Getting Into the Habit: Food Diary

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Food plays such a huge role in so many aspects of our lives. If we’ve had a particularly hard day at work, we look to food for comfort; when we miss our friends, we arrange brunch meetings; when we want to connect with that certain someone, we organise dinner dates (even if they are over Zoom meetings now).

Unfortunately, a lot of us have found it quite difficult during this lacklustre lockdown period, to enjoy food the way we usually would. It’s easy to feel unmotivated and discouraged from preparing meals at home, especially if your only option is to eat alone.

Personally, I have found it difficult to maintain a clean or exciting diet, succumbing to the same bland meals every day. Which is why my aim this week was to maintain a food diary. A food diary is a daily log of what you eat and drink each day.

The aim is to log the quantities of foods you eat each day. Becoming more aware of your eating habits can:

-help you identify how your body reacts to certain foods

-encourage you to eat healthier

-encourage you to eat more home-cooked meals

-help you to meal prep and potentially save money

-help you eat a more diverse range of foods

In my food diary I logged the food that I ate and how much water I drank.

Mood:

As the week went on, the habit of tracking my meals became easier to do. I found enjoyment in researching different recipes and actually making time to prepare them. I experimented with some Chinese and Middle Eastern cuisine. Although the recipes weren’t an entire success, the whole experience was therapeutic and satisfying.

Finances:

Not only was I encouraged to cook more, but I could better track which groceries were necessary and which were not, thus saving time and money on my daily supermarket trips.

Health:

I found it easier to resist unhealthy snacks. I could notice my digestion and energy levels improve as I ate cleaner, healthier foods.

Rating:

Maintaining a consistent routine throughout lockdown is a good way of feeling productive and accomplished. As the week went by and I was encouraged to cook more, I found that my mood and motivation increased. The actual task of writing down each food was difficult so I took pictures so that I could write them all at once in the evening.

I would recommend keeping a food diary if you want to become more conscious of what you’re eating or if you want to diversify your meals.