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Before you start a Low FODMAP diet I would recommend keeping a food diary.
It’s your best tool in helping you identify what you eat, when you eat, and why you eat. This information will help you pinpoint your trigger foods. You may even notice you think twice about making bad food choices, as making a record of what your eating is admitting it to yourself .[blockquote size=”full” align=”left” ]Start recording everything you eat and drink, just write everything down.[/blockquote]
Be clear and write on the first page of your diary, why you are writing this and what you hope to achieve by it. Also think about where you want to keep your food diary. Remember this is just for you and only you, so be honest with yourself.
There are many different ways to keep a food diary. Use what works for you.
- Pen and paper
- Send yourself a Text message
- Email yourself
- Google doc on your phone
- Fridge notes
Do your best to write what your eating when you are eating, or just finished.
It is much easier than doing it the last thing at night when you’re more likely to forget some of the details and your rushing. If this is not always possible and your too busy than pick two times during the day and enter your notes then.
Make a record of why your eating and ask yourself
Are you grazing cause your bored? Did you grab a danish because you didn’t have time for breakfast? Are you munching on something because you’re stressed? Do you rush eating your food at your desk, or finishing off the food on your child’s plate because there finished.
Keeping a food diary will help you notice if you make bad food choices at
- Family vacations
- Late night at the office
- Socializing with friends
- Eating Out
- Running short on time
- Sports games
- Stress at work or at home
You will also be able to see how quickly you were able to get back on track again.
What you are eating and why you are eating are very important factors in understanding your digestive system.
Think about how to structure your diary.
You may want to use rows to format your diary. The following headings could be helpful.
- What you are eating
- Time of the day you are eating
- Where you are eating
- How you are feeling when eating
- How long it takes to eat the food
- What symptoms of IBS are you having
- What you are drinking
- Portion size
- What time of the day do you get certain cravings
Also, don’t forget to keep a record of what you are drinking.
- Milk in your tea
- Juice with your breakfast
- Fizzy drinks during the afternoon
- Alcohol in the evening
- The shot of syrup in your favourite coffee
- How much water do you drink during the day
You may find that dairy foods are your triggers. Almond milk can offer a good solution, and there are great dairy free yoghurts and butter available.
Also if you cook with oil include that
Then when your symptoms of IBS happen like bloating, unpleasant bowel movements make a record of these and try to link back to what you ate earlier in the day and how you were feeling while you were eating.
The next step is to organize
Yep that’s a keyword. Organize the food and drink you need for that week.
- Plan the food for each meal the day before.
- Only eat food while sitting down and you are calm.
- Try to split your meals and snacks so there’s not long periods of time for your tummy to get empty
- Always keep small prepared snacks on hand, maybe a gluten free sandwich packed with salad and protein and bring two just I case you get caught in work late
- If you are meeting friends, eat something that won’t upset your stomach beforehand to keep you from reaching for burger and fries which could hurt you later.
- Keep note of your local coffee shops and restaurant, and go online and research their menus to see what you can order there beforehand
- In Starbucks opt for a decaf coffee or berry tea, in Mc Donald’s choose chicken breast salad and a portion of fruit.
- If you graze when your at home, or in the kitchen while your preparing food, keep some roasted chicken in the fridge and graze on that, before you reach for candy.
- If you get the munchies while watching your favorite Netflix episode reach for sparkling water and plain popcorn, or veggies and dips.
- If you can’t resist some candy, then try and see your tolerance for some 75% cocoa chocolate bars. These have less sugar and fat than mist candy bars.
Remember to drinks lots of water and be mindful of too much fruit because sometimes it can be harsh on tummies.
Keeping a food diary will help you become aware of what you are eating and you will notice patterns and will be able to pinpoint your trigger foods and help you to ease the symptoms of IBS.
Good luck on your journey.
Be careful if you have a history of an eating disorder in the past, check with a doctor first.