If you recently took one of our health quizzes, it may have been recommended that you start your healing with a 7-day food diary and consult.
This is a great place to start if you are struggling with any kind of health problem and looking to implement dietary changes. Functional nutrition focuses on the interplay between the food we eat and the way we feel. Eating the wrong foods day in and day out can have devastating health consequences.
Blood sugar problems like hypoglycemia/hyperglycemia, gastrointestinal issues, Heart disease, diabetes, weight gain, hormone problems are some of the most common problems related to the choices we make and the diet we consume.
Diet is our foundation for good health, but it can also be the foundation for poor health.
By assessing a 7-day food diary, we can not only understand how the foods you might be eating are contributing to your health problems, most importantly, we can create a roadmap that will start the process for healing.
Whether you have specific health concerns or are simply ready to upgrade your wellness, nutrition lays the foundation keeping a 7-day food diary of what you eat can reveal some major loopholes in your goal for achieving wellness.
7 Day Food Diary
The idea of tracking something with pen and paper sounds archaic, right? But, writing things out by hand helps us pay closer attention. We can have vague ideas about our health habits until we actually see them on paper. Then, the truth often doesn’t match the story we’re telling ourselves.
That’s why we’re fans of this 7-day food diary. If you want to “eat better,” first you have to see what you are currently eating. A week’s time gives you a solid snapshot to start with and practical info to use in creating more specific, healthy goals. Give it a try this week, and glean some of the following.
7 Things You Can Learn From A 7 Day Food Diary:
- Learn how much you’re eating. Often we have a vague idea of how much we ate over the past week, thinking things like, “I didn’t have too much sugar.” But what does that mean? A food journal shows you in black and white the actual amount you are consuming day to day. You’ll be able to see if you’re consistent throughout the week.
- Learn what you’re eating and what you’re NOT Eating. Similar to the how much you are eating, a food journal also helps clarify what you’re eating and what your NOT eating. Sometimes what we are not eating is just as important as what we are eating. Sometimes selective memory takes over when it comes to sugary treats and other items we’re trying to limit in our diets. It’s also good to note your fruit and vegetable intake. Using a 7 day food diary provides great insight.
- Learn how much water you’re drinking. Do you think you drink enough water? is there room for improvement? water is one of the major keys to a healthy lifestyle.
- It holds you accountable. Tracking your food subconsciously holds you accountable to what you eat. It also can be used as a tool to keep you on track.
- Learn how you feel before and after certain foods. Ever feel sluggish after a meal? Do you notice you find yourself craving sugar or carbs? A food diary can help you identify which foods are helping and hurting your body. Sometimes simply cutting out a certain food or food group can work wonders for your physical, mental, and emotional state. We use a food diary on every patient we work with. A food diary can help our Functional Nutritionists zero in on problematic foods.
- Learn how the foods affect your Digestion and Stool- The foods we eat can affect our bowel digestion and bowel movements. Poor nutrition often shows up in the color, shape, size, smell and consistency of or bowel movements.
- Learn how Food Can Affect Quality of Sleep and Hours Of Sleep. The other bonus section lets you track your sleeping habits for the week. This is another area that can have a big impact on our health without us realizing it. You first need to see a clear picture of how much you’re sleeping to be able to determine what amount you want to start aiming for on a nightly basis.
Lastly, use the notes section at the bottom of the journal pages to write down any observations about how you’re feeling and what is/isn’t working well for you. The more you put into this practice, the more you’ll get out! Invest a little time into tracking your habits, and see what you can learn to create a healthier future.