Monday, August 22, 2011

Ideas for Keeping a Food Journal

I am sure you have heard of keeping a food journal before, but have you ever actually tried it? If so, were you consistent with it, or did it your interest in it wane?

Well, if you are anything like me, you might not be so good at it. Simply because it becomes such a tedious procedure to log everything you have eaten. The worst part is, if you forget to log anything, it becomes very difficult to remember the candy you may have (or not) eaten around 4 o'clock yesterday afternoon.

Currently I am keeping a food log (wish me luck!), not just to log food and caloric intake, but to also keep track of my workout routines and my blood sugar levels since I am a Type I Diabetic.

For me, the most prominent reason for keeping a food log is to lose weight and get down to my goal, but also to find a way to keep track of my blood sugar levels without being confined to the little logbooks they give you at the doctor's office. (Those things are too tiny to keep track of anything!)

Although I have tried many different ways of keeping track of my food intake, I find the easiest way is to carry a little notebook around with you. I tried having my own food diary blog and I have even tried applications for my smartphone, but sticking with those tech-savvy alternatives became too cumbersome after a while.

The nice thing about having a notebook is that you can jot just about anything down, and it doesn't have to be perfect because it's for you and no one else to see (unlike blogs or smartphone apps). Also those who prefer the journal method can even write how they're feeling that day. My favorite part about having a notebook on hand is that I can cut out motivational clippings, workouts, or even recipes and tape them to the inside of the book. This way, when I open my notebook, I can see those reminders.

If you want to try the traditional notebook approach, I recommend any of the Moleskine journals. I'm currently using a reporter-style book to log my entries (pictures below), and although I think it's too big to carry around with me everywhere, it gets the job done. In true reality though, any journal will work!

Some traditional journal recommendations are (click the images for more) ...

If you prefer the more tech-savvy route, we recommend the following smartphone applications:

  • MyFitnessPal - This application is extremely convenient because of the barcode scanner! Scan any packaged food and it'll find the nutritional value of it. Having this tool makes eating a lot easier to log food! You can even track how much water you drink per day, which is helpful if you're trying to consume more H20.


  • Lose It! - This application has icons for food, helping make visual connections to what your eating. Lose It! also has integration to devices such as FitBit and wireless scales to help track your calories and weight.

Happy logging!
- Emily

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