Writing down what you eat is like seeing a day’s worth of food laid out before you.
You can identify 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).
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.
How to Track Your Eating Habits
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 focus on fruits, vegetable and whole grains?
- Did I keep portions smaller than my fist?
- Did I select skinless poultry, fish, and nuts while limiting red meat and sugary foods and beverages?
- What trade-offs can I make to cut calories? (See next section, Goal 4: Make trade-offs to reduce how much saturated and trans 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:
Last reviewed on 08/2014.