Food diary during quarantine: why you need it and how to keep it right

How to eat dur­ing quar­an­tine? It’s no secret that while at home we often look into the refrig­er­a­tor, then eat a ring of sausage, then a piece of cheese, then yogurt, or some­thing else all day long. But such uncon­trolled trips to the refrig­er­a­tor, con­stant snack­ing and drink­ing tea in a month or two will great­ly affect our fig­ure. How to curb your desire to “eat” the refrig­er­a­tor?

food diary


Usu­al­ly, nutri­tion­ists sug­gest keep­ing a food diary, espe­cial­ly for those who want to lose weight. But in fact, con­trol­ling your diet is use­ful for every­one with­out excep­tion. Espe­cial­ly when we spend a lot of time at home. Try to write down every­thing you eat in a note­book for two weeks. We are sure that the con­clu­sions of your own diet will sur­prise you!

Quarantine: keeping a food diary

The World Health Orga­ni­za­tion (WHO) claims that a per­son­’s well-being and longevi­ty are at least 50% depen­dent on what and how he eats. Oth­er experts call even more impres­sive fig­ures — 70–80%. Hered­i­ty, lev­el of phys­i­cal activ­i­ty, ecol­o­gy, habits — of course, all these fac­tors affect health, but still nutri­tion is the most pow­er­ful of them.

Actu­al­ly, from the small deci­sions that we make every day. How do we answer the ques­tions: “Is it easy to have break­fast or grab some­thing on the way to work?”, “Eat or wait for din­ner?”, and depends on what kind of life we ​​live. Long, active, with­out dis­eases — or vice ver­sa.

It is in order to increase your aware­ness of nutri­tion that nutri­tion­ists advise keep­ing a food diary. Its main help is that it helps to stream­line your actions.

Menu for quarantine: sensations and reality

food diary online


It seems that every­thing is sim­ple: eat reg­u­lar­ly, var­ied and of high qual­i­ty — and you don’t have to wor­ry about the future. But most peo­ple are mis­tak­en when eval­u­at­ing their diet.

Sci­en­tists from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Ari­zona found that we great­ly under­es­ti­mate sug­ar crav­ings: the actu­al con­sump­tion and per­cep­tions of the sub­jects dif­fered by more than two times.

In turn, British nutri­tion­ists found out that we also eval­u­ate the calo­rie con­tent of our favorite desserts and fast food incor­rect­ly. Choco­late cake, cof­fee with vanil­la syrup, dou­ble cheese burg­er — study par­tic­i­pants believed that these foods were, on aver­age, 200 kcal less “valu­able” than they real­ly are.

Food diary risk factors

In assess­ing the dai­ly diet, peo­ple are no less mis­tak­en. Many sim­ply believe that they do not overeat. How­ev­er, dur­ing a work­ing cof­fee break, they often eat a few cook­ies, and for lunch they order a sal­ad, first, sec­ond and com­pote.

Yes, our brain does not pay atten­tion to these events — that’s how it works. That’s just for health, these episodes will play an impor­tant role.

Excess calo­ries will soon­er or lat­er turn into extra pounds, and this is the right way to dis­eases of the heart, blood ves­sels and joints. Con­stant spikes in blood sug­ar lev­els due to sug­ary snacks threat­en type 2 dia­betes and ear­ly aging. But most impor­tant­ly, hav­ing eat­en more than the body required, we will not get use­ful trace ele­ments, vit­a­mins and fiber — it is unlike­ly that the office lunch was rich in fresh veg­eta­bles and dietary pro­tein.

Over­weight, dull skin, slug­gish metab­o­lism, a feel­ing of chron­ic fatigue — these and many oth­er prob­lems of ours are asso­ci­at­ed with food. Keep­ing a food diary is a sim­ple, afford­able and very effec­tive way to ade­quate­ly assess and, if nec­es­sary, adjust the diet. Where to start?

How to keep a food diary in quarantine

why keep a food diary


The most impor­tant thing in this busi­ness is to be extreme­ly hon­est. If you snatched some fried pota­toes from your favorite plate and tried six types of cheese at the tast­ing, this should def­i­nite­ly get into the diary. It is bet­ter to keep records imme­di­ate­ly after eat­ing (oth­er­wise you will for­get some­thing).

It is not nec­es­sary to buy a spe­cial note­book, it is more con­ve­nient to record all this in a smart­phone — we hold it in our hands almost con­stant­ly and do not for­get to trans­fer it from bag to bag.

Fur­ther — full democ­ra­cy: you can down­load an appli­ca­tion (for exam­ple, free and sim­ple My Food Diary) or just take notes in free form in the phone’s mem­o­ry.

It is important to include the following information in your diary:

  1. When eat­ing: “June 19, 8:10.”
  2. What she ate: “cof­fee with milk, 2 toasts with but­ter, scram­bled eggs.”
  3. Eat­ing “break­fast”, “had a bite on the run”, “just want­ed to.”
  4. How much she ate: “a large plate of borscht”, “2 table­spoons of mashed pota­toes”.
  5. Feel­ings after eat­ing: did you feel full and ener­getic? Was it embar­rass­ing that you could not resist the cake again? Did you eat because it was bor­ing, drea­ry, or for com­pa­ny?

To eval­u­ate your diet and eat­ing behav­ior, such detailed records need only be kept for a cou­ple of weeks. Agree with your­self that for this time you for­get about some dietary strate­gies and do not strive to eat bet­ter than usu­al. Fix your rela­tion­ship with food in its orig­i­nal form. Then the results of a small per­son­al exper­i­ment will be espe­cial­ly use­ful.

how to keep a food diary


Transcription of food diary entries

So, if you care­ful­ly wrote down every­thing you ate for two weeks, it will not be dif­fi­cult for you to draw con­clu­sions about your diet. The main thing is to care­ful­ly review the records and answer the fol­low­ing ques­tions:

1. How varied is the daily diet?

If you eat about the same set of foods every day, you should think about the con­se­quences of such con­stan­cy. A monot­o­nous menu is the same set of vit­a­mins, min­er­als and oth­er nutri­ents. So you don’t get oth­ers. As a result, prob­lems with metab­o­lism and skin begin, and there is a lack of vital ener­gy. Obvi­ous­ly, you need to try new things and not get hung up on the usu­al menu. Grad­u­al­ly expand your diet.

2. Are there enough fruits and vegetables on the menu?

Pota­toes don’t count! Esti­mate how many greens, fresh fruits and veg­eta­bles of dif­fer­ent col­ors you eat dur­ing the day. WHO rec­om­mends 5 serv­ings of both per day, or about 400 g of plant foods. This vol­ume guar­an­tees a suf­fi­cient amount and vari­ety of vit­a­mins, antiox­i­dants and fiber. Doc­tors con­sid­er the pres­ence of these ele­ments in the menu an effec­tive pre­ven­tion of can­cer and car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­eases, as well as pre­ma­ture aging.

3. Desserts — yes or no?

quarantine - food diary


Ide­al­ly, a per­son does not need addi­tion­al sources of sug­ar — glu­cose and fruc­tose, which are found in berries, fruits, and veg­eta­bles, are enough for life. But life with­out desserts would be too bor­ing. Cakes, sweet cof­fee and choco­late can be on your menu. The main issue is vol­ume. Pay atten­tion to the sit­u­a­tions in which you reach for the can­dy. Is there a rela­tion­ship between emo­tion­al state and the desire to eat cook­ies? By work­ing through the typ­i­cal “hand reach­ing for sug­ar”, you will find ways to give up those extra and unnec­es­sary calo­ries.

Summing up

Excel­lent result — if desserts will appear on the menu no more than twice a week, and sug­ary sodas and oth­er foods high in hid­den sug­ar (for exam­ple, yogurt and break­fast cere­als) will dis­ap­pear alto­geth­er. Your skin will be the first to thank you: the fer­men­ta­tion that refined sug­ar caus­es in the intestines does not affect its con­di­tion in the best way.

Impor­tant: dai­ly calo­rie intake

  • Girls and women aged 19 to 25 who lead a seden­tary lifestyle are rec­om­mend­ed to replen­ish their dai­ly ener­gy reserves by 1900–2100 kcal. For those who are between 26 and 50 years old, nutri­tion­ists advise to con­sume from 1700 to 1900 kcal per day, and for women over the age of 50, the diet should be revised down­ward. Nutri­tion­ists advise to con­sume no more — 1500–1700 kcal.
  • As for men, the calo­rie con­tent of their diet is seri­ous­ly dif­fer­ent from that of women. Of course, it depends on age and loads.
    So, from 19 to 30 years old, a man lead­ing a pre­dom­i­nant­ly seden­tary lifestyle can con­sume 2300–2500 kcal. From 31 to 50 years old — at 2100–2300 kcal. 50 years and old­er — less than 2000 kcal. For those who lead a mod­er­ate­ly active lifestyle, these fig­ures are from 2300 to 2700 kcal. Ath­letes can afford from 3000 to 2600 kcal.

New Habits

keep a proper food diary


Most peo­ple who start keep­ing a food diary are hor­ri­fied to real­ize that they are unknow­ing­ly eat­ing too much. Nutri­tion­ists sup­port this fear. Accord­ing to experts, the typ­i­cal office work­er today eats as if they were engaged in heavy phys­i­cal labor. This is an extreme­ly unfa­vor­able foun­da­tion for a healthy future. These same habits remain, if not to say, the appetite grows even more when

That is why it is very impor­tant to strict­ly con­trol the amount of por­tions. Some­one choos­es small plates for this, which fill up faster with food. Oth­ers sim­ply weigh food.

Impor­tant to remem­ber! A por­tion of the main meal should fit in cupped palms, and a snack should not exceed a fist in vol­ume.

Emphasis on quality

Qual­i­ty food is the best thing we can give our­selves if we want to live long and be healthy. There­fore, doc­tors con­stant­ly urge to eat local, fresh, min­i­mal­ly processed. It is impor­tant not only the calo­rie con­tent of prod­ucts, but also the ratio of pro­teins, fats and car­bo­hy­drates. This is the only way we can get the nutri­ents we need. But eat­ing exclu­sive­ly organ­ic and home-cooked foods is unre­al­is­tic.

Fast food and snacks some­how appear in the life of every per­son. The task of those who care about health is to reduce their per­cent­age to a min­i­mum. Nutri­tion­ists approve of the 80:20 for­mu­la, where most of the diet con­sists of healthy qual­i­ty ingre­di­ents, and a fifth is com­pro­mise options. If you see in the diary a clear bias towards semi-fin­ished prod­ucts and food from pub­lic cater­ing, then you should recon­sid­er the diet!

Nutrition in quarantine: intermittent fasting

The 12/12 inter­val diet is gain­ing pop­u­lar­i­ty around the world. Her rules are sim­ple: eat almost any food, but only at cer­tain times of the day. This food sys­tem is ide­al for those who stay at home and do not want to keep a food diary.

Quarantine - food rules

What is the main prin­ci­ple of the inter­val diet? You can eat for 12 hours, and in the remain­ing 12 — com­plete­ly refuse food (drink only water). It is not at all dif­fi­cult to fol­low such a diet. After all, every­thing can be orga­nized in such a way that the main peri­od of “fast­ing” will fall at the time of sleep. For exam­ple, if you are used to hav­ing din­ner at 20:00 in the evening, then you only need to go with­out food until 8 in the morn­ing. Wake up and have break­fast!

Quarantined interval diet: getting rid of garbage

What is the secret to the effec­tive­ness of the inter­val diet? Accord­ing to sci­en­tists, with the help of short-term star­va­tion in the body, the process of self-purifi­ca­tion of cells starts. Every year, bal­last accu­mu­lates in the cells of our body, caus­ing dam­age to them. This adverse­ly affects the skin and sub­cu­ta­neous fat. Such bal­last sub­stances, for exam­ple, include homo­cys­teine, amy­loid pep­tides, cho­les­terol and oth­er bio­log­i­cal “garbage”. But one has only to starve a lit­tle — and the body imme­di­ate­ly launch­es a “recy­cling pro­gram” for waste. You will feel the result almost imme­di­ate­ly by mea­sur­ing the cir­cum­fer­ence of your waist. A nice bonus of fast­ing is the pre­ven­tion of dis­eases and slow­ing down the aging process.

Despite the fact that there are no strict pro­hi­bi­tions on high-calo­rie foods in the diet, you need to fol­low the rules of a healthy diet. Eat only when you feel hun­gry and don’t overeat. And don’t for­get phys­i­cal activ­i­ty.

Activity during quarantine

Your menu may look like this: for break­fast — cot­tage cheese with berries, scram­bled eggs with herbs and bread, or por­ridge. For lunch — one of the dish­es accord­ing to our recipe, for din­ner — meat or fish with veg­eta­bles.
Break­fast should be the high­est calo­rie meal, din­ner the light­est. Drink more water through­out the day.

Slim­ming: effect enhancers

Quarantine - food

1. Water with lemon. Drink water with lemon in the morn­ing on an emp­ty stom­ach before break­fast (you can add 1 tea­spoon of hon­ey for taste). This will improve gas­troin­testi­nal motil­i­ty and intesti­nal motil­i­ty and speed up metab­o­lism.
2. Red and blue berries. Berries are low in calo­ries and rich in fiber. Plus, they con­tain antiox­i­dants that fight free rad­i­cals.

food diet

3. Avo­ca­do, nuts, yogurt. Nat­ur­al yogurt con­tains bac­te­ria that improve metab­o­lism. Nuts and avo­ca­dos are sources of veg­etable fats and antiox­i­dants.
4. Toma­toes, sweet pep­pers. Toma­toes con­tain chromi­um. It kills the feel­ing of hunger and helps to sat­u­rate the body. And sweet pep­per has fat-burn­ing prop­er­ties.

Adher­ing to one or anoth­er strat­e­gy in los­ing weight, we offer to pre­pare hearty and healthy meals for our body.

Fritters with beans and herbs

recipe - pancakes with beans and herbs

You will need:
• 300 g boiled or canned beans;
• 50 g of grat­ed cheese;
• 1 onion;
• 1 egg;
• 3–4 st. l. tor­ment;
• 100 ml of water;
• 1 tsp. bak­ing pow­der;
• chopped greens to taste

1. Fry onions in a pan. Fine­ly chop the greens.
2. In a bowl, grind the beans with a blender, add the egg, water, flour, salt and pep­per. Then — onions, grat­ed cheese, herbs. Stir. The dough should be the con­sis­ten­cy of thin sour cream. Take it with a spoon and fry the pan­cakes in veg­etable oil.
3. Put the fin­ished pan­cakes on a paper tow­el to glass the oil. Serve hot with nat­ur­al yoghurt, mint and gar­lic sauce. Sea­son the sauce with salt and pep­per to taste.

Cod fillet with vegetables

Cod fillet with vegetables - recipe

It will take:
• 700 g cod fil­let;
• 300 g of champignons;
• 1 onion;
• 2 zuc­chi­ni;
• 3 tbsp. l. sour cream;
• 1 sweet pep­per;
• 3 tbsp. l. dry white wine;
• 50 g but­ter • 1 tsp. lemon juice

1. Cut the cod, salt and roll in flour. Cut the onion, zuc­chi­ni and the pulp of sweet pep­per, chop the mush­rooms.
2. Mush­rooms, sweet pep­pers and onions put in a large pan, salt, add 1 tbsp. l. veg­etable oil, wine, lemon juice and cook for 10 min­utes. Add zuc­chi­ni and car­cass­es for anoth­er 5 min­utes. Lay cod fil­lets on top. 3. 3. Melt the but­ter, mix with sour cream and pour over the fish. Close the pan with a lid and sim­mer for 20 min­utes. Serve gar­nished with green­ery.

Pie with mushrooms and pumpkin

pumpkin mushroom pie recipe

You will need:
• 500 g pump­kin;
• 5 champignons;
• 50 g but­ter;
• 2 cloves of gar­lic;
• 1 tbsp. l. oregano;
• 1 tbsp. l. pars­ley;
• 75 g flour;
• 3 tbsp. l. veg­etable oil;
• 2 eggs;
• 150 ml of milk;
• 75 g of hard cheese;
• 1 tsp. bak­ing pow­der

1. Grease a bak­ing dish with oil. Cut the pump­kin into cubes, and the mush­rooms into thin slices.
2. Mix pump­kin with mush­rooms in a bak­ing dish, add melt­ed but­ter, sprin­kle with salt and pep­per and bake for 15 min­utes. While every­thing is hot, add gar­lic and oregano, stir.
3. Pre­pare the dough: beat the eggs with veg­etable oil, pour in the milk and mix. Add flour with bak­ing pow­der and mix with a whisk so that there are no lumps. Add grat­ed cheese.
4. Put most of the fill­ing on the bot­tom of the oiled mold. Pour bat­ter on top and smooth out. Put the rest of the fill­ing on the dough. Bake in the oven for 30 min.

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