How do I find the best diet for me?

In the GREEN section of the Workbook  we help you to work out your own best diet for yourself, starting with where you are now. In this Workbook this section refers entirely to the separate hard-copy Learn to Eat Well EatingJournalFolderJournal, available directly from here or through a collaborating professional, carer or community project. The Journal allows you to quiz yourself, and then prepare and write up your future plan.

 

 

My Food Chart

To start it will be good to get a picture of your current diet. This exercise is often full of surprises! We can start with how you arrange your meals and then look at approximate proportions of different food types.

Here there are illustrations from the accompanying Journal of a Food Chart. On the left is a sample completed copy of the first pages. You are invited to go through your average week and put in the types of food you usually eat under the time line at the top of each day. Each item can be classed as a ‘portion’. This could be a bowl of cereal, an item of fruit, a cup of coffee, a serving of vegetables. We are not interested in exact quantities here, only the trends and relative proportions of different food intakes. In the right hand column you give the approximate numbers of each portion that you take a week. If you only have a morning coffee during weekdays you put ‘5’, if everyday except Sunday put ‘6’, and so on. You will see in the sample that the person here remembered other items later, for example the morning cup of tea and the beers at weekend (see how he corrected a mistake). He also remembered the special Saturday breakfast and regular Sunday lunch with his mum, and added these later in the chart.

FoodChartPages

 

These  pages help you weigh up the relative proportions of different food types in your week’s diet. For most people it is a surprise! We can then see where we can best make adjustments if we need them.

FoodDiaryPages

 

 

The Food Diary pages in the Journal allow you over several weeks, to compare diet changes you go on to make with symptoms and other measures. This is really good if you are checking in with someone on progress.

 

Goals

Other pages in the Journal help you to focus on your end goals. For example with questions like –

Lets check the reasons you want to change your diet and eating patterns – please check one or more of the following:

  • I want to lose weight
  • I want to eat more healthily
  • I have reactions to food (eg. bloating, indigestion, maybe intolerances or allergies)
  • I have a medical condition that needs some diet changes
  • I really eat for comfort I think, its one thing to help me through the day

FinalOMpanel

If you checked the last option it may be that you can benefit from better stress management or to build up your energies or mood. Check out our Lifting Energy or Stress Management Workbooks

The Enjoyment Ingredient (again)

As another example the Journal uses the answers to the following questions to help you in setting your eating goals.

In general …

  • Do you like eating?
  • Do you like cooking?
  • Do you prefer eating out or eating at home?
  • Which do you eat more: food made at home or ready meals or take-outs?
  • Which foods do you like most?
  • Which foods do you like least?

Review

Later pages in your Journal invite you to look back at your Food Chart, your follow-up answers and generally reflect on your eating patterns. Then consider how ready you are to move forward.

Is there anything you think you should change?

For example write in the foods you want to increase and those to cut back –

breakfast                                                 lunch                                                    evening meal

INCREASE

 

 

 

 

CUT BACK

 

 

 

We can now look through the YELLOW section for some practical approaches that may be relevant.