If you follow my blog, you may know that I previously reviewed a food diary. This particular food diary was created by a company called The Calorie Club. I had, at the time, been Instagramming my Slimming World journey and had discovered, the Slimming World Community. The community was talking a lot about food diaries, and new diaries, with pretty and inspiring front covers, were all the rage. To find out more, check out my YouTube video:
Alternatively, read on for more information on my journey and review.
I had actually already been using a Calorie Club diary but was running out of space. For me, keeping a food diary is integral to staying on track, especially when leading a busy lifestyle. As I had enjoyed using the first version I went back to the Calorie Club, only to find the products had been updated. The diaries were now ring bound and some of the additional elements had been incorporated into the one book. You can check out my previous Calorie Club review for more info, but the crux was that I liked them, so much so that I decided to create the review.
Just in case you aren't planning on reading my previous review, a point to note is that The Calore Club don't just produce products for use with the Slimming World plan. The designs are flexible so that they can be utilised for a number of different mechanisms of diet management.
Anyway, fast forward a few months and I received word from The Calorie Club that they had seen my review. Three interesting things happened at that point.
Firstly, they said they were updating their products again. For me, this was exciting because, as a repeat customer, I had experienced the positive improvements they had made to the older designs.
Second, they told me they liked one of my suggestions so much that they were going to include it in their new designs. Now, if you’ve picked up the thread of my blog and videos, a significant driver for me is helping others and continual improvement, so this was music to my ears!
Thirdly, the asked if I would like to review some of their new products once they were ready! Well, yes indeed I would like to review more products from my go-to food diary producer.
So, a little while back, the products appeared through the post and since I have been giving them a road test.
The first bundle arrived and as I opened the box, the products had arrived wrapped in pretty pink tissue paper. The bundle included a new diary, a pencil, a tear-off 'My Recipes' pad and a colourful tear-off Meal Planning pad with room for meal plans and a shopping list. A second package arrived and inside I found an A4 sized Meal Planner and pen. The meal planner was the same design as the A5 version but both the pad and the pen had the addition of magnets on the back. These products were designed to stay on your fridge!
Various prices between £4.25 -£14.95
The diary contains introduction pages where you can include your name, group (if you attend), your starting date and then space for some SMART goals. Heard of SMART goals or objectives before? SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-based. Combine these factors to create your goals and it is commonly accepted that you are more likely to succeed.
Also included is some information from The Calorie Club relating to support and social media. It has a page where you can write down:
information about what makes you, you,
why you want to change
how you will relax and
plans you look forward to.
There is also space for your measurements with advice and space for updates. You can chart your weight on a graph, colour individual images as you lose weight and record a before and after. There is also a sleep tracker, a treat tracker to help analyse your habits and then sections for favourites, notes and shopping lists.
The rest of the book comprises the food diary pages and a countdown and mood tracker at the back.
The Food Diary pages
In all fairness, it is hard to fit everything into A5 but The Calorie Club have done a good job. In the old diaries, I used to find that I was wasting quite a lot of the available space, purely because I didn't need so much room. The area for recording your food and drink intake has now been reduced and a daily meal planner has been included. Personally, I love this addition as I love to note down the things I plan to have but would often find that these plans would change which made things messy as I scribbled bits out.
In addition, there is now a total box for each day. Here you can record the number of syns (if following Slimming World) points (if following Weight Watchers) or whatever it is that you may need to monitor. This is the section that I influenced and I believe it to be a positive and productive addition to the design.
You can also track your healthy habits each day. Here you can tick off your water intake, fruit and veg, portions and minutes of exercise. Along the bottom you can record the number of hours slept, floors and steps then also rate how you feel.
The 'My Recipes' Pad
The pad has room for two recipes on each page. You can note the recipe title, how many people it will serve and the time it takes to bake. There is space for the ingredients, calories, oven temperature and method. You will need to be concise as there isn't a great deal of room for the method. In my experience, I find writing out methods to be space consuming. However, short and to the point is always my preference!
The Meal Planner
This A5 sized planner is brightly coloured and another nicely designed accompaniment to the diary. Each page details a w 7 day week and you have space to plan out each of your meals. Then on the side, you can write down your shopping requirements in order to prepare your planned meals. Simple!
The Fridge Magnet Meal Planner
At A4 size, there is much more space on this version but the design is identical to the A5 planner. The magnets hold well and it looks nice on the fridge as a go-to place for your plans.
In terms of the food diary design changes, I am a big fan. I like to spend time making sure my diary is accurate and have often wished for something that ticks more boxes in one place. To be able to use the same book to plan my food, track my totals and analyse my habits is a positive improvement and gets a big thumbs up from me.
I mentioned it at the beginning of this post but another point to note is the front covers. I suspect that they are a significant selling point for The Calorie Club and absolutely rightly so. The design I chose when I purchased my own diary was bright and attractive to look at as they all are. However, the diary I was sent states 'If you never try, you'll never know'. How true and I can't help but feel inspired by the words. My top tip is to actually read it. It's just seven words. Don't just look at the cover and know what it says, read the words aloud or to yourself. It makes a difference.
For me and my lifestyle, the best products are the diary and the fridge magnet meal planner. This is because everything I need most often is contained within the meal planner and as I work from home, the fridge magnet meal planner is always available to me. As with everything, this may be subject to change based on how I decide I want to go about things. As an alternative, the smaller meal planner is more convenient. This is perfect for those of you on the move or preferring more compact items. The great thing about this is the choice.
You can see the full range of products by checking out The Calorie Club website https://www.thecalorieclub.co.uk and products range between £4.45 for a 7-week diary to £14.95 for a 6-month record. 3-month diaries are also available, so take a look to find a product that suits your needs. You can also order personalised covers if you fancy going that extra mile.
Have you ever tried the Calorie Club diaries?
The Calorie Club Website: https://www.thecalorieclub.co.uk/