Keep a Food Diary!

Posted: July 7, 2010 by Louie Brockhoeft in Nutrition
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One of the best ways to keep your nutritional lifestyle clean and healthy is to keep a food journal.  Whether you are looking to shed a few pounds or someone trying to make a change for the good, this is an excellent first step to keep you in check. Not only does writing things down help you assess how you eat, keeping a log tells you why you eat in the manner you do.

Reasons why you should keep a food journal:

  • Overeating- Many people do a great job eating healthy when it comes to the major meals. But, how about those snacks in between? Nibbling at numerous times during the day can set you back tremendously when you’re trying to reach your goals.
  • Calorie Check- Assuming that you are eating a certain number of calories can easily allow for overindulgence.  Multiple studies show that a greater percentage of Americans underestimate their daily caloric amounts.  One study by Cornell University showed that dieters underestimated their calories by 38%. This holds true especially for those that eat out frequently.
  • Awareness- The log allows you to see your habits.  You might be binge eating late at night. Skipping breakfast.  Eating too much fat, too many carbs, and an overabundance of alcohol.  Are you constantly in hunger? Balanced eating?
  • Self-control- Knowing that you have to write everything down, you may think twice before eating that cheeseburger and fries. 
  • Successful Results-Writing down your foods daily will not only aid in weight loss but will have a compounding effect on self-esteem, energy levels, mood and emotional well-being.


What to write down:

–       The amount of calories, fats, carbs, protein, and fiber you consume.

–       Any dangers in your in your habits (too much sugar, too many fats, etc.)

–       Notes on cravings, appetite, and emotional triggers (why?).

–       Portions sizes (measure your foods because there is more there than you can see a lot of times).

–       Write down your feelings after meals (helps with seeing habits and creating awareness).

You can start with just a pen and paper. A good resource on the internet is Also, for around $10-12 you can purchase a pre-designed journal at

And don’t forget to be Honest! You will only be hurting yourself!


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