Keeping a food diary is a great way for clients to become aware of what, when, and how much they eat. There are plenty of apps for online tracking, but sometimes technology makes this simple task too complicated. Get back to the basics with our Food Diary Tearpad!
The Food Diary Tearpad is user-friendly and self-explanatory, making it perfect for health fairs or classes where you’re unable to provide in-depth individual attention. People can write down what they eat in a day, then use the checklist of MyPlate recommendations to “grade” themselves. There’s also space to check off water intake, exercise, movement (cleaning, chores, playing), sleep, and screen time. That’s a lot of information collected on one page!
Lessons to use with the Food Diary Tearpad:
- Tracking food intake makes you more aware of the choices you’re making. This awareness helps you make better choices.
- Knowing you have to write down what you’re about to eat is often enough to keep you from over-indulging. If you don’t want to see it on paper, you might decide not to eat it!
- You can’t change what you don’t track. Whether it’s screen time, drinking enough water, or eating more vegetables, keeping track lets you compare what you are doing with what you want to do.
- People use food diaries differently, and that’s ok. Some simply want to jot down the foods they eat to get a general view of food groups they are missing or overeating. Others are more detail-oriented and can learn even more by recording portion sizes, time, place, and calories.
- Compare your food diary to your individualized MyPlate Plan, which you can get at ChooseMyPlate.gov/MyPlatePlan. How are you doing on calories? Portion sizes?
- Look at when and where you eat each meal and snack. Do you eat most meals away from home? Do you skip meals during the day then snack all evening? How long do you usually go between meals?
- Get a handle on emotional eating by writing down how you feel whenever you eat.
- Keeping a daily food diary helps people lose weight. But even using our Food Diary for just one day provides a lot of information on your diet and lifestyle. Use this to choose a goal to work on.