How a Food Journal Can Help Your Diet

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by Rita Chaney

Keeping a food journal may be the best-kept secret to dieting successfully. What exactly is a food journal? What should you include in your food journal? Personalize your journal by including the elements you need to experience successful weight loss or maintenance. Food journals are helpful to keep for a number of reasons.

What is a Food Journal?

A food journal is a record of what you eat. Like most journals, it reflects what you have done, in this case, what you have consumed. Use a spiral-bound notebook, a book-like blank journal, or a tablet of paper. It can be any size that is convenient. Or you/P>

What Should I Include in My Food Journal?

Review this list of suggestions of what to keep track of. Select elements important to you and your dieting success.

1. At the top of the page, write the day/date.

2. Record what you eat/drink, along with the quantity. For example, "8 ounces skim milk." If you want to get even more specific, document the time you consumed them.

3. Write down the number of "units" you are counting for the foods, such as calories, fats or carbohydrates (carbs). Some individuals keep track of more than one unit (i.e. calories and fats). For skim milk, record "80" calories, "0" fats, "13" carbs or whatever unit(s) you are counting.