If you struggle with a healthy diet plan and you've never kept a food diary, download this easy-to-use daily food diary template I've put together for you. You'd be surprised at the difference it can make.
Using this food journal template is not only important for keeping track of calories but for quality of life. It can show you how the foods you eat affect your energy and mood - which foods help you feel better and which ones make you feel worse.
My daily food diary template has spots for 3 meals and 3 snacks (use the snacks cells for any munching between meals - including coffee or soda - or leave blank if you don't have that many snacks), along with spots to track your water intake and exercise for the day, and rate the quality of your digestion, energy, mood and sleep.
If keeping track of all of that information seems excessive, keep in mind that they're all interrelated. Your diet, exercise and water intake all affect the quality of your life. Knowing how certain foods affect your mood, or how exercise can affect your energy levels, is so valuable in your journey to better health.
For people who tend to snack a lot, keeping a food diary can be really eye-opening and can actually help in resisting temptation. If you have to write down everything you eat and drink, it makes you think twice about giving in to the munchies.
Most people use a food diary to track their calorie intake, plugging the info into an online calorie tracker. Then, you can compare how much you ate to your actual daily calorie needs.
I don't consider keeping a food diary a life-long project. In fact, it seems kind of obsessive to track all of this information forever. Healthy eating is about enjoying foods to give you energy and health, not about being restrictive and obsessive.
If you print off 4 copies of this daily food diary template, you'll have 4 weeks to track and learn how your body reacts to what you're eating. Or you might just start with 1 week and see how it goes. You can input your food and drinks into an online calorie tracker if you're concerned about calories or the ratio of carbohydrates to fat to protein.
Once you get an idea of where you are in relation to your goals, and of what way of eating gives you energy, you can focus on creating healthy habits for yourself. Then you can try tracking yourself again after a few months to see how you've progressed, and whether you've improved the quality of your health and energy.
After filling out my food log template, One of the most important aspects of keeping yourself on track with a healthy eating plan is to make sure you keep your kitchen stocked with lots of nutritious foods - and keep the junk out. If you struggle with decisions at the grocery store, you'll want to check out my healthy food list to keep you on course.
If you want help with all the planning, portion sizing and calorie counting, this 7 day meal plan might be perfect for you. I took care of all the planning to set up a nutritionally-balanced set of meals, so all you need to do is get started!