A food diary is a daily account of what a person eats over a certain period of time. In addition to the foods eaten, a food diary may have a place to make note of any particular foods and how they made a person feel, whether they caused acid problems, indigestion or other issues. The food diary is one of the most recommended items for those who are trying to diet.
The foods listed in a food diary are very important. Once they are listed, subsequent columns then record how large the portion was and how many calories that portion is estimated to have had. Of course, many times, because most do not exactly weigh out their foods, there will be minor differences in the food diary and what is actually consumed.
Once adequate records have been recorded, it is then possible to compare from week to week what the caloric intake is. This is vital when dieting because, despite all the fad diets on the planet, the main key is still determining how many calories went in. A comparison of each week, month, and perhaps year can help those dieting make sure they are on the right track.
Some may decide to put their weight down on a food diary, at least once a week. While this is a personal decision and is neither right or wrong, many dietitians recommend against being so preoccupied with weight, absent any serious health concerns. This is because it may be easy to get discouraged if a week does not go exactly as planned. In the end, the calories are the most important of all measurements.
Many may be hesitant to keep a food diary, feeling it takes too much time. However, to help those who feel this way, there are a number of programs. Some food diaries can be bought, or templates can be printed out from a word processing program. Some food diaries are offered in the form of interactive spread sheets, which help keep things very organized and may even be set up to handle all the math for the individual.
It may not be necessary to keep a food diary in order to lose weight, but it can be a very helpful aid, according to dietitians. Those who are trying to lose weight should at least consider the benefits a food diary offers and perhaps keep one on a trial basis. However, no food diary should discourage anyone from dieting. It may be that other methods are more effective for some individuals.