A number of my readers have asked for help finding a free printable food diary, or a free food journal. The one linked below is a simple one I've found that does the trick.
It's a one page form, with a fill-in-the-blank format, to make it easy to keep track.
Print out more as you need them.
Write in the foods you eat throughout the day, and use the helpful extras, including spaces to write down where you were when you were eating, what kind of mood you were in, if you were alone or with people, etc.
It also has a space for glucose level as it originally was made for diabetic patients.
Some people will find it more compelling to have a nice looking book or journal they can carry in their bag or briefcase, instead of a paper printout. Either way the food diary can be of use if you need a little help keeping yourself accountable for what you are putting in your mouth each day.
The natural progression when adopting a more whole foods diet is to begin automatically making healthier eating choices. The more you eat real foods and choose healthy meals that truly nourish your body, the less attractive junk foods become. Over-eating naturally becomes a thing of the past. It's much easier to overeat junk foods and empty calorie foods than it is to overeat real, nourishing foods.
Junk foods are crafted in ways to make your brain and tastebuds crave more and more of them. Junk foods are usually high in salt, sweeteners, unhealthy oils and fats, and often "flavor enhancers" that make our brains a little crazy for more, more, more... Most of these foods pack in extra calories without much nutrition.
A food diary, or food journal can be helpful to get a handle on unconscious eating.
What is unconscious eating? Imagine polishing off a bag of chips or a pint of ice cream in front of the t.v., without even realizing it was happening.
If that sounds like you, try doing the food diary for a week or two. It can bring to light certain circumstances, moods, times of day, and patterns in your routine that lend themselves to poor eating decisions.
Some people ease into a healthier eating lifestyle. Some make the change overnight. I find that the best success comes from committing to a decision and then sticking to it. There will be moments of difficulty, and occasional back pedaling, but there are ways to prepare yourself for a successful experience.
Have healthy snacks at the ready. If you crave salty, crunchy snacks make a batch of my flax crackers or roast up a bunch of kale chips.
If you crave sweets make sure you have some fruit on hand and make a batch of one of our cookie recipes to help get you through the initial transitions. Even if you eat half a dozen homemade macaroons sweetened with stevia, it's a big step in the right direction over tearing into a package of cookies laden with corn syrup, refined white flour and low quality "cheap" oils.
Try a food diary, nobody will see it but you, so be brutally honest with yourself. Take stock of what triggers over-eating or indulging on health-zapping junk foods. And commit to making healthier choices. You will see and feel the positive difference in your body and your mind.