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How a Food Diary Enhances Nutritional Awareness and Supports Healthier Choices

Maintaining a food diary encourages a systematic reflection on not only what you consume but also the context in which you eat. Is there a genuine nutritional imbalance in your diary?

smiling woman with a bowl of salad

The diary is more than a tool for tracking nutrition; it is instrumental in elevating your awareness of eating habits and providing support should you choose to consult a professional.

A Food diary can prevent medical professionals from making premature assumptions about your lifestyle and food choices. It serves to illuminate your dietary patterns and mechanisms for coping with stress.

For instance, recording your emotional state alongside your meals can uncover emotional eating patterns, like reaching for sweets when feeling stressed or indulging in fast food after a particularly hard day.

This detailed record provides invaluable insights into the correlation between your mood and food choices, which is essential for developing healthier eating behaviours.

Additionally, a comprehensive food diary can reveal potential nutritional deficiencies or excesses by tracking the variety and quantity of foods consumed over time.

This data can be crucial for tailoring a diet plan that ensures all nutritional needs are met, preventing conditions related to poor diet such as vitamin deficiencies, obesity, or undernutrition. Ultimately, a well-kept diary empowers you to make informed decisions about your diet, leading to sustained health and well-being.

woman in bed with in pajamas sitting up drinking a glass of water

Watch the 3 S’s - Sip, Sleep, Stress

A) Hydration: Are you adequately hydrated by sipping water throughout the day, or do you find yourself chugging a glass only when you're extremely thirsty? Individuals with diabetes are particularly prone to dehydration. Staying hydrated aids your kidneys in excreting excess sugar through urine. Aim for approximately eight 200ml glasses of water per day.

B) Sleep: How many hours of sleep do you secure each night? Are your sleeping and waking times consistent? Sleep is paramount for optimal health. Consider the consequences—is staying up late really worth it? Insufficient sleep can induce insulin resistance and adversely affect your hunger and fullness hormones.

C) Stress Management: Have you explored alternative stress management tools? Options include therapies and holistic methods such as sound baths, crystals, singing bowls, meditation, yoga, and walking (e.g., grounding is walking barefoot on the earth, which is scientifically supported), and Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), among others.

Stress is now recognized as a significant factor that can affect blood glucose levels. If you aim to reduce your risk of prediabetes or manage your diabetes more effectively, mastering stress management is crucial.

As illustrated, before we allow others to conclude that blood sugar levels are solely influenced by diet and lifestyle, thereby assigning labels, it is essential to consider all health and wellness factors holistically. This blog offers a concise overview and summary of your options, but the list of strategies to prevent insulin resistance is extensive and accessible. Most importantly, managing your health doesn't need to be as challenging as cutting out sugar entirely.

About the Author

Ravneet Panesar is a Health Coach for the NHS and has supported over 100 women in improving their physical and mental body image and self-worth. She has been featured in multiple media outlets including the Independent and BBC Asian Network and has recently been published on Tiny Buddha. Learn more at or follow her on IG @neet_nutrition


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