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How to Keep a Food Diary

How to Keep a Food Diary - A food diary is a useful tool to help you understand your current eating habits or to help you stick to a diet. By keeping a food diary, you will find out a lot you didn't know about your eating habits and will be able to plan healthier habits for the future. Read on to learn how to keep a food diary.

Establish your goals. Consider whether you are interested in achieving a certain calorie level each day, improving your diet overall or simply tracking your current eating habits.

Decide whether you want to keep your diary on paper or online. A paper diary is easy to record your diet in, but it can be a difficult format to see changes over time. There are a number of food diaries you can use online, and some of them are free. However, an online diary still requires that you keep notes throughout the day.

How to Keep a Food Diary

Locate or create a format for your food diary that fits your goals. Based on your goals and habits, determine what categories your food diary should have for each day. For example, you may want to record each time you eat, where you ate, your feelings as you ate, calories of the food you ate, the activities you participated in and the number of calories expended in those activities. You can find a number of formats online.

Carry a small notebook with you. Write down everything you eat, estimating portion sizes. If you can break down your food into individual ingredients, you will be able to better calculate calories. Also write down any other things you are tracking, such as your emotions and the activities you participate in.

Calculate calories you consume. You can use a calorie counting booklet, or you can go online to sites like the Enhanced Calorie Counter to calculate calories. Record the foods and their caloric value in your food diary. Add any other food-related information to your diary.

How to Keep a Food Diary


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