How to Start a Food Journal

Food journaling is an excellent way to observe your consumption habits and notice where you might be getting off track from your health goals. A study done by Kaiser Permanente showed that those who logged their food intake lost double the weight as their counterparts over a six week period. That alone makes journaling worth the effort. And the printable log at the bottom of this post is a free resource to help you begin your food journal journey.

What is a food journaling?

Before we discuss how to food journal, it’s important to note what food journaling is. A food journal is a simple log that records your food and beverage intake throughout the day. For best results, it’s recommended to log your intake immediately after consumption.

Understanding your eating mannerisms can shed some light into certain food intolerances and even point out triggers that make you eat poorly in your diet.

What to log in your journal

The longer you have your journal, the more you can personalize it based on your own eating habits and health goals. How to Start Food Journaling suggests logging the following basics in your food journal.

  • The food or drink
  • The amount
  • The time
  • The location or environment (driving, in a restaurant, at your desk)
  • Your feelings (bored, hungry, tired)
  • The scenario (watching TV, family dinner, rushing to an appointment)
  • How the food was prepared (baked, boiled, fried)
  • Additional sides, toppings, or condiments

And once you’re in the habit of recording these basics, start logging more detailed descriptions of your consumption throughout the day.

How to Food Journal – Track trends in your diet

The longer you keep your food journal updated, the more data you’ll have on your eating habits to better gauge trends. Notice if you’re eating a lot of processed sugars, high carb, or low protein. You may find that you are eating on the go fairly often, or eating mindlessly when you’re bored. When this happens, try to come up with some action steps, like meal prepping, to save some time and better manage the type of food you’re eating.

Food Journaling benefits

Enhance your ability to evaluate your hunger and mood before and after you eat by keeping a food journal. You’ll find an increased sense of accountability in your diet and portion control. When you’re actively making decisions, and thinking of your food habits critically, the chances of unhealthy habits significantly decrease. A food journal can assist in weight loss, finding food intolerances, and accountability in your diet.

There are plenty of different methods to track food habits, but a study done by the PEW Research Center noted benefits from the 50% of people tracking their notes on paper. Using the simple food log printable shown below, with some consistency, you’ll be on your way to creating a happy and healthy lifestyle. Think about keeping your journal somewhere you’ll see it often. Consider posting it on your refrigerator or tape it to one of your kitchen cabinets.

Daily Food Log Printable


How to Start a Food Journal Author Bio:

Jessica BakerJessica Baker is a Junior Content Marketing Specialist who enjoys generating traffic via quality content for her clients. When she’s not in the office, you can find her enjoying nature or reading novels.

You can see more of Jessica’s work at Kitchen Cabinet Kings. Please let Jessica know if you have any questions about journaling…

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15 thoughts

  1. Thank you Jessica for a well-researched, informative and useful article. Best of luck at Kitchen Cabinet Kings – I had grey cabinets installed about a year ago and I love ’em! Thank you again!

    1. Yes, I think Jessica did a great job too. And if you follow the download link to her full infographic, you’ll see the full extent of her efforts. She did a great job – and now I’m thinking of starting my journal again! :)

    1. Thanks Jeofrey, I’m glad you like Jessica’s article and hope you start journaling, it really is a roadmap to success – whether it be for good nutrition or to curb eating. Mindfulness is success. And thanks for visiting with us Jeofrey!

    1. Thanks AOC! We thought Jessica did an outstanding job on this good work. If you have a chance to see her full article, it’s great! And we hope this is both informational and helpful to you. Thanks for taking time out of all your creativity over at AOC to visit with us!

  2. Absolutely! Your collaboration is awesome! Journaling for benefits is definitely a plus, because, at any age, specific food groups can strengthen the immune system and contribute to hormone sustenance and deficiencies. Journaling the miracles in diet change as a senior or weight strategist can bring about many remarkable documentations. And too, these collective works are the beginning of a book write. 💕❤️

    1. What a wonderful observation, we do welcome stories of how these changes in diet have helped others. There are documented stories of how journaling has made people more aware of actually how much they consume. And estimating the calories consumed can be very motivational. It can lead to understanding the contributing factors to weight gain. It is very true that abs are made in the kitchen, meaning that food is extremely important to our overall health. We would love to hear stories to this affect. ❤️❤️

    1. Thank you Carol – we appreciate you stopping by and so glad that you found some good ideas from Jessica as well. I’m sure she’s thrilled. I hope you are doing well my friend! :)

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