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Have You Ever Kept a Food Journal?

I'm one of those detail-oriented people who loves making lists. I like to keep track of my mileage, X my calendar after a workout, write down how many reps I do at the gym, and even keep a food journal. It's amazing how your memory of what you ate and what you actually ate differ. Writing down what you eat every day has been proven to help people lose weight. It can also help you figure out if you're missing out on certain vitamins, nutrients, or food groups. So I'm wondering . . .


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vitisva vitisva 8 years
I tried to keep one once (because of that French Women Don't Get Fat Book) - but it didn't work out great
bailaoragaditana bailaoragaditana 8 years
Yes, but it really wasn't helpful, except in inspiring me to eat even less. That was when I was heavily into figure skating, and desperate to lose weight - I would record my daily intake and exercise, and see that it wasn't "enough," which then made me cut down on the food and up the exercise more, to the point where I was consistently eating between 500-700 calories a day, practicing on-ice for 2 hours, and lifting weights or doing cardio workouts for another 2. I stopped, because it was driving me insane, and was really counter-productive.
Giasbash6260 Giasbash6260 8 years
Yea, I kept one for awhile, but it made me NUTS and was the cause of my eating disorder!
insanitypepper insanitypepper 8 years
Yes, but not helpful. I ate whatever I wanted anyway.
angelfromlsu angelfromlsu 8 years for me :)
Pallas-Athena Pallas-Athena 8 years
I have for school, but didn't pay much attention to it. In fact, I think I made the whole thing up except for one day.
neonbee neonbee 8 years
I used to write down everything I eat in my diary, but I've stopped because I became too critical about what I eat.
Allytta Allytta 8 years
i don't eat that much, that i can't remember it. but yeah putting it down on paper might show the excess volume... but the same thing happens when i name everything i ate just to myself in my head.
tuliprush tuliprush 8 years
My boyfriend helped make me this really great food journal on excel. It does all of the calulations for me, as he set it up to make me type in the food, the calorie content, as well as protein, carbs & fat. Then at the end of the column for the day, it automatically shows me my total calories, fat, protein and carbs AND gives me what % of my food is carbs, fat and protein. It is seriously awesome and has forced me to be so much more accountable. The one problem obviously is I have to go back to my computer with all of my labels and put the info on my chart. But I set up a tab on excel to list the main foods that I eat, and their nutritional content, so I can reference that if I need to
risqueredhead risqueredhead 8 years
I used to, but I don't like it. It's not helpful to me and it makes me obsess over things.
itsme3683 itsme3683 8 years
I used to, and I probably should, but like marygrace, I'd just prefer not to obsess over my food as much as I used to. It made me kind of crazy. Instead of motivating me to eat well, I would get frustrated and give up and eat junk, or get frustrated and eat nothing. It was a little unhealthy. Lately I've just focused on eating healthy food, and I don't go to extremes of eating or not eating any more.
crystal-tomlin26 crystal-tomlin26 8 years
I too am using and I like it I have used it off and on for a few years but I would always forget to complete the entry at the end of the day, but now I have a reminder on my cellphone :)
SillyGirl SillyGirl 8 years
I gotta give a shout out to your weekly food diary pdf Fit. I always go on and off (depending on various factors of stress, training etc) so a weekly sheet works better for me than a diary or online journal. I used to have my own that I made on excel years ago, but yours is so much prettier. And it fits in my purse easily. I just wish there was a column for exercise.
valancyjane valancyjane 8 years
I've been doing the Body by Glamour plan ( and I use that food diary. It's pretty simple (you enter food, calories and time you ate), which is what I like best. Just becoming more aware of what I eat is helpful (I've lost 10 pounds since April!). I tried SparkPeople but entering foods was so complicated -- half the time I didn't know the fat/protein/carbs breakdown, and that threw my numbers off, so it hardly felt like it was worth the effort to enter foods.
sassy_chick sassy_chick 8 years
I used one, but it just increased my eating issue tendencies so I stopped. Too much of a good thing is a bad thing, especially in the form of obsessively tracking your caloric intake.
bunsushi bunsushi 8 years
hmm...i'm like marygrace. I've kept food journals before and my calories would just plummet because I would be overly conscious about what and how much I was eating. I would choose healthy things like yogurt and vegetables and fruits, but even though I was satisfied after eating them, I didn't get enough number-wise. So now, I just stick to eating 3 small meals with 2 snacks inbetween that I know the ballpark calories and DV%. If I feel like plugging the actual numbers in, I find that this practice is a lot healthier for me.
teacherturtle1 teacherturtle1 8 years
i suppose i do not keep a journal, but what i have been doing for a long time now is learn what nutrition different foods contain, so for things i normally eat, i have a good idea. and for new foods, i look up nutrition values. so i do keep track in a daily fashion to keep my eating in check, that way i am not driven only by hunger. i can tell myself i had sufficient food, and it takes a while for the body to get the hint. discipline! but i can see how much of an impact one may have from actually looking over time what one consumes, and totaling up amounts of sodium, fiber, protein, calories.. and understanding how overtime, it makes an impact. it isn't the "once in a while binge" that is the problem.. it is just the normal habits or lifestyle that matter most. that is why diets don't work.. it's like being married to someone you do not love, and the one you do love is living next door. :p hahaha ok me done.. i'm a dork :)
sparkletech sparkletech 8 years
I use a book I got a Border's for my food journal, because it has a place to enter in your daily exercise as well, and I take it to the gym with me and complete it after my workout while I'm waiting for my fiance. I use websites to help me figure out how many calories are in every meal I eat (or look on the packages for when I cook) but I find that it's easy for me to write in the book because I can remember to take it everywhere with me. Since I started calorie counting in May, I've become totally addicted to it. (Maybe I just have an addictive personality!) :)
secretallstar secretallstar 8 years
I like too, but I'm terrible about being consistent with it. I'll track a couple days, then drop off (usually at the weekend). I'm back on again now, and hoping to make it stick.
faerymagick15 faerymagick15 8 years
I voted yes, but I have to say, it wasn't that helpful to me at all.
Boxerfan Boxerfan 8 years
I also use It's the best tracking tool I've found. It's helped me to lose 30 pounds over the last 9 months.
mondaymoos mondaymoos 8 years
I've kept one before, but I haven't been recently. I don't like the idea of seeing how many calories I wasted on alcohol that weekend.
marygrace marygrace 8 years
I've tried, but every time it makes me start obsessing over my food, which I'd rather not do.
tsp tsp 8 years
i think this has been really important in my weight loss. i mean, i'm REALLY accountable now and religious about keeping it accurate. i like
durbangirl durbangirl 8 years
I agreed with danzerdrea7 and use, it's an excellent way to track your food, exercise, body measurements, etc. and well worth the $9 a month.
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