Are You Willing to Keep a Diet Journal?

It's going to take some effort on your part, but keeping a diet journal of what you're eating is essential for learning which foods are best for you. We all think that we know how to eat, but what we're talking about here is learning a new way of eating that will give your body exactly what it was designed to have. I know that many people are looking for quick fixes, but you'll not find that here. If, however, you're willing to learn about the macronutrient composition of the food you're eating, you'll be ready to eat your way to anti aging success.

Journaling is Learning

Here's what we need to do: learn to eat what is best for our bodies. If you will take the time and make the effort to record all of what you are eating for a couple of months, in that time you can learn to eat a balanced diet. The purpose of keeping a diet journal is not to produce a keepsake that you can to pass on to your grandchildren. Nor is it to provide you with entertaining reading material. No, keeping a journal of what you are eating will enable you, through the discipline of writing a record, to really learn what foods to eat, as well as how much food to eat.

If you want to eat a balanced diet and give your body the best nutrition in the quantities that are best for your body, you must learn how much of each macronutrient is in the foods you eat. The only alternative to learning by journaling is to employ someone to prepare portions for you in perfect balance. And since most of us cannot afford to pay such a person, we need to learn to discern what quality and quantity of proteins, carbs, and fats we're consuming. (Then again you may have a family member who would just love to do this for you!) Keeping a diet journal is an inexpensive and effective tool for learning how to eat well.

Use Your Computer and PDA to Help You

There are some great applications for your computer that will enable you to search databases for thousands of foods in varying portions. These programs will help you discover how many grams of each macronutrient are in your favorite foods. You can also use them to keep a diet journal of what you are eating. The information you enter into the journal will enable you to view statistics and graphs of your eating practices. I have found and use a great little app on my PDA, so I can always have the information with me, no matter where I go.

Keeping a diet journal is really quite simple to do. Determine how many of each macronutrient you should eat, by using our Macronutrient Calculator. Divide those quantities by three, for three balanced meals per day. If you like to snack, eat a little less at couple of meals, and you will have some left over macronutrients to eat mid-morning, mid-afternoon, or in the evening. Use our Meal Calculator to give you precise amounts of each macronutrient for each meal or snack you eat each day. Just enter your daily protein requirement and how many snacks you'd like to have each day; the calculator will do the rest.

Meal Calculator
Meals / Snacks
Daily Protein Requirement
Each Meal Macronutrients
Each Snack Macronutrients

Always try to keep the same, consistent balance between proteins, carbs, and fats. This may seem like a lot of effort, but, since most people eat the same 20-30 foods all year 'round, it won't be an onerous task. In a matter of weeks you will learn how to look at a cooked piece of chicken breast (for instance) and know how much it weighs and how many grams of protein it contains. When that happens, you have prepared yourself to eat right for the rest of your life.

Eat Simple

I am not providing daily menus or a cookbook full of recipes. Start simple with raw, or lightly-cooked fruits and vegetables, whole grain cereals, breads, & pasta, lean meats, nuts, dairy, and unprocessed oil. As you adjust to new kinds of foods, to a new balance of foods, and to less quantity of food, you can make variations, adding and combining in creative ways. Use the software tools that are available; make it easy on yourself. As you keep record in your diet journal daily, you will feel your health and outlook toward each day begin to change; you are anti aging! But don't forget the water!