Food Diary - How to Keep Track of What You Eat

Updated:Aug 28,2014

Notebook with coffee and appleWriting down what you eat is like seeing a day’s worth of food laid out before you. You can pick out your good habits (such as eating three daily meals and choosing healthy snacks) and your bad habits (such as snacking all day and drinking mostly sugary drinks).

How to Track Your Eating Habits 

There are many different ways to keep track of what you eat. We suggest that you write down the times you eat, the foods you eat, portion sizes (more or less), and make notes about what you were doing or feeling at the time.

At the end of the day, review your food list (Food Diary) and ask these questions:

To control hunger:
  • Did I eat three meals?
  • Did I have filling foods (including water) with every meal or every snack?
  • Did I eat at least  4-5 servings each of fruits and veggies?
To reduce calories:
  • Did I keep portions smaller than my fist?
  • Did I keep cooked meat, chicken, fish or shellfish to three ounces per portion (the size of a deck of cards)?
  • What trade-offs can I make to cut calories? (See next section, Goal 4: Make trade-offs to reduce how much fat and sugar you eat).
  • Did I eat when I was not hungry? If yes, what was I feeling or doing that made me eat?

Download the food diary now

Here is an example of how to use your food diary:

Food diary example

Last reviewed on 08/2014.

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