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 unhealthy snacking all day and drinking mostly sugary drinks).
There are many different ways to keep track of what you eat. You can write it down on paper, keep notes on your computer or digital device, or use a diet tracking website or app. You track the times you eat, the foods you eat, portion sizes, and notes about what you were doing or feeling at the time using most of these methods.
At the end of the day, review your food list (Food Diary) and ask these questions:
To control hunger:
- Did I eat healthy meals?
- Did I have filling foods (including water) with every meal or every snack?
- Did I eat enough fruits, vegetables and fiber from whole grains?
- Did I plan for healthy snacking to help conquer cravings?
To reduce calories:
- Did I keep portions small?
- Did I limit sugary, high-calorie foods and beverages?
- Did I include fruits and vegetables with every meal or snack?
- 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 12/2015.