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Know Before You Go: Nutritionist

Keep A Food Log
A food diary can help you get the most from your visit with a dietitian or nutritionist. Check out these smart ways to log what you eat.

1 / 4 Keep A Food Log

A food diary can help you get the most from your visit with a dietitian or nutritionist. One week before your appointment, start tracking everything you eat and drink each day so you can share what seven full days of normal eating activity really looks like for you. A pro can spot trends that may impact your weight or health. For example, if you have diabetes, your nutritionist will be able to see the effects different foods have on your glucose numbers.

This content originally appeared on doctoroz.com.

Medically reviewed in June 2019.

Different Ways to Log Food

2 / 4 Different Ways to Log Food

You can track your eating basics or really go into detail about your dietary habits. Depending on your reason for the visit, a simple format where you note what you ate (“3/4 cup of oatmeal with 2 tbsp dried cherries”) may be sufficient. If you are concerned about food allergies, sensitivities or intolerances, note the symptoms you have, as well as the time of day you have them and how long they last. If you need help with weight control, log your food along with notes about your hunger level and mood.

Tools to Help You Track

3 / 4 Tools to Help You Track

Pen and paper is the old-school, reliable way to keep track of everything you eat and drink. There are also countless free online food diaries and digital apps available, including Dr. Oz’s basic food log. However, your dietitian may prefer that you use a specific tool, so call ahead and ask if you have any questions about the best way to document your diet.

And if you have a favorite snack or a question about something specific, use your smartphone or camera to snap photos of items you’d like to ask about.

Beyond Logging: What You Need to Know

4 / 4 Beyond Logging: What You Need to Know

In addition to the food log, you’ll want to show up to your nutritionist or dietitian appointment with much of the same information you’d bring to a doctor’s office. Some examples: a list of all medications and supplements you take, a list of specific questions, and if you have diabetes, your glucose reports and meter.

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