We always say that obsessing over a perfect diet isn’t healthy for most people. So it might seem odd that we’re talking about keeping a food journal today. However, if you are looking to cut sugar out of your diet, logging what you are eating might be a helpful tool to help you cut back!
We think the best diet is a healthy, balanced diet you can stick to with plenty of vegetables, whole grains, protein and nutrients. The problem is even the best diet can quickly add up to excess when you ignore portions. Some people are great at eyeballing portion sizes, others look to food scales and many turn to calculators and reading labels.
One great tool you can use is a food journal. Tracking what you are eating can show you your patterns. You can learn where you have stumbling points, where sugar is hiding in your diet and what you have to work on. When you have it written out for you, it’s obvious.
“Keep a sugar log for a week to figure out where your sugar is coming from,” said DJ Blatner, registered dietitian nutritionist. As little as one week can start to give you a picture of your life.
Tracking throughout the day is the easiest way to remember what you ate and gives you the most accurate information. But, you can also set aside some time each evening to review your day and write it down. There are apps to help you track your diet, or you can log it in a physical journal. A benefit of doing it at night is that you review the actions and mood of your day in full.
If you have blood sugar concerns and frequently check your blood sugar level, you can write that down in your journal. That can be very beneficial as it can teach you how individual foods impact you. While GI numbers are a great guide, every body is different, and foods can influence people differently.
You’ll also see patterns in your behavior. When are you eating? Is it mealtimes, or is it dependent on your moods? Is how you eat impacted by your company? You can learn about your behavior and teach yourself to overcome problems. Maybe you and a friend eat too many sweets together, and it’s time to suggest taking walks instead. Maybe when you’re upset, you turn to snacks and need to redirect yourself to an activity. Maybe at a specific location, you can’t resist a certain food, and you should avoid going there until you’ve gotten a hold of your sugar cravings. A food log can help you learn more about not only your diet but your actions around your diet so you can help yourself get to a place where you’ll succeed more easily.
Using a food log as a tool can be a great way to teach yourself more about your daily diet and habits. You can use it to guide you as you make healthy plans for your future!