I haven't done a food log in about 6 months, so I've decided to do one today, just to check up on myself, and to nip in the bud a couple little snacking issues I've been having (too much non-nutritious snacking!!).
Keeping a daily food log, or even just an occasional food log, serves a couple of very useful purposes. I encourage everyone to do it, at least for a few days. And here's why....
#1. You will find yourself making smarter food choices as you become acutely aware of everything you're about to put in your body. I've had many occasions when I was about to eat something less than nutritious (candy bar, cake, etc.), and have succeeded in redirecting my attention to something nutritious (apple, walnuts, etc..), simply because I did not want to see CAKE written in large letters in my food log that day! This is an especially helpful technique to use if you're trying to cut unwanted, unnecessary calories in order to lose weight.
#2. At the end of the day, you can get a clear and honest, big picture snapshot of how you eat each day, and can make adjustments in your eating habits. I've always prided myself on my good healthy eating habits, however, when I read a few days of my food log, I realized that I wasn't eating nearly as many vegetables as I thought I had been. Our minds are very deceptive in that way, but the food log does not lie!
#3. Find out how many calories and nutrients you're taking in each day, by also recording the amounts consumed, next to each entry. This is useful if you're trying to lose or gain weight, or if, like me, you're just curious about nutrients. I logged all of my food and drinks and the amounts consumed, for one week. Yes, it was tedious. But it was interesting. I plugged all my info into an online program which allowed me to see how many calories I was taking in, where my calories were coming from (fat, protein, or carbohydrate), and which vitamins and minerals I was not getting enough of. Talk about an eye opener!!
So here it is....
Nancy's Little List of Food April 29, 2010
7:30 am...oatmeal, banana, 1/2 orange, slice of watermelon, walnuts
11:30 am...carrot juice, handful of grapes
12:30 pm...tuna fish w/ mayo, celery, cherry tomatoes, pepperoccinis
2:30 pm...a few baby carrots
3:30 pm...salad w/ spinach & red leaf lettuce & purple cabbage, feta cheese, olive oil/vinegar dressing. rice cake w/ low sugar jam
5:30 pm...1/2 yellow pepper, organic veggie juice, walnuts
7:00 pm...salmon cakes (made from wild caught salmon), roasted kale + brussel sprouts + carrots, baby gherkin pickles