Keeping a Food Journal to Account for What You Consume

Keeping a food journal may help you lose weight, especially if you have food amnesia. When you aren’t aware of the foods you consume, eating can become an almost unconscious activity for some people.

Call it convenient forgetfulness, a temporary lapse of memory, or whatever, people often eat because it's become a habit, not because they're overly hungry. It's NOT hard to lose track when you're not really paying attention!

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However, that's the real beauty of journalizing! You can keep track of the foods you consume if you just invest a little time writing it all down! (Or you can use an App.)

However, you'll also need to think about the who, what, when's and why's of consuming foods! That's a real tough one but it can be done with a bit of insight and introspection.

Being mindful of the emotions you associate with different foods helps you become more aware of those burning questions! For example, what was on your mind when you ate that extra dessert after dinner? Why did you still feel hungry? Was it because you were unhappy about something or just that you can't seem to control your sugar cravings? Why didn't you stop yourself from indulging?

Knowing what emotions drive your decisions is a powerful tool! It helps you understand why you choose certain foods at different times and keeps track of things you'd ordinarily just forget about! If you need help controlling your emotions, many people have gotten outstanding results by choosing hypnotherapy to help control weight loss issues.

When you write down what you’re eating, you’ll also have a good idea of how many calories you consume in a day. You’ll be able to scrutinize how much you’re actually eating, as opposed to how much you think or remember eating.

When you keep an accurate log of what you’re eating, the amount of food you’re eating is hard to ignore. You won't be able to use convenient forgetfulness as an excuse when you understand the deep emotions that are often associated with eating in excesses.

Listing everything you eat helps you take a critical look at your bad eating habits. Keep your food journal in a small looseleaf notebook beside your bed or on the computer. Take it with you if you work outside the home or at least make it a habit to write things down as soon as you get home. If you can’t write down what you eat immediately, do it as soon as possible so you’re notes are in sync.

Food Journal Recommendations

  • Record what you eat and drink asap!

  • Take note of what you’re doing while you’re eating — relaxing, watching TV, computer, work, yelling at the kids, etc.

  • What were your emotions - angry, sad, happy, nervous, starving, bored?

  • Be honest. This is your journal. Keep it in a secure location so no one else will be privy to it.

  • At the end of each day, read over your journal. You may soon begin to determine what drives you to eat certain foods at certain times. Your emotions are powerful and can adversely affect your eating habits.

    You might also write down how much (if any) exercise you got and how you slept the previous night. Write down any events that stand out during each day like a fight at the office or your spouse losing their job. The more you know about the emotions you associate with certain foods, the better you'll be able to control inappropriate urges.

    Food Pyramid

    Remember your food pyramid from school? It's a guide for the different amounts and groups of food you should get in one day. Review it! It can help you recall all of the foods you should be consuming more or less of!

    food pyramid image

    Keep these serving sizes in mind as you eat throughout the day. Be sure to write down any pertinent information.

    To make things more transparent, here is a clear example of how to make journal entries.

    oatmeal 1 serving breakfast at home energetic happy
    chocolate cookies 1 pack or 6 cookies 10am - office very hungry stressed out
    cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato, pickles, light mayo 4 ounces meat, 2 ounces cheese, vegetables 1pm - Andy's restaurant starving hurried to get back to the office

    Just below is a sample table you can print out and use for your food journal. Compliments of

    Food Journal Worksheet


    To download a similar (but better) journal worksheet and save the document to your computer, simply click on the link just below. It will open in a new window. Then save a copy to your documents. Its as easy as that!

    Food Journal Worksheet.pdf

    To view this file, you'll need to have Adobe Acrobat. You can download a free version here:

    Free Adobe Acrobat Reader

    If you prefer tracking your food using an app, this is a great offer from My Net Diary. Their app works with iPhones, Androids, and tablets. You can get it for free here: Free Food Diary App.

    Whatever method you use, sit down at the end of one week and compare and contrast how your moods affect your food choices. Given enough data (and weeks to compare to), you should notice a definite pattern emerging. For example, if you always reach for a sweet treat when you're hurried or rushed, maybe you should pack and apple or orange, instead of depending on the vending machine as much. The more you do this, the better you'll be able to understand the food associations you have.

    Whether you have a bunch of weight to lose or just a few pounds, studies show that keeping track of the foods you consume is vital to losing weight! Since most people are in a great hurry these days, it's best to update your food journal each and every day. If not, you'll certainly forget what you had to eat a few days ago and you'll easily lose track of the foods you've consumed!

    Related Pages on This Site

    Lose Stubborn Belly Fat – Best Ways to Eliminate a Pot Belly

    Eating a Balanced Diet Decreases Weight and Increases Energy

    Low Carb Foods Diet Facts – Sorting Through the Confusion!

    Portion Size – Pay Attention to Lose Weight

    Low Calorie Diet Plans Versus Low Fat Diet Plans

    Can a Gluten Free Diet Plan help You Lose Weight?


    Benefits of a Food Diary

    The Benefits of Keeping a Food and Nutrition Journal

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