A diet journal and food diary is the ideal way to keep track of what you consume each and every day.
If you use the journal properly, it can help you make changes to your diet and lose weight. In addition, by tracking what you eat and drink you will be able to use it to improve your health.
There is one very important element to using a diet journal – in order for the journal to be useful, it must be the truth. You will gain absolutely nothing by cheating yourself, just to look good in what, ostensibly, is a private journal.
However, ii can also be very useful for you to share your diet journal and food diary with your doctor or a dietician so they can help you plan changes to your eating habits.
Tips for using your diet journal well.
- Do commit to keeping track every day.
- As you progress, keep reflecting on what your journal is telling you and what you have learned.
- Keep track of times: this will assist you in spotting any patterns or habits, e.g. when you normally eat, when you are active, or what you were feeling.
- Keep your journal with you at all times, where possible. It is always best to write things down immediately, so you won’t forget.
Every day, go through what you have written in your diet journal. Do a comparison with previous days. See if you can spot patterns and become more aware of your eating habits. For example, did you eat all five food groups? Did you skip a meal? Are you snacking excessively?
This daily assessment will help you make healthy changes in your life. You will probably be rather surprised by what you find out and how helpful a diet journal can be. You will learn from studying your diet journal that the choices you make each day make a difference – a huge difference, no matter whether you want to lose weight or simply improve your health and well-being.
Your Diet Journal
The diet journal has been created to assist you achieve your health goals.
Throughout the journal there is space for you to add your own notes, in addition to completing the food and activity diary on a daily basis.
When you start the diet journal, it is best to jump straight to page 6. On this page you can reflect on and decide on your personal goal. Why are you actually completing the diet journal. You are also asked to fill out your plan. It’s a really good idea to be specific here, in terms of achieving your goals: ‘I will go to the gym 3 times per week,’ is better than ‘I will go to the gym more often’.
You are also asked to fill in your daily targets in terms of calories. It may be best to discuss this with a health professional or dietician. There are also websites that will offer you guidance on setting calorie targets and where you can see how many calories a specific activity burns.
The next page, page 7, is all about recording where you are now, before you start your diet journal.
This is a very important page. In the weeks and months to come, it will act as inspiration as you se how far you have progressed.
Fill out the sections that are important to you. There are also blank spaces for other items that are perhaps not so generic.
And for those who are really serious about before and after, there is space on page 8 to add before photos. This is a brilliant way to inspire you to succeed.
The blank graphs on page 10 and 11 are for you to track anything you feel will show your progress.
For example, if weight is something you wish to track, you would put dates in the columns at the bottom (e.g. your weekly dates for weighing yourself), and in the column at the left, put pounds. Then, on a weekly (or any other time you wish), plot the graph. An example is included below.
You could also track blood pressure, waist measurement, visits to the gym, amount of calories burned, amount of calories eaten – in fact anything you think will help you achieve your goals.
In the simple example below, pounds have been entered in the left column, and ‘week 1’, ‘week 2’ etc. in the bottom row, A simple dot has been used to mark progress. Immediately it is very obvious how things are tracking with the weight loss.
Diet journal graph: example
Daily Diet Journal
Now the core of the diet journal begins, on page 12. The content should be quite self-explanatory.
Remember also to add a short note of how you are feeling, and to rate the day. What you use for the rating is up to you. Some people like a numerical score out of 10, or 100, others prefer smiley faces. The choice is yours. Make the journal your own.
Feedback or Questions
If you have any questions about the diet journal, please contact us using the contact form here.
We would also love to hear about your successes, and if you like our diet journal a recommendation on Amazon would be very much appreciated.