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HEALTH Dieting? Keep a food diary

Keep track of your eating

Veronica Mannion

If you are among the many Irish people focused on shedding excess weight, then keeping a food diary could help you lose the weight and keep it off.
Many of us underestimate our food intake. Do you overlook the two biscuits you ate before dinner or the few peanuts you grabbed while looking in the cupboard for something else?
They may seem small, but these indiscretions can be high in fat and calories.
Keeping a food diary helps you to be aware, and in return helps you to make smarter food choices. Here are six steps to keeping a food diary:

>    Write into your food diary every day. This will give you a good picture of your overall eating habits. At the end of the week you will be able to see what you are actually eating.

>    Record everything. This applies to solid food and your liquid intake.

>    Portion Control. Don’t just write what you ate and drank. Try to weigh and measure when you can. Remember, we can underestimate how much of something we eat.

>    Record how you are feeling each day. It can be helpful to record how you feel when you overeat or eat something you know you shouldn’t have.

>    Write down your weekly goals at the bottom of your food diary. This will keep you on track and stay focused.

>    Keep your food diary near. If you are around the house, stick it on a magnet to your fridge, and if you are out, keep it in your handbag. This will help you to be consistent.