These Are 5 Things I Learned After Tracking My Diet Through A Food Log

Taking control of our health is a lifelong job. While we may wish for it to be a 9-5 commitment, it’s something that we’ll forever be responsible for. Nutrition, specifically, plays a major role in our energy levels and the vitality of our hair and skin. Looking and feeling good always starts from the inside out so even if GlamGlow is part of your daily routine, it won’t be as effective as having a balanced diet.

Mindful eating is a challenge when a combination of stress from school and work can make emotional and bored eating very tempting. Our relationship with food is vital, and it can be complicated by the media constantly advertising vegetarianism, veganism, or pescetarianism as the next best thing. You should be figuring out what works for you, and that starts with creating a food journal.

You might have heard of various apps that track your food entries, down to every last calorie, but they can easily feel like a chore as they ask you for the tablespoon size of every sauce you ingest. After realizing the tracking apps weren’t for me, I began keeping a notes tab in my phone along with a rough estimate of portion size. While I haven’t yet accomplished every fitness goal, I’ve become a lot closer due to my food journal. Here’s what I learned after a few months of tracking my diet.


1. Food Sensitivities

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Even if you’re not allergic to an ingredient, it doesn’t mean you might not be sensitive to it. Along with writing what I was ingesting, I made a note of every time I felt bloated as well as the patterns. After noticing a few repeating symptoms, I ended up cutting out specific foods entirely.


2. Breakout Patterns

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While acne can be attributed to not washing your makeup off before bed or an unwashed pillowcase, diet is the next factor. I’m lucky to have never experienced a severe bout of acne in my life, but I’m also not prone to zits. If I do get a breakout, I’ll look back at my diet from the past few days and try to pinpoint what could have caused it, whether it was the extra drink on a night out or the Chick-fil-A.

If my skin is clear, I’ll track that too and know that I should be maintaining my current eating habits.


3. Workout Performance

While I don’t have a strict workout schedule, when I do break a sweat, there are foods I make sure to avoid before any sesh. Avocados, though a healthy fat, is still a fat and can slow you down. Greasy foods work the same way and can diminish your work on the machines or the mats. We can’t constantly give 100% every time we workout but knowing what foods work best for you before any sesh can up your performance.


4. Energy Levels

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I aim to eat heavier foods earlier in the day so they’ll have the day to digest instead of while I’m sleeping. Through logging, I found that eating slower-digesting foods like avos, dairy, or brown rice for lunch instead of dinner increased my energy levels and gave me a better snooze.


5. Eating Patterns

My food log made me realize I unintentionally don’t eat the same amount each day. On days where I have a full schedule, I found myself eating less in the case that I didn’t meal-prep and due to all of the things I had to accomplish. Meanwhile, on days I was lounging at home, I found myself eating more than I needed to just because of the sheer accessibility of my kitchen. Prepping in advance for busier days just to have the fuel to get through them and striking a balance on slower days are key for maintaining whatever lifestyle you have.

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