this happen as quick as you wish. You will see results, but they will come much slower if you don't change your eating habits as well. 


Likewise for someone making healthy changes to their eating habits but not adding any exercise into their daily regime. The results will come, button as quickly as you may hope for. 


However - doing both things at the same time in a steady, controlled way is the secret to weight loss success. Small changes to your eating habits, add in some exercise and slowly increase this over time and BOOM - wolf whistle's here you come!😀


To learn more about healthy eating, nutrition and diets have a look through our other website blogs, and keep an eye out over the next few weeks for some specific ones on macros (carbs, protein and fats).


We are currently offering a £20 Nutrition Plan which includes the following:


1. 7-day food diary template to download, use and submit

2. Online Basal Metabollic Rate (BMR) calculation form to submit to us in order to calculate how much energy your body requires every day

3. Analysis of your 7-day food diary

4. Personal contact with an instructor via email for one month to discuss your eating habits, BMR and exercise routine


Combining nutrition and exercise is the magical key to successfully achieving your health & fitness goals.  Let us help you do this and get in touch with us via email or check out this link for more information on our Nutrition Plan and instructions on how to sign up.


Until next time - eat healthy, enjoy exercise and Get Fit Today! 😀





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