There are many reasons why you should keep a food diary, the most convincing being you will know exactly what you eat, when you eat and how you felt afterwards. You wouldn't rely soley on your memory to do your banking or tax return and neither should you take such an approach if you have specific health goals in mind .
1. Increases food awareness
A food diary is a valuable tool to get you on track in the initial stages of changing your diet and lifestyle habits. You can avoid telling the truth to your therapist but you can't lie to your diary. Even if you hate writing down the things you're not proud of eating, you will gain more insight into your problem areas.
2. Encourage healthier choices
You are more likely to make better food choices if you know you need to write them down and review them. The diary will highlight where you need to work harder. It also encourages you to keep improving, changing things up and trying new things when you do eat really well.
3. Positive life style change
Not only can you reflect on your food choices but you can add how you feel and how much exercise you do. "Like attracts like" as the saying goes, so focus on all the positive activity in your life and you will create more reasons to keep improving.
4. Track your wellbeing
This is especially useful if you are unwell, possible food allergies or have symptoms you can't trace. It is essential for health conditions that need monitoring such as diabetes, heart conditions and people undergoing serious medical treatment. By recording what you eat, when you do and how your symptoms afterward it gives you an actual record of how you are feeling on a day to day basis and how specific foods make you feel.
5. Achieve your goals
Whether that be weight loss, get fitter or tweak your health a food journal can help you keep track and stay motivated. The food diary will help you plan out your meals and snacks.
What will you need?
Either a basic note pad, Word document on your computer or an app like "Edibles" . Make it visually appealling by sticking pictures or your favourite quotes and adding colour to your diary.
Why shouldn't you have a food diary? If you have a habit to control everything in your life, especially if you are very rigid with your food choices or have been in the past. In this case it is "healthier" for you to relax and enjoy what your eat, rather than analyse everything you put in your mouth.