When you have diabetes, properly controlling your blood sugar levels to prevent highs and lows is key in self-management. The concept of keeping a food diary or journal isn’t one that is new; food journals have been helpful for those looking to lose weight and get healthy for a long time. A diabetes food journal allows you to truly see exactly how much, when, and why you’re eating, helping you become more accountable for your food habits.
How Monitoring Food can help with Diabetes Management
Whether you choose to manually write down your daily meals in an actual journal or notepad, use a mobile app like MyFitnessPal, or a desktop computer program, keeping track of your eating patterns is an essential part of diabetes management.
Here are the top 5 reasons why you should keep a diabetes food journal:
1) Set your goals – and keep them. You can set your goals for your blood sugar levels and well as weight loss. Seeing your goals right in front of you will motivate you to achieve them.
2) Manage your blood sugar properly. Knowing how many grams of carbohydrates you’re eating is key to managing your blood sugar, and a diabetes food journal allows you to see not only how many carbs you consume, but also your fat and protein intake. You’ll see where you need to cut back and where you need to add more.
3) Figure out your eating habits and patterns. Maybe you find that you’re always reaching for a sweet snack around three o’clock, or that you’ve been skipping too many breakfasts. A diabetes food journal allows you to see where change is needed throughout the day.
4) Manage your weight. Struggling with maintaining a healthy weight? A food diary can be eye-opening when it reveals all the unnecessary calories or unhealthy food choices you’re eating.
5) Keep track of other self-management behaviors. You can not only manage your blood sugar, but also other self-management behaviors common to those with diabetes, like your medications, foot checks, doctor visits, and more.
Tips for Keeping a Diabetes Food Journal
Get started on your diabetes food journal today and be on your way to proper diabetes management. Write down or log in every single thing you eat as soon as possible after you eat it. Don’t forget to note things like condiments, sauces, salts, spices and sweeteners. You can also take note of the mood you’re in when you’re eating, and at the end of the day, review how your emotions and actions affected what you ate and drank. Bring your food journal with you everywhere, so you can easily keep track of your meals as you eat them.
Most importantly, be honest in your journal about how much and what you ate that day. If you’ve had a bad food day, you can learn from this and hopefully change your behavior.
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