The best way to grasp how many calories per day you eat now, and how many you may be accustomed to eating, is to keep a food diary. Try this exercise for a week. Simply write down the foods you eat, including portion size. Try to estimate the caloric content of each of these foods using a calorie counter book or by looking at the nutrition label on the packaging of the food. You may be surprised how easily calories add up!
You can keep your food diary in a spiral notebook, a bound journal on your home or work computer, or any way you choose. It’s important you find a method that is easy for you to use. Try not to keep a mental record of what you ate and then write it down later – it’s easy to block out a few chips here or a banana there.
(Source: The Arthritis Foundation, online at www.arthritis.org.)