Food Journal

Why should I keep a food journal?


A food journal can be a powerful tool as you learn healthy eating habits.  Most importantly, it is going to provide you with your own accountability.  When you have to write down everything you eat or drink, you will learn so much more about how you eat!  You may discover more mindless eating than you ever realized.  You may find out that you are eating at a more healthful frequency than you gave yourself credit for.  With this knowledge, you can begin to shape your own healthier eating habits through food awareness.  An added bonus is that you can bring in that food journal to HealthSmart, and we can help you evaluate it.  Our consultation time can be used more efficiently, as we can skip asking you all about what you eat, and we can jump right into looking at your journal and discussing how we can best help you attain your goals!

When keeping your food journal, you can use any kind you want.  Some people prefer to write in a folder or binder on regular paper.  Others prefer to have a template printed off where they can just fill out the information.  We have even had some clients that made it a scrap-book project!  Feel free to use whatever format that works best for you.  There are a few main things you want to be sure to include:
  1. Date and time- It is important to know when you are eating to help you determine your hunger patterns.
  2. What and how much- For instance, eating one slice of vegetable pizza is very different from eating an entire large pizza with “the works.”  Don’t just say pizza, say what kind and how much!
  3. Brand- It may help to list the brand or where you got it.  Homemade pizza can be much healthier than fast food pizza. Making a note of whether it was prepared at home or bought at a restaurant can help us get more detailed when we look at your food journal.
  4. Notes- This little section could make a big difference.  This is where you capture your thoughts.  When you ate that pizza, how did you feel?  Did you notice a loss of energy?  Were you hungry or did you eat out of boredom?  Use this section to give yourself helpful information about why you ate and how you felt at the time, as well as how the food made you feel.  
We have included a very simple example of a food journal that you can find on this website. Please use this  weapon in your fight against disease!