When we are suffering from an unknown reaction or allergy it can sometimes be tricky to figure out the trigger. Or maybe, despite your best intentions to lose weight (or gain weight), you seem to have plateaued.
It can be something as subtle as a slight change in what you are eating or drinking, or even possibly, the time of day that you are consuming it.
And that is where a food diary can really come in to help you monitor and spot any trends. It may seem like a drag to have to keep jotting down everything that passes your lips, but if it means you solve the mystery rash, it’s got to be worth it, right?!
Top Tips For Keeping A Food Diary
- Buy or create a food diary to help you stay on track. You can create one via a Word/Excel document that you set up, or buy yourself a pretty journal to record everything in. Alternatively you can buy a purpose made food journal (created by Liana’s Kitchen!)
- Make it a habit to record everything you eat and drink. This is where it becomes important to have something you enjoy recording in – and something that is transportable. Remember to record what you eat as soon as you consume it, or you’ll forget and your diary won’t become a true picture of what you are attempting to analyse.
- Don’t just record what you eat and drink – also try to write down how much sleep you get each night (and if you can the quality of your sleep), how you felt when you woke up, did you find it hard to get to sleep? How much exercise you have taken, and again, how did it make you feel?
- For menstruating women make sure you record your cycles too. Your monthly cycle can greatly effect not just how you feel but also your skin, tiredness and weight levels.
- Take measurements of your body at the beginning, as well as at the end of your food diary. This is particularly important if you are trying to change your weight levels and/or shape over a certain period of time.
- It might seem like too much information but also try to record bowel movements, that is how many you have and whether they are normal or not. Your stools can be a big indicator of your health levels and might help to determine any health issues you are having.
- Make sure you keep on recording everything mentioned above for at least a month, preferably 2 months. This will enable you to gather enough data to really analyse what may or may not be causing you any health issues.
- Try and set yourself some goals, such as eating a certain amount of fruit or vegetables in a day. This can be achieved by incorporating fresh smoothies or soups into your daily routine.
- If after recording everything in a food diary and following all these rules you still can’t piece together any kind of answers or spot any patterns it might be time to visit a healthcare professional for further advice. Don’t leave anything to chance – it might be a really simple fix that somebody more experienced can figure out.
- A very important rule to follow – be honest! So what if you ate the rest of the doughnuts. If you don’t record down everything you’ve consumed and done you’ll never get a true picture, and don’t forget, the only person you are really cheating is yourself!