Saturday, August 13, 2011
The What, When, Why and How of Keeping a Daily Food/Mood Diary
Keeping a daily, written accout of your food plan/intake and your ever-fluctuating state of mind (moods) will be quite an eye-opener if you’ve never tried it. We often overlook the small details in life like exactly what we are eating, how much we are eating, why we’re eating, and how we feel after we eat.
If you record that hot-fudge sundae that you think won’t hurt anything, you can see whether or not you’ve gone over your allotted daily intake, plus how that sundae makes you feel now.
Things to record in your journal:
Your goals – start by writing down your ultimate goal. Then break it down into monthly goals, weekly goals and daily goals. Read these often. It helps you stay focused.
EVERYTHING you eat and drink throughout the day – be honest. This includes sauces, gravies and salad dressing – any type of condiment. Don’t forget juice, sugared sodas, or additions to tea and coffee. All of these extras add up.
The time of day you eat your meals and snacks – You may not even realize how much or how little time you leave between meals. You will also have to fess up to those late-night snacks. Each person is different. Some people do well eating six small meals per day, and some eat only three meals per day. Keeping track of when you eat and how you feel will help determine what works best for you.
How you feel – Are you feeling bored, tired, sad, happy, or depressed before or while you’re eating? How do you feel after you eat: full of energy, or sluggish? Keeping track of how you feel before and while eating can determine any triggers in your life that lead to turning to food for comfort.
Activities you’re doing while eating – are you watching tv? Sitting at your desk at work? This allows you to create a plan to combat these habits.
Your thoughts – Whether your thoughts are negative or positive, write them down. Positive thoughts help you get through the day easier and get through tough times easier.
Your difficulties(challenges) and how you deal with them – Do you turn to food for comfort? By writing down the difficulties (challenges) you face each day, you can determine what your triggers are-perhaps a particular situation or dealing with a difficult co-worker. By determining specifically what the problem is and examining how you’ve been dealing with it, you can prepare yourself to react in a healthy way to the next episode, should it occur.
Your success – No matter how large or small your successes are throughout the day, write them down. If you just started a walking program and you made it two blocks instead of one, write it down. If you dealt with that difficult co-worker and went for a walk instead of heading to the vending machine, write it down. If you ate carrot sticks instead of a candy bar, write it down. Each day, look through this list of successes for instant inspiration and motivation. If you did it once, you can do it again-and again-and again!!!
-Adapted from TOPSNews