Maintain a Balanced Diet and Stay Healthy with Food Diary Templates
Easily plan and record what you are munching with a food diary template. You can print each design out as a glossy PDF.
A Gluttony Guide to Food Journaling
Everyone loves a good meal. But gorging on too much food isn’t that good for us. The easiest way to get more mindful of what you’re eating is by starting a food diary. New to this concept? Well, here are all the must-know deets then!
What’s a Food Diary?
A food diary is a recording system for tracking and managing your eating habits and patterns. Writing down your daily meals (and their contents) can help you be more mindful of what nutrients you consume and how much they affect your well-being.
Some people keep food diaries for fun as you can pair your entries with recipe ratings and reviews. Others find food diaries helpful to maintain a specific regimen e.g. curb carbs consumption, avoid dairy products, or maintain a specialty diet (e.g. Keto).
Finally, a food tracking journal also helps with weight loss. A clinical study found that participants who kept daily food records lost twice more weight than those who didn’t.
What to Include in Your Food Diary?
When designing the above food diary templates, I did a lot of research to figure out the best layout. Most health care professionals and food enthusiasts agree that you should include the following information in your food diary:
- Daily menu. Make an itemized list of meals, snacks, and beverages you consume each day. Separately, include sauces, condiments, dressings, or toppings. Then jot down the food prep method (baked, streamed, fried, etc).
- Food intake. Jot down how much food you consume. You can measure this in calories (there are plenty of calorie calculators online!) or rely on household measures like plates, cups, spoons, etc. If you are on a diet, it also helps to weigh your food portions for better accuracy.
- Consumed ingredients. To maintain a good diet you have to eat a variety of healthy fats, oils, grains, fruits, vegetables, and proteins. If you keep a specialty diet (for health purposes or otherwise), you might also want to progressively limit the consumption of potentially inflammatory or allergy-causing foods (e.g. shellfish, peanuts, milk, soy products, etc).
Depending on your goals, you can also add extra food diary entries such as your feelings after consuming certain foods, preferred recipes or ingredient combos, and so on!
How to Keep a Food Diary: Must-Know Tips
To be effective, food journaling requires deliberation. You have to carefully log all the deets during food prep and after the meal (which can be daunting). To maintain a better food journaling streak, don’t treat this task as a chore, and try to gamify the experience.
You can color code your food journal template to highlight meals you’ve loved. Or create a personalized rating system with stickers. Finally, you can also mesh your food journal with a personal recipe book.
Apart from doing the above, here are more ways to make food journaling fun and productive!
- Don’t get hung up on calories. A healthy diet is more than bounded calorie consumption. It’s about figuring out what products make your body feel better. For example, you should also monitor your sugar and salt intake (as both aren’t great for us) and record how your energy level changes depending on what you eat.
- Journal after you eat (not during the meal!). Mindful eating — being concentrated on food flavors and consumption — is as important as your plate contents. So always concentrate on the food first, and then log your diary entries.
- Observe your hunger/fullness levels. Foods come with different nutrient levels. Some might create an instant feeling of fullness, but then leave you hungry again in a few hours (since your body processes them fast). As part of your food journaling routine, stay observant of how your hunger level changes depending on the consumed foods. This could help you plan better meals and remove deceptively filling foods from your diet.
P.S. Don’t Forget to Grab a Free Printable Food Diary Template
They are easy to customize and quick to print. A template helps you keep all your food entries well-organized and share ‘em with your healthcare professional, nutritionist, or fitness coach!