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Keeping a Food Diary

Updated on March 19, 2007

Sample Food Diary for One Day



Steak & Cheese Omelet

Tomato Juice





Chipotle Chicken Chili

SF Popsicle


Wasabi Almonds


WW Spaghetti w/Meatballs

Salad w/Thousand Island

Red Wine


SF Jello

Dark Chocolate

Do you have a history of going on diets, only to gain back any weight you lost almost right away? This yo-yo dieting is not very healthy over the long term, and it's been documented that a healthy lifestyle is far better for you than crash diets.

I've done the South Beach Diet and Weight Watchers and have seen results from both. In fact, I'm on South Beach again right now. It's never easy, especially during the first phase where you can only eat meat, vegetables, eggs, nuts, and certain dairy products.

But one thing I have noticed is that it's far easier to succeed on any diet or long-term nutrition plan if you keep a good food diary. Doing this not only makes you accountable to yourself, but it makes you far less likely to "cheat," and if you're not succeeding it may give you an indication as to why.

Diets like Weight Watchers are based on this premise, because not only do you assign "points" to every food, but you have to calculate your points each day and not exceed your maximum allowed based on your height and weight. But most other diets do not require you to list all of your food intake.

Personally, I think this is good practice regardless of what your dietary habits are. You'd be surprised at the way this makes you monitor everything that's going into your stomach. You will likely think twice about that extra portion, or on what side you're having with your grilled chicken, or whether to have that extra light beer or glass of wine.

I'm not a nutritionist, but I also suggest eating three meals a day and three snacks, whether or not your are hungry. Having a constant source of energy makes you less likely to binge at any point during your day. An example of a day's food diary is attached.


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