Whether you are trying to lose weight, gain weight or modify your eating habits, a food diary is a great place to start. By logging your intake of food and beverage on a daily basis you will get a better insight about what you are doing right and where you might be going wrong. When keeping a food diary ensure you are recording the following information:
Date and Time
What you ate and the quantity (example: ½ chicken breast, 1 cup pasta, ½ cup marinara sauce, 1 glass apple juice)
The environment and location you are eating in (ex: watching TV, work lunch room, etc)
The mood you were in and/or the reason for you eating (ex: regular meal or social event)
Be as detailed as possible with your descriptions and record EVERYTHING! Even if you have one candy when you pass by the pantry....record it! After a few weeks of recording you will see where your bad habits may be, what you need to change and what times and place to change eating habits in.
The Canada Food Guide is a good tool for healthy eating and active living: it gives you goals and guidelines for what to eat and how much to eat. Ensure that you are eating frequent but small meals throughout the day and are including the 4 food groups. For help interpreting your food diary: consult with a dietician or nutritionist!