Determine Your Food Habits With A Food Diary
Most people greatly underestimate what they eat. Keeping a food diary will give you a better idea of your food habits and overall eating pattern. For this exercise, you will be asked to recall what you have eaten in the past 24 hours. This is a quick way for you to see what your daily diet may be like. However, the determination of a particular dietary pattern usually requires at least one week since it includes circumstances where you tend to make unhealthy food choices. This information can help you identify where you need to make healthier changes.
Some tips for filling out your food diary are as follows:
· Write down everything that you ate or drank. Be as specific as possible. (Example: 1 cup of coffee with 1 teaspoon of sugar and 1 tablespoon of half-and-half, 10 real juice berries).
· Include extras such as butter/margarine, salad dressings, sugar, milk in tea.
· Describe the food (whole wheat or white bread, 2% or skim milk).
· Indicate the preparation method used for the food where necessary (baked, broiled, fried, etc.).
· Try to remember the ingredients used in a mixed recipe and the proportion of that recipe that you ate. For example, if you ate 1/4 of the recipe "pasta with vegetables in a tomato sauce", determine the amount of pasta, vegetables, and tomato sauce in that portion.
· Try your best to estimate what you ate when dining away from home.
Of course, it is much easier to remember what you ate when you write things down right away. Try keeping a daily food diary for at least one week. Also try to include weekend days since we tend to eat a little differently on these days as compared to the rest of the week.
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