Whether your fitness goal is to lose weight, increase muscle, or just improve your general wellbeing, keeping a food diary could make the difference in you hitting those goals or not.

Keeping a detailed food diary has many benefits. Firstly it will help you hit your calorie or macronutrient target for the day.

When you write down everything you eat, you can accurately measure your calorie intake and your macronutrient breakdown (Fats, carbs and protein) for the day. This is vital when you are trying to lose weight, increase lean muscle, or burn fat. You may be eating all the right foods, but you can have too much of a good thing, so ensuring you are controlling the amount you are eating is just as important as eating the right things.

Also knowing that you have to record everything you eat will help you stay away from that cheeky chocolate bar or bag of crisps late at night, which could be the only thing stopping you reaching your goals.

Another great benefit of keeping a detailed food diary is that it will help you spot any potential food intolerances. To spot any potential food intolerances it is important to not only record what you eat and drink throughout the day, but to record how you felt throughout the day. For example, if you consistently feel bloated or have headaches after eating wheat products, such as bread, you could be gluten intolerant.

Another important thing to keep note of when filling in your food diary, is how your mood affects what you eat and when you eat. For example, boredom can be a factor in when you eat. It is a very common habit for a lot of people to snack while they are sat watching tele, so a great tip is to make sure you have plenty of healthy snacks in the cupboards, like nuts, so that you don’t go for crisps and chocolate.

If your goal is to improve your health and wellbeing, a food diary is essential to achieving this. By recording everything you eat and drink, it will help you see if you are eating enough nutrient dense food, or if you are eating too much processed foods and not enough whole, clean foods. It could only take a few simple changes in your nutrition to achieve this, like having oats and blueberries for breakfast instead of sugar loaded breakfast cereals. Or having chicken breast with your salad instead of processed sliced cold meats.

So if you are not already using a food diary, start one today and reap the rewards of better nutrition.