It is nearly, unfortunately, an accepted fact that we will always be bombarded with stories of how some more or less famous person went through a dramatic weight change with this or that diet. This can understandably lead to us changing our eating habits. However, I believe we all tell ourselves food lies sometimes. The typical food lie is along the lines of: “if I bake the cake myself, it should not count for as many calories”. This depends on what type of cook you are: indulgent? Old fashioned in terms of cooking equipment? Do you watch the seasoning? I like to think I eat a reasonably balanced diet, and I try to justify it with long-distance walking at least four days of the week.
Back in November, inspired by the Eat22 challenge once on display at the Wellcome gallery, I decided to keep a photographic food diary for one month, to see what I really ate. I tried not to let the fact that I was publishing my eating habits get in the way of my eating-the-way-I-normally-would, late afternoon cravings and all. It turned out I had a peanut butter phase. A good friend of mine, who is a real food enthusiast pointed out to me after a week or so that I seemed to be lacking protein. Being of a carnivorous nature, I thought this was very peculiar…
After summarising the number of INCIDENCES that I had reached for different food groups (i.e. if I had eaten two slices of toast for breakfast, which I did A LOT, it would count one time), it appeared that I had eaten very large quantities of fruit and bread. Practically living off a Roman diet. Admittedly, my sweet tooth meant that n=”a lot” for both biscuits and chocolate, but I was intrigued that of the meats, I have consumed the pork (as poultry is often regarded as the ‘easy to prepare’ meat).
The result did in fact NOT match the image I originally had of my diet. Indeed, I am slighly chocoholic and massively addicted to tea and coffee, but I appear to eat a wider range of foods than my ‘student staples’.
Now, another part of this idea was to see whether it is true that we gain weight during the darker months due to heartier food and generally eating more; so, after some severe procrastination, I shall be commencing Part Two of the food diary experiment in June on Science For Young People. I do recommend keeping a food diary at some point, simply for an interesting insight into your eating habits. You may be surprised.
For now, I invite you to mock all that I ate last November.
Have you ever kept a food diary? What were your findings?