Life Skills

Daily Food Journal

Spiral notebook with tape measure, pen and fruit

A food diary is a very effective tool, because you can use it to help you determine if your current eating habits are healthy. A food diary will help you understand where your diet goes wrong and can reveal your calorie intake, so you know if you are getting too many or too few calories.

It can also help you know if you are getting enough fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy proteins each day and help you keep your carb-fat-protein ratios in healthy proportions.

For people suffering from chronic illnesses like fibromyalgia or migraines, it is a useful tool in identifying what some of the trigger foods may be.  Used in conjunction with an elimination diet (a 2-3 week eating program where you remove common trigger food groups from your diet and slowly start to add them back in again), food journals can be a powerful tool for preventing or controlling flare ups.

Journal tips

  • Commit to writing in your journal every day and reflect on what you may have learned that day.  Write down times to help you figure out any habits (such as when you ate or how long you were active).  Try to keep your journal with you at all times, so you can write things down before you forget.  In case you don't have your journal with you, write a note and add it later.

Taking it all in

  • Write down what you eat and drink each day, starting when you wake up and ending when you go to bed.
  • Try to include how much you ate (portion sizes). If you're not sure, estimate. This will help you get an idea how much you eat each day.
  • Jot down symptoms, thoughts and feelings for each entry to help you see why you make certain choices.
  • To understand why you want to eat (hunger, mood, routine, etc.), ask yourself, "Am I truly hungry?" and take note of this in your journal.

Taking it in stride

  • Write down your physical activity each day– include what kind of things you did and how much time you spent doing them (like running or walking for 30 minutes).
  • Be sure to include everyday activities, such as doing household chores and walking the dog.

Taking care of your whole self

  • Jot down anything that may reflect how you feel each day.
  • Be sure to include hobbies and time spent with others.

Food for thought

  • For each day, write down what comes to mind—any goals, insights or questions you may have.
  • Include questions and concerns you want to discuss with your family doctor at your next visit.


Disclaimer:  The information contained within this site is intended for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be medical advice. The information presented is based on my own personal experience with my own unique set of medical conditions. EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT. What works for me could be catastrophic for you. Consult your medical team for treatment options suitable for you.
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