The Food Diary Anchor

A personal diary is a record of the important events of the day and your feelings. As you read over the entries you made in the past, you can relive some of those events. In fact some diaries have been the resources of books penned by people.

A food diary is no different except that the entries are the types of food you eat each day.

Why is it good to have a food diary?

This is especially useful if you are on a weight loss program. It also shows you when you ate and what you ate at particular times of each day. It tells you if you have eaten too much or if you have eaten the wrong type of food.

It is a good tool to help you lose weight.

How do you start a food diary?

Begin by having a book which you can write in as well as put in pictures. Personalise it. You can decorate its cover so that it looks attractive. On the first page you may want to place your photograph, to record how you looked like before beginning your weight loss program. Record your weight and your measurements, arms, chest, waist and hips.

It would be good to have columns where you enter the week, ( week 1 & the dates), the day, meal times, the type of food you ate, the quantity, estimated number of calories, the type of drinks and the quantity. You can also have an optional column for the cost of the meal. This will help you to have a clearer picture of where your money went to.

At the beginning of each week record your weight and your measurements. Note the time that you weighed yourself and took your measurements. This is important because you want to weigh and measure yourself at the same time each week. Then it will be a consistent record.

What benefits will you get out of keeping a food diary?

Firstly, it is a record of your weight loss journey. It will show your achievements along the way. There will be a record of when you first lost weight and how much you lost.

The purpose of recording the types of food and drinks you consumed is to let you know which types of food you like to eat and whether or not they affected your weight loss progress. It will also let you know if you have over eaten ( the number of calories), and if you have eaten too many times in a day!

You will also know if you are eating the right type of food at the different times of the day. Are you eating too much meat and too little vegetables and fruit? How many cakes did you eat during that week? How was the food cooked? Steamed, fried or boiled? Did you eat out or at home?

An analysis of your food diary will tell you if you are eating the wrong types of food and where your extra weight is coming from. It will show you where you need to cut down on the high calorie food or fattening food.

By looking at your food diary for a couple of weeks, you can begin to plan your meals. You can decide on what you will eat for the following week. You can decide what type of snacks you will have on which day, whether you will have fish or chicken for dinner, whether you will have a salad or sandwiches for lunch.

You can plan if you want to bring food from home or buy out or eat at a cafe.

By following your meal plan, your weight loss program will be more structured and consistent. It will be easier for you to adhere to.

If something happens and you cannot keep to the plan, you should note it down in your food diary. Record what took place and what you ate.

When you achieve a midway target, for example losing 5 lbs at the end of two weeks, highlight that achievement. Put a picture or an avatar there to congratulate yourself.

After you have lost 10 lbs, take a photograph of yourself and paste it in your diary. Then you can compare the first photo of yourself at the beginning of your diary and the latest one. The difference will be obvious and this will be a big motivation for you to continue with your weight loss.

Do not forget to write down your feelings when you learn you have lost weight. At the same time you can also record how you felt when you had to stop eating your favorite ice cream and chocolates. Reading these at a later period will make you remember your weight loss journey and the milestones along the way. In the future, your food diary can even be a reference for a friend who wants to lose weight.

Parenting Tips – Create A Photo Diary With Your Child

Here is a wonderful way to get your child reading and writing. I’ve used this with my own children and had a lot of fun together. We created a diary ‘A Day In The Life Of….’ This is how we did it.

1. Pick a day when you know that you will have a lot of time together. Get your camera (digital is better) and your notepad ready. Have some activities planned for that day.

2. As soon as your child wakes up start taking photographs! You can take some at that special, quiet time before they wake up. I’m assuming you will be awake before your child – not often the case with young children who are wide awake as soon as the sun shines.

3. Take photos all day long. Let your child take pictures too. Make notes of what you have done throughout the day. Ask your child to make notes too. I know this seems obvious but by the time you’ve got to the end of the day you may have forgotten exactly what your child had for lunch.

4. Have special activities such as baking, dressing up, painting etc. Try to fit some exciting events into your day. Also, include the more mundane ones like brushing teeth etc. Don’t forget to take one of that special, quiet time when your child goes to sleep.

5. The day after, or whenever you have time, print the photos out. Let your child stick them onto plain pieces of paper. They can have fun working out the order in which they go – this is when your notes come in handy. Underneath each photo ask your child to describe what’s happening and to write it down. Depending on their age, they might need help with writing.

6. Make a book out of these pages. Give it a proper feel by providing a book cover and title. You can even put a blurb on the back page.

When I did this with my eldest daughter we created a book that became a treasured item. She showed it to everyone who came to the house. She even took it to school for show and tell. Even though she’s nearly 16 she still loves this book. Of course, it makes me go teary eyed with emotion every time I see it.

I hope you enjoy this activity. It could become a regular occurrence in your child’s life. The older they get the more complex their photo diaries can become.

Going on Vacation? – Keep Your Memories Secure Forever in an Online Journal Or Diary

Here are some things you usually do on vacation no matter where you go:

– Take photos.

– Try new restaurants.

– Rent a room / condo.

– Buy groceries for the duration of your stay.

– Buy airline tickets if you are flying or gasoline if you are driving.

Those five things are pretty standard for any vacation, and I’m sure there are many more, so you can try to come up with a more exhaustive list customized for you.

The main point here is that each year you will typically forget how much you spent on your room, gasoline, airline tickets, groceries and so forth. You may have taken photos, but they are probably just stored on your computer somewhere, or you may have developed a few and stored them with the rest of your family photos in a box in the closet.

How great would it be to have everything centrally located that dealt with your vacations every year? You should consider chronicling your vacations in an online journal. With an online private journal, you can:

– Upload your vacation pictures, and put a description of each photo if you want.

– Record the best places to eat.

– Scan and upload your trip receipts, such as gasoline, airline tickets, room fees, groceries expenses and more. This will allow you to set a better budget for your next vacation.

Yes, it may take a little time to chronicle your vacation in a private online journal or diary, but you will be taking a trip down memory lane, and you will forever have access to a secure area that you can login to from year to year and remember how great your vacations have been.