A food diary is a useful tool in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Food diaries are also known as food logs or journals. Many people who have illnesses such as diabetes are often required to keep a food journal by their doctors. The log is a simple, matter of fact method to keep track of your food and drink intake. No matter what the reason for keeping a food log, the process is made easier by using food log templates, or food diary templates.
The Purpose for Keeping a Food Diary
The purpose of keeping a food diary is keep track of your nutrient intake. As strange as it may seem, many people actually don’t know what it is they consume throughout the day. We are a society of nibblers and snackers, a chip here, a little piece of cookie there, consume and repeat. However, once you start to write down what it is you are nibbling, you can get a rude awakening. The truth is, that for many people who keep their food journal, they are surprised that they actually ate as much as they wrote down. You see, with our ‘grazing’ or constant nibbling, we can actually consume a huge amount of food without even realizing it.
How To Make A Food Diary/Log
Food diaries are not complex to create. The main consideration is to make your diary to fit the reason, or purpose for keeping the diary. For example, if you are doing it to maintain weight, all you will need are columns for the food, time of day or calories. If you are keeping the food diary for the purpose of managing food allergies or moods, then you’ll need additional columns for the purpose of recording how you felt, or any allergic reaction. You can use either a simple spiral notebook or a software program.
If you choose to make your own food journal by using a program you’ll need either a word or spreadsheet program. Simply begin by opening up a your chosen software program. Below, we have included the steps to make a basic food diary using a spreadsheet program such as Excel. However, if you prefer, you can also make a food diary with your word processing program.
- Make a header on the top of your spread sheet with date and day.
- Type “Foods Consumed”, “Amount”, and “Time” (plus whatever you need to personalize it) on the top row.
- The far left vertical column simply type the times of the day, such as 7 am, 8 am, 9 am, etc.
- You will need to save this as a template document. Use as often as you need.
Our Food Diary/Log Templates
Our food diary/log templates are convenient to use and available for download on our website. All of our food log templates have been professionally designed, and are customizable with either Microsoft Excel or Microsoft Word. Simply download the chosen food diary template to your computer. Next, you may customize it, and either use it to food keep records via your PC, or save and print out hard copies to keep in a notebook to carry with you. We guarantee that you will find that our food log templates are a convenient, easy to use, and cost efficient solution that will become an invaluable tool in maintaining your overall health and wellness that you will use again and again.
Food Diary Templates (for Microsoft Word)
Basic Daily Food Diary Sheet
Sample Food Diary Template
Food Diary Template to Log Calories & Fat
Weekly Food Diary Template
Food Diary with Daily Mood Log
Food Diary Templates for Excel
Food Journal Template for Excel
Weekly Detailed Food Log Sheet for Excel
Cal Fat Log Sheet Template
Food Macros Log Template for Excel
Weekly Food Log Sheet Excel
Daily Food Journal Templates & Samples
Sample Weekly Food Journal
Food Journal to Record Fat, Cal, Carbs
Blank Food Journal Template for Word
Food Log Templates
Personal Daily Food Log Template
Weekly Food Log Template
The Benefits of Keeping a Food Diary
A very important, and often overlooked reason to keep a food log, is to manage your health concerns. These health concerns not only refer to what illnesses you may currently have, such as diabetes, but also assist in stemming the onslaught of any genetic illnesses that run in your family. Epigenetics is the study of how the environment affects our genetic makeup, and our overall health.
Some researchers contend that the phytonutrients in fruits and vegetables can have a positive effect in slowing up family related diseases or perhaps stopping them completely, by turning some genes off and others on. For instance, some research suggests that consuming tumeric, soy, green tea and even red wine may have the ability to on cancer fighting genes. This means that individuals who have a running history of cancer in their family may benefit from adding these foods to their diet as much as possible. While our explanation of the effects of epigenetics is simplistic, it bears consideration, so feel free to search online as well as contact your doctor.
In this case food is medicine, and keeping a food diary assists you in keeping track of the foods which you are eating, and what foods you need to add, and how often. For example, an individual who has a family history of cancer, might keep a journal and realize that they hardly eat any cancer fighting foods. As a result, they can now work to systematically add fruits and vegetables to their meals. Be sure to take this food journal with you to the super market to remind yourself which foods to add to increase your overall wellness.
Once you take an honest look at what it is you do eat, and when you eat it, you can begin to analyze your food intake habits. The food journal allows you to take stock of your pattern so you can break it and begin a newer, more healthier one. For instance, say you get up in the morning, and just have a cup of coffee and muffin. By 10 am you are getting hungry, so grab a Kit Kat from the vending machine. By lunch time, you are starving, so decide to each a huge lunch. You can see by this, that you are actually hurting yourself by having a small breakfast, in that you get so hungry later on, you end up consuming a large amount of food. So by keeping a food journal, you are learning what foods to cut, and what eating patterns need to be changed.
After you have gotten a hold of your eating patterns, and realized how much junk food and nibbling you were actually doing, you can use your food journal to plan your meals. If you noticed that you ate small breakfasts, then ate junk later on to make up for it, you can now plan your meals so this does not happen. You can plan a menu which includes a large, healthy breakfast.
What You Need
Becoming familiar with the Recommended Daily Allowance of basic nutrients, and comparing that to your food journal can really tell you a lot about the true state of your health. Perhaps when you look at your journal, you notice that you are not getting enough green vegetables or fruits. Perhaps you need more B vitamins in your diet, or more sources of magnesium. Once you notice this, you can look up what fruits and vegetables have these nutrients and add them to your meals.
Food allergies affect hundreds of thousands of people across the world. These allergies can manifest themselves as asthma attacks, rashes, headaches, mood swings, or gastrointestinal discomfort. In order to find out which food is the culprit, it is necessary to keep a food diary. By keeping the food diary, you will write down what you have just eaten, and record the effect. This way, you are sure to narrow down the foods that are causing you distress. Sometimes, it may not be a food, but an ingredient, such as a food dye.
This is a surprising one for many people, but food journals are often used to regulate an individuals moods. The foods we eat have a direct effect on how we feel, more so day with the addition of chemical additives. Some foods will make you sleepy, some may make you jittery, while others may make you cranky. Keeping a food journal lets you keep track of what you ate, and how you felt afterwards. In the case of managing moods, you’d not only record the food you ate, but also how it made you feel afterward. There are people who have no idea the MSG gives them headaches, but if they keep a food journal and notice that whenever they eat a food that has MSG in it, they get a headache, they have solved a huge issue in their life: No MSG means no migraine.