Gain a better understanding of your current eating habits & routines by keeping a food log/journal. Learn why this helps & how to start.
Are you ready to start a new diet and hoping for quick or long-lasting results? Are you looking to gain control over your eating habits?
One way to better understand your current eating habits and routines is to keep a food log or journal. Keeping track of what you eat will give you a clear view of how and what you eat and serve as a solid starting point when preparing to adjust to your routine.
You don’t have to journal long-term, but logging your intake for 3-7 days (including at least 1 weekend day) will help you pinpoint areas where making small changes could add up to BIG results.
The insight you gain into how and what you're already eating will help you better prepare to implement changes that make sense for you and your journey, rather than blindly following the latest fad diet trend and expecting drastic, long-term results.
How to Get Started with Food Journaling
The easiest way to track what you eat and drink is to set up a food journal.
USE AN APP 📲
The built-in notes app on your mobile device is a quick, easy, and convenient way to keep your journal. A bonus of using a notes app is that you can simply take a picture of your meal if you don't have time to type in the details.
Or, if you want more detail in your journal, you can use an app specifically for tracking what you eat. A quick search on the App Store or Google Play will result in pages of free and paid options, including our very own Food app.
The Her365 Fitness Food app has a large database of foods, drinks, and snacks and is a reliable option for keeping track of what you’re noshing on. There's a barcode scanner to make it easy to log your food items, and you can even add in your own foods if you don't find what you're eating in the database.
USE A PEN/PAPER 📝
If you’d rather keep track by hand, you can use a good old-fashioned pen and paper. You can use a page in your existing journal to keep track, or you can use the attached 3-Day Diet Record which you can download and print or fill out on your computer or mobile device.
What to Track
✅ EVERYTHING YOU EAT & DRINK
Without criticizing yourself, log/write down EVERYTHING you consume. Include specific details about:
The time of day (morning, afternoon, evening)
The foods you eat at each meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner)
Any snacks you eat throughout the day (including any bites, licks, or tastes of foods that are not part of a meal...don’t "forget" about the treats)
How many servings/helpings and the portion sizes
How the food was prepared (e.g., roasted, steamed, sautéed, fried, etc.)
Remember, this is a data-gathering exercise; there’s zero judgment so that candy bar and/or glass of wine you had after work must also make it to your journal.
✅ HOW YOU FEEL
Keeping a detailed journal of what you eat goes far beyond just recording your food choices. It also allows you to track how you FEEL after you eat certain foods, so you can start tuning in to your body and digestive system. Try describing how you feel after your meals...this will give you some incredible insight!
MINDFULNESS, SELF-COMPASSION, HONESTY
Be mindful of how you are talking to yourself throughout your journaling process. Remember: this is a judgment-free zone. Eat how you normally eat...and take notes in your app or on paper. Only an accurate journal will be helpful, so be honest with yourself!
What to Do with Your Food Journal After Tracking
👉🏽 REVIEW YOUR ENTRIES
After you’ve kept a journal for 3-7 days (including a weekend day), review it and see if you can identify any patterns in your food choices or timing or how you felt after eating certain foods. What stands out?
👉🏽 REFLECT ON YOUR EXPERIENCE
Think back on what stands out from this experience: What did you learn about your current eating habits? What types of foods do you tend to eat more/less of? Is there anything you want to change? What was this process like for you?
👉🏽 GET SUPPORT
Once you've completed 3-7 days of tracking your food, you may need help interpreting your food journal or implementing (and sticking to) the changes you want to make. Working with a nutrition coach can help you bridge the gap between where you are now and where you want to be.
You got this!
Get off the dieting & exercise rollercoaster for good! Learn how to transform your inconsistent health and fitness patterns into the healthy lifestyle you've always wanted.
Hey there! My name is Marissa Rivera-Davis, and I'm a certified health fitness professional and founder of Her365 Fitness, a 24-hour studio gym & wellness community for women. I help women find the time and energy to move more and eat better so they can finally achieve the health & fitness goals that matter to them. My mission is to empower women with the skills and support they need to break free from a mindset of limitation & restriction to find pleasure and joy on their path to improved well-being. Learn more here.