Start your Healthy Lifestyle with 3 Food Diary DOs

Three Food Diary DOs

Start Your Healthy Lifestyle out with Food Diary DOs

Last week, I wrote about something I am very passionate about – Living a Healthy Lifestyle. Often there comes a point in our life where you find yourself asking “how did I get to this point in my life, am I even happy right now?” For me, I asked myself this question when I finished my MBA and Dietetic Internship. My two-year program became a blur and I was starting to question what I was doing with my life. I wasn’t healthy like I promoted myself to be and I wasn’t as happy as I thought I was. Something needed to change to get my health back on track and the first thing I knew I wanted to work on was my nutrition (shocker, I know).

The first step I took to working on my nutrition was starting to track my food. I used, and still continue to use, MyFitnessPal. This was and still is the best step you can take to start living a healthy lifestyle. Therefore, I believe it’s only fair to let you know the DOs when it comes to food tracking since it can be a dangerous activity depending on how you go about it.

Three DOs When it Comes to starting a food diary

DO start off by just tracking what you normally eat.

When it comes to starting to track your food, you might think you need to change everything and instantly become healthy. Thinking about changing everything is exhausting and can end up backfiring on you. When you first start tracking your food don’t make changes to your diet. Instead, log everything and look at your nutrition overall. Having a log of the foods you eat over the course of a week can offer some extra insight. From there you can zone in on what foods are common in your diet, what foods aren’t so common, and how they are contributing to your overall health – which brings me to my next DO.

DO look at your nutrients.

When I use MyFitnessPal I jump from two screens the most – my actual food diary and my nutrients nutrition. I find it extremely important to understand how your diet holds up when it comes to your macronutrients. {Macronutrients are carbohydrates, fat, and protein.} Our body survives on the nutrients we provide it so it becomes important to look at our nutrients as a whole. Are you lacking in protein? Have an overconsumption of carbohydrates? If you are interested in more than macronutrients, the screen also shows your micronutrients as well.

DO write notes throughout the day

Ever notice you’re ready for bed at like 5 pm only to realize you haven’t eaten since 10 am? When it comes to tracking your food, one thing I always like to do is make notes on my food diary. I usually note when I am extremely tired, feeling sick, have a headache, or feeling anything really. Our nutrition is so important that it really can affect our overall health for the day. During my first part-time job there were days I skipped lunch and thought nothing of it but then it came to driving to my next part-time job and I was hard to stay awake. I was able to make the connection of not having enough fuel in my body due to skipping lunch. By creating notes in my food diary I was able to see patterns and make changes for the better and see improvement.

At first it might seem like a chore to track your foods, but in the long run, it can help you get a better understanding of your nutrition. To this day, I frequently go back to tracking my food for a week or so just to do a “macro check” on myself. I also continue to learn more about myself with my extra notes throughout the day.

Take that step to creating a healthy lifestyle and start tracking your food to learn more about your nutrition. As a Registered Dietitian, I work with many clients trying to build a healthy lifestyle and my first approach is starting with a food diary. I have seen great results when clients truly focus on their nutrition.

Now, my question for you today is: what is your DO when it comes to tracking your food?

Leave a comment below or share on social media with #FoodDairyDOs

And…Stay tuned for next week’s – The DON’Ts for tracking your food!

Food Diary DOs


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