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My Experience with Keeping a Food Diary

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After keeping a food diary for two days it has come to my attention that the nutritional adequacy of my daily diet is actually quite poor. It has never really been brought to my attention until I physically had to write it down for this assignment. I realized I tend to blindly eat what is readily available rather than going the extra mile to make the healthier choices. I also tend to eat to satisfy my mood rather than eating food that will benefit my overall health.


Breakfast is supposed to be an essential part of your daily intake. Your brain runs on glucose and when you do not start the day off right with a decent breakfast you may find yourself dosing off more in your daily activities, at work, or in class. “Because the brain is so rich in nerve cells, or neurons, it is the most energy-demanding organ, using one-half of all the sugar energy in the body” (‘Sugar and the Brain’| Department of Neurobiology, 2019). People that do not eat breakfast are really pushing their brain to limits. The last meal they would have consumed would have been dinner, meaning they are going all night and well into the day without replenishing their brain with energy. In a lot of cases that can mean more than 12 hours without food. “Brain functions such as thinking, memory, and learning are closely linked to glucose levels and how efficiently the brain uses this fuel source. If there isn’t enough glucose in the brain, for example, neurotransmitters, the brain’s chemical messengers, are not produced and communication between neurons breaks down. In addition, hypoglycemia, a common complication of diabetes caused by low glucose levels in the blood, can lead to loss of energy for brain function and is linked to poor attention and cognitive function” (‘Sugar and the Brain’| Department of Neurobiology, 2019). This being said I am one of those people that tend to not wake up on time, or somehow manage to run late every day so breakfast has always been a bit of a struggle for me to get to. On days that I remember to quickly grab something it isn’t always the healthiest option. During the week I usually tend to reach for a pop tart or something quick that I can eat on my way to uni. In doing so, it adds to the amount of discretionary food I mindlessly eat throughout the day. On the weekends, however, I am usually not in a rush to be anywhere so I’m able to sit down and enjoy a cup of yoghurt, sometimes with a choice of some assorted fruits. Which is a much healthier option and helps add to the 2 servings of fruit and 2.5 servings of dairy the Australian Dietary Guidelines recommends.

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I’ve noticed that I should pack more into my lunches. Seeing that I don’t normally indulge in a very large or nutritious breakfast, I think I need to be more generous when it comes to packing a lunch with good nutritional value. I do not eat very many foods from the grains group at all, in two days I had consumed 2.5 servings when it is recommended to have 6 servings per day. It would also be beneficial to pack some fruit with me to ensure that I reach the recommended 1 serving per day. It also come to my attention that a vast majority of the food that I consume comes from the discretionary group. In just two days I had consumed 15.1 servings of food from the discretionary category when the Australian Dietary Guidelines had recommended just 1 serving per day. Meaning I had consumed way above the recommended amount and it also possessed very little or no nutritional value. I also did not consume any vegetables and I did not have any meat in my lunches. Another point I noticed was that my lunches are very small and more so satisfy my mood rather than to eat for my health and what body needs. In saying that, I also noticed that throughout the week because I generally have a poor breakfast and a poor lunch to follow it my body and brain function are going to suffer, if not now than sometime in the future. I tend to lack energy throughout the day, I become very lethargic, and I have a really hard time being able to focus and it could all be linked to my poor eating habits. “Eating in the middle of the day, several hours after breakfast, re-energizes your body and can raise blood sugar levels when focus and concentration are flagging… In addition, eating lunch keeps your metabolism active, especially if you have a moderately sized meal and a snack before and afterward” (‘Why Is Lunch So Important?’|, 2019). I become so hungry that all I think about I dinner and I may overdo and indulge un my dinner rather than eating nicely proportioned meals. “It’s common to want to skip lunch if you’re trying to lose weight or cut calories, but that strategy rarely works. According to the Weight Control Information Network, people who regularly skip meals tend to weigh more than people who eat often throughout the day. Skipping lunch can rev up your appetite later, causing you to overeat or choose foods that have poor nutritional values” (‘Why Is Lunch So Important?’|, 2019).


While reflecting on the dinners I had eaten I noticed a big difference in the quality of the food that I would eat. For dinner I had a verity of vegetables in many different colors, and meat as well. There were a few items in the discretionary category still, but there was an overall improvement in quality and a verity of foods. It is very important to eat a goof dinner to ensure your body has enough glucose while you sleep and to help your body get good sleep. “Since it’s the last meal of the day it’s important to make the right choices because you won’t eat again for at least another ten hours or so. Ensuring that there is a steady supply of glucose for the body to use as fuel for essential processes whilst we sleep is critical… A common cause of waking in the night, often seen in insomnia, is when levels of sugar in the blood fall. The body then has to release stored glucose and this action can cause you to wake and sometimes it may be difficult to get back to sleep. It’s essential to eat a good dinner which combines both protein and carbohydrates which will ensure a steady release of glucose to the blood stream – helping to prevent disturbed sleep” (‘The Importance of Dinner’| Mental Healthy, 2019). Having a wide verity of food groups on your plate in the correct portions will help you achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle. According to the Australian Dietary Guidelines it is recommend that I should consume 5 servings of vegetables a day, which I managed to achieve the first day but fell short of the second day. I did not quite reach the recommended amount of meat on both days. I do however eat much more at dinner time than I do throughout the day. This could be due the fact that I do not eat very much as well as the fact that I am lacking a lot of import nutrients and vitamins in my diet. I am making it a personally goal to incorporate more grains and other food groups into my diet around dinner time because I am nowhere near the amount the Australian Dietary Guidelines recommends. I am most proud of the fact that I was able to drink the recommended amount of water for both days.


In conclusion, I learned a lot about myself, my eating patterns and the importance of healthy eating, and I cannot wait to get started on making healthier and more nutritionally beneficial choices.

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My Experience with Keeping a Food Diary. (2022, December 15). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 10, 2023, from
“My Experience with Keeping a Food Diary.” Edubirdie, 15 Dec. 2022,
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