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Are you struggling to keeping track what you eat and end up taking in all those extra calories without having a proper record? You are not the only one trying to cope with the calorie count of your everyday intake.

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Planning and tracking your food intake are considered to be the most important facets of healthy eating. You cannot be sure of your diet unless you keep a record of it. Awareness of your food pattern is vital and cannot be ignored especially if you are following a health regime and aim to get back in shape or just maintain general health

Reasons to know your eating habit

Keeping track of your eating habits can be either done on paper, on your computer or even digitally via many diet tracking apps. You can track what you eat, how much you eat or the size of each portion, frequency of eating or number of meals you take in daily, and also you may want to add on what you feel when you do so?

The last bit can be insightful if you can pen down your deepest emotions. Moreover, such self-revelations do often lead to a good laugh when you revisit your records. And the best way to keep a record is by maintaining a food journal.

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What is a food journal?

A food journal is a record of your relationship with food. It’s more like self-discovery of those eating patterns that often get ignored in your daily chores. Your food journal if done carefully will help you to get to the real truth that keeps you from achieving your health aims. And here’s why you should kick-start your endeavor to maintain a food journal.

The truth about how many extra calories, sugar, fats, etc. you consume in the form of different foods. Remember, the calories are not always the culprit, you also have to worry about what else are you taking in excess and what all essential ingredients you are missing on?

It will generally be an eye-opener and you will be surprised to see the results if you sincerely make entries in the following columns:

 

  • The food that has been consumed.
  • Time of consumption.
  • The portion sizes.
  • Place where the food was consumed.
  • People you eat with.
  • The reason for your eating.

Food Journal to know your diet

It is a good idea to refer to certain food journaling websites or even books that will give you proper information about the nutritional value of different foods (both raw and prepared).

  • If you do it digitally, then the apps or websites take care of the nutritional content and give you a detailed breakdown of your consumption, which is good if you are generally pressed on time.
  • However, if you can manage a few minutes from your routine, then you should go in for the manual mode for it enriches your knowledge about the nutritional aspects of food.
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No matter which model you prefer from the above but a journal entry should not be left to the end of the day because you may avoid some necessary details. In contrast, a regular entry helps you keep a proper and elaborate account of your dietary patterns that are essential to unveil the primary reason behind your obesity or other health concern.

These are some key tips to maintain a proper food journal that can help you track what you eat and consume most diligently. These tips will eventually lead to a habit of tracking and show some surprising trends and patterns, in your diet and your moods. You might find out that most of your hunger pangs have nothing to do with appetite but are led by stress or mood swings.

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Such revelations might instigate you to take serious calls on your diet! And when it comes to maintaining diet, it is highly recommended that to ben well-informed about the significance of a balanced diet. This gives you a fair idea of what the ideal proportion of nutrients essential is for the overall growth of your body.

The Perfect Form of a Balanced Diet

Remember, a diet is said to be balanced if it provides you all the essential nutrients in the right proportions, without exceeding the recommended portions. Human beings need only a limited number of calories daily to stay fit.

Even the United States Department of Agriculture, with developments in nutritional science, now recommends eating a balanced plate by taking food from five groups, namely-

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Vegetables: You can nosh on any of the five subgroups of the vegetables- leafy green, red or orange veggies, starchy vegetables, beans and peas (legumes), and others like zucchini.

Fruits: Whole fruits are recommended by many nutrition experts over juices because the former is rich in fiber and more appetizing.

Grains: While you can feast on both whole grains and refined grains, the former is rich in fibers as well as protein and the latter one is processed and ripped off their nutritional value. Some of the most nutritional grains include oats, brown rice, barley, quinoa, etc.

Protein: The significance of including proteins in daily diet has been underlined by the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans that suggests having protein make up for at least a quarter of a plate. Primary sources of protein include chicken, turkey, fish, pork, legumes, beans, etc.

Dairy: These products are a significant source of calcium and should be a part of your daily consumption. From ricotta cheese to Greek yogurt to soy milk, you will be spoilt for choices when it comes to purchasing dairy products.

 

To know more about a balanced diet, have a read at one of our posts- Contol your Appetite.  

Let’s Keep Track What You Eat

Dietary guidelines keep changing over time, as and when discoveries or researches come up. But you have to ensure that you take in food from all the five main groups mentioned above.

Knowing about a balanced diet and following a strict dietary regime to attain maximum benefits are two different ball-games which can be streamlined by keeping a regular food journal.

Moreover, keeping a food journal will help you know what regulates your hunger, when you often feel hungry, how much you eat, and how much is required by your body. 

It also helps you weigh different triggers that led to hunger. In fact, A Kaiser Permanente study showed that people who kept food journals were able to lose weight much faster than the ones who were not.

Hence, with all this information at your hands, don’t you think maintaining a track of your food intake is essential?

Final Say on keeping track on what you eat

In this age where almost everyone has a iphone of android with any one of a dozen of free applications, it is very easy to track what we eat and how many calories we eat.

We can also check the calorie levels in what we drink and eat.

It just takes will power and determination.

Good luck in managing your diet. 

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