Keeping a food diary helped me make some vital changes to my diet!

Like so many people, I was under the assumption that my diet was ‘healthy’. I thought that I didn’t eat a vast number of unhealthy snacks and make poor food choices; in the last year I have given up smoking, caffeine and fizzy drinks; plus, I very rarely eat take away food as I was raised on a farm and only ever got home-cooked meals. It wasn’t until I was challenged by my boss to keep a food diary that I realised the holes within what I thought was a good diet. Below is what I ate in the last week, followed by some lessons I have learned and some tips for starting your own diary.

Breakfast – Crunchy Nut Corn Flakes with milk
Lunch – Chicken sandwich and a yoghurt
Dinner – Vegetable stir-fry
Snack & Drinks – Bag of Mini Cheddars, 3 squares of chocolate

Breakfast – Raisin cereal bar
Lunch – Cheese sandwich and yoghurt
Dinner – Shepherd’s pie
Snack & Drinks – mini Mars bar, a pint of beer

Breakfast – Raisin cereal bar
Lunch – Shepherd’s pie
Dinner – Vegetarian pasta bake
Snack & Drinks – Bag of Mini Cheddars, 2 Chelsea buns!

Breakfast – Skipped
Lunch – Vegetarian pasta bake
Dinner – McDonalds
Snack & Drinks – Flapjack, 2 pints of beer

Breakfast – Crunchy Nut Corn Flakes with milk
Lunch – Mixed bean chilli
Dinner – Chicken and noodles
Snack & Drinks – Mini Mars bar, many beers!

Breakfast – Crunchy Nut Corn Flakes with milk
Lunch – Chicken nuggets
Dinner – Pasta bake
Snack & Drinks – Vienetta ice cream

Breakfast – Bacon sandwich
Lunch – Fresh baked bread and butter
Dinner – Roast chicken and vegetables
Snack & Drinks – Chocolate pudding

The problem points

It wasn’t until I saw my whole week of food written down in front of me, that I realised there was a lot of room for improvement – I was overloading with refined sugar, too much of the wrong fats and my diet lacking in fresh fruit and vegetables!

Swapping out snacks

One of the first things on the list is to swap out high sugar fatty snacks for something more on the healthy side. A lot of the things I was eating, Mars bars, flapjacks, ice cream, even the cereal bars that I thought were healthy, are all packed with processed sugars.  Fruit and healthy snacks, such as raw fruit and nut bars, are a great substitute, are packed full of goodness and will certainly satisfy that need for something sweeter!  The secret here is that when you go shopping try to choose the healthier options, look at the packaging and study the nutritional breakdown – it is very interesting and eye-opening!  Making sure you have fruit readily available will help you make that healthier choice – that way when you feel a bit peckish you are more likely to reach out for a banana or satsuma, rather than a Mars bar.

Preparing for the daily rush

As you can see from my diary, Thursday was an absolute write-off. The simple fact of the matter is that I had a really busy day. This meant that I was reaching out for what was easy and convenient rather than what was good for me. If I had just taken the time the night before to make a healthy salad or wholemeal wrap, or to make sure that I had some pre-cooked dinner sitting in the fridge at home that I just needed to microwave when I got home, it probably would have kept me away from heading to those dreaded golden arches.

Why not give it a go!  Start with small changes at first and you will soon see the difference

Taking a good look at what you’re really putting into your body can be a great first step on the road to improving your diet. If you would like to keep a food diary yourself, we have made a handy template that you can download here.

If you’re interested in making sure you have fresh fruit and healthy snack options readily available for your employees, we stock a great range of fruit boxes and healthy snacks. Just click the links to find out more!

Return to blog posts

Get advice and recommendations by calling our friendly team.

0344 579 3999