How to Keep a Food Journal
Writing down what you eat helps you take a critical look at your food habits and make healthy changes. Here are some tips.
Write down what you eat on three weekdays and one weekend day, using the following guidelines:
- Record everything you eat and drink immediately.
- Note what you're doing while you're eating―driving, watching TV, etc.
- Describe how you felt while you ate: angry, sad, happy, nervous, starving, bored?
- Be honest. It's a journal, not a newsletter, and no one has to see it but you.
- At the end of each day, examine how your emotions affected your eating.
Every day, try to make sure that you're getting at least:
- 9 servings of whole-grain cereal, rice, or pasta (1/2 cup) or bread (1 slice).
- 5 servings of fruits and vegetables (1/2 cup).
- 3 servings of low-fat milk, yogurt, or cottage cheese (1 cup).
- 8 ounces of lean meat, poultry, or fish or a nonmeat equivalent (1 ounce of meat = 1 egg, 1/2 cup beans, or 2 to 3 ounces of tofu).
Use the Food Journal Worksheet to keep it all organized.