Are you looking to make changes in your eating habits but are unsure where to start?

Before you can make a change, you need to take a closer look by tracking youreating habits.

A variety of food choices shown in individual portioned containers.

Why Track Your Eating Habits?

There are a variety of reasons why you may decide to start tracking your eating habits.

Knowing your why before you start will give you a clearer picture of what content to include in your journal, as well as keep you motivated to continue tracking.

Some common reasons to track your eating habits are:

  • I want to lose/gain weight.

  • I want to build muscle.

  • I want to eat a more balanced diet.

  • My doctor recommended it for health reasons.

Tom the cat is peeling a banana to reveal Jerry in the peel.

Parts Of A Food Journal

Your goal will impact what you want to include in your journal

As you create, purchase, or download a food tracking app, consider which categories you want to be included in your food journal.

  • Meal times

  • Serving size (1/2 cup or 6 ounces)

  • Calories per serving

  • Food groups (carbohydrates, protein, fat, vegetables, fruit)

  • The emotion felt at each meal or snack (bored, mad, sad, happy)

  • Water consumption

  • Daily activity

completed food journal showing possible items to include when tracking

Quiz

Which of the following may be included on a filled out food journal?

64 oz of water consumed

Felt bored as I ate a midnight snack

3 Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies

All of these

Types Of Food Journals

The type of food journal you choose to use is up to you.

Are you someone who enjoys writing or creating things from scratch? Or do you prefer using technology through your phone or computer?

Either way, you're in luck! Food journals come in many different styles.

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Like to Write

  • Handwritten in a notebook

  • Created in a dot journal

  • Nutrition journal you purchase at a store or online

  • Printed food journal pages found on the internet and stored in a binder or folder

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Prefer Technology

  • Nutrition tracking apps/websites

    • My Fitness Pal

    • My Plate

    • My Net Diary

Quiz

Amanda's a teacher and she enjoys creating things with different color pens and stickers in motivational journals she purchases on the internet. What type of food journal do you think would be best for Amanda?

Food journal printed off the internet

Food journal purchased on Amazon

My Fitness Pal app

Self created using a dot journal

Make Tracking A Habit

You may be asking, how do I do this? 

Girl looking at her friend saying

Track as You Eat

If you wait until the evening you...

  • may forget what you ate or drank

  • may forget how you felt

  • may feel too tired

  • may get too busy

Make Tracking a Priority

  • Don’t let other responsibilities get in your way of tracking your food throughout the day.

  • Tracking each meal or snack only takes a few minutes.

Make it a habit to take out your journal and track after eating each meal or snack.

Reward yourself

What are you motivated to work towards for tracking your eating habits each day?

  • stickers

  • money towards a larger reward

  • an hour of pampering

  • new clothes

Set up a reward system that works for you and keeps you working towards your food tracking goals.

You've got this! It will be a habit before you know it! If you miss a meal or even a day, pick up where you left off and keep tracking!

Girl giving herself a High 5.  Thinking

Quiz

You got busy yesterday and were not able to track any of your meals. What should you do today?

Give up, you knew this was not for you.

Track breakfast as soon as you eat it

Wait until tonight to start tracking.

Try to track what you ate yesterday.

Take Action

Young boy pointing finger at camera and saying

Do you think using a food journal to track your food habits is right for you?

If it does...

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This Byte has been authored by

AK

Amanda Kulik

Instructional Designer/eLearning Developer