keeping a diet diary | Seriously Stoneage

Keeping a Diet Diary

When conducting the initial inquiry during the first thirty or so days of the paleo diet, it is very useful to keep a diet diary, to note both exactly what you have consumed, and to measure or gauge any symptoms that you might experience.

Keeping a symptoms diary and relating it to a record of food and drink consumption is often not as straightforward as it might seem. There are a few considerations to ponder before you start:

  • It is useful to devise a way of measuring the degree or intensity of any symptoms you might experience. This way you can keep a record of change over a period.
  • One way of doing this would be to pick, say, five key areas to measure on a daily basis and to mark out of 10, with 10 being good and 1 being bad. Examples of measurable experience (although obviously completely subjective) could be:
    • Quality and duration of sleep
    • Daytime energy levels
    • Headaches
    • Mood
    • Bowel function
    • Mental clarity
    • Musculo-skeletal pain
    • Appetite
    • Food cravings
  • Experience has shown that picking more than 5 things to measure becomes unsustainable after a short while, and can produce 'diary fatigue'. Bearing this in mind it would be best to minimise the things you wish to measure, and to make sure they are highly relevant to your experience and needs.
  • A suggestion is to buy a new exercise book at the outset. At the front of the book record, each day, your marks out of 10 for each key area, and any other data, such as blood pressure, weight, or whatever, that you decide to record. At the back of the book, for each day, write down exactly what you have to eat and drink. This keeps it simple, and therefore easier to make connections.
  • If you want to go in to more depth about your mental and emotional state, and record any other reflections, do this in a separate book.