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How To Keep A Food Diary?
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7 posts in this topic

Hi

I saw my new GI yesterday (will say more elsewhere, excellent experience).

He recommend I keep a food diary before I see the dietitian he is referring me to (yeay).

Thing is I dont really know how to do that in a way that I can see patterns.

I am looking for dealing with some low vit levels, assorted food sensitivity and a need to lose weight (about 75lbs eek).

I know I probably need to heal some before weight loss (but know the dietitian may have other views!!)

I need more than random scribbles in a notebook!

Any advice on what works for you would be great

Thanks

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I use a Microsoft Word table. You need to have the date. I think I had different columns for breakfast, lunch and dinner. there is one more column for reactions. Or you could list all your foods in one square per day. That way you would only need 3 columns. The first one is 5 columns.

Susan

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I use a two column Microsoft Word table. I enter a header in bold with the date each day. After that, on the left I keep track of the time (I do not eat on a regular schedule, I also snack) and on the right which is a far wider column I list what I ate. If it isn't a whole food, I list ingredients. I include every medication, prescription and otherwise that I take, right down to every last Tums. I also list, by time, any sort of how I'm feeling if it isn't well, or at least normal. At the end of the day I'll summarize how I felt for the day.

This has worked for me, because I like the nice clean column and I'm more than happy to flip through and see what is what. It took a lot of trial and error before I got mine to a design I liked. Much like what we eat, I think we each need to do what works for us. My husband's has a third column for his glucose. For someone who eats three meals a day and doesn't snack a clean 5 column with a place for a date and reactions would be nice. It simply wouldn't suit me. I've noticed that on some days I have as few as four entries and on others as many as a dozen.

I'm with you on weight loss. I've dropped about 20 pounds, but started out at needing to drop right around 100 or so, maybe a bit more. I'm not sure I could get on board with someone who would think that jumping on a strict weight loss plan while you still have vit level issues. I mostly stick to whole foods, or things I could make at home myself if I weren't lazy, with ingredients I can pronounce, and just watch how much of it I eat. Just be careful and don't let someone limit things like your vegetables and fresh fruits.

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I just carried a small notepad. After a while it became second nature to write down everything I put in my mouth during the course of the day. On the flip side of the page I would write down any symptoms I felt, and what time they started. After a while a clear pattern emerged. I could guage how long it took for a reaction (about eight to twelve hours for me) and then it was easy to figure out which foods were bothering me.

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I just use a small pocket sized notepad. It's a convenient size for me to carry if I want to. I write the date and just list everything I eat. If I have any symptoms I write them on the back of the page that faces the list page..next to the list. If I suspect some food has caused an irritation I underrline it.

I also occasionally jot down my weight and if I take my blood pressure I add that. (I usually just take my blood pressure if I feel bad)

With the suspicious food underlined and symptoms noted it makes it easy to see if somethiong is bothering me repeatedly.

Our systems are constantly changing. If you get a reaction from something, don't just give up on it. Give it several tries..assuming your reaction isn't severe.

I don't eat processed foods aside from just a few, mostly just whole foods. I do use Earth Balance soy free butter substitute and So Delicious milk substitute. At first I noted the name of the brand, but it always is the same so I don't list it anymore. For example cc milk is coconut milk. I don't write down portion sizes. If you are wondering about losing weight, you may want to note the size of your portion?

I like Adelaide's idea of listing supplements/medicines. I didn't take my list that far, but I can see how that would be helpful as well.

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Since I'm one of those Linux / opensource 'geeks', I've been using something called Zim wiki and there's a windows download link available here: http://www.zim-wiki.org/downloads.html

Before that I was using Red Notebook which is available here: http://rednotebook.sourceforge.net/

I've been keeping 2 weeks' worth of entries on 1 calendar page, with the date and then how I feel in the morning (or through the day), then skip a couple lines and note what I eat for breakfast; lunch; dinner including any supplements. I don't note my tea with stevia, unless I'm trying a different type of tea (I gave up on that after a bad reaction to some earl grey tea). I also abbreviate some things, like bw for buckwheat, etc.

With rednotebook, I used it as a sort of journal for other things too, and tagged my food entries under 'food diary'. Then they upgraded and changed how they handled tags, which annoyed me greatly so I went back to Zim.

Then, it's really easy to search for a particular food item or symptom and go to that day and to see how I felt the next day or 2nd day after.

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This is great everyone, thanks

I think I am starting to see a format that would work for me.

I think if my husband can sort a chart on my phone I will do that, otherwise notebook with food one page and reactions opposite sounds good to start.

My inner geek likes the tech solution, but it closed down my phone when I accessed the site :o!

Thanks for the other advice and encouragement. It is a bit daunting knowing where to start. I am masses better gluten-free, but need those nutrients before the weight really gets going I suspect.

Mw x

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