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As the New Year rolls in, most of us are likely renewing our commitment to take good care of our health. One way to stay on track of health goals is by having a food journaling habit.
A food journal is a useful tool for improving your health. It is a tool you can use to track what you eat at every meal. Keeping a food diary allows you to:
The following guide questions can help make food journaling accurate and successful:
1. What did I eat? – You can write down the types of food you’ve eaten in a meal, and the beverages you’ve consumed. You may also include the kind of food preparation (fried, broiled, etc.) and the condiments used, if any.
2. How much have I eaten? – Record the amount of food you’ve consumed in the measurement system you’re familiar with (e.g., cups, ounces, tablespoons). For extra accuracy, weighing your food before consuming it is a good practice.
3. When did I eat? – Logging the time when you ate is helpful if you’re keeping track of your eating habits. For example, if midnight snacks are a constant part of your bedtime routine, this may be causing problems for your weight-loss goals.
Side bar: One simple health habit you can build is to drink this superfood green drink, which gives you a boost of energy and supplies your body with the nutrients it needs to get through the day. (You can also read the review of it here.)
To help get you started, here are 37 food journal templates you can use as samples to draw inspiration and motivation for your own food diary.
(Side note: One of the best ways to get what you want from life is to create and set SMART goals. To get started, check out this FREE printable worksheet and a step-by-step process that will help you set effective SMART goals.)
What You Will Learn
- 1. American Heart Association's Food Diary Template
- RELATED: 11 Morning Health Habits to Lose Weight
- 2. Printable Daily Food Log
- 3. Monthly Food Tracker
- 4. Floral Food and Water Tracker
- 5. My Food Diary
- 6. Food Diary
- 7. Harvard Medical School Sample of Filled Out Food Diary
- 8. Food and Fitness Journal
- 9. Weekly Food Journal
- 10. My Nutrition
- 11. She Knows Food Diary
- 12. Cute Meal Tracker
- 13. Minimalist Meal Tracker
- 14. Mindful Eating Journal
- 15. Food/Exercise Journal
- 16. Kids’ Daily Food Diary
- 17. Daily Food and Activity Diary
- 18. Healthy Eating Food Diary
- 19. Food Journal for Allergies (Template with Sample)
- 20. JHM Food Log
- 21. 3-Day Food and Activity Journal
- 22. Daily Food Record
- 23. Weekly Meals Journal for Kids
- 24. Food Tracker
- 25. You Can Do It Food Journal
- 26. Food Journal in Blue
- 27. Pocket-Sized Food Journal
- 28. Pink Floral Food Journal
- 29. Daily Food Intake Tracker
- 30. Food Diary Ribboned
- 31. Weekly Food and Exercise Tracker
- 32. Food Diary and Nutrient Tracker
- 33. Cute Printable Meal Planner
- 34. What I Ate
- 35. Rainbow Theme Weekly Food Journal
- 36. Emotional Eating Tracker
- 37. Monday 2000 Food Journal
- I Have a Food Diary, Now What?
- In Conclusion
1. American Heart Association's Food Diary Template
This sample of a daily food diary requires users to list down the types and amount of food and beverages they consume for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. There are spaces for the calorie content of every item and the total calories consumed during that day, and a column for writing notes.
RELATED: 11 Morning Health Habits to Lose Weight
Want to build a morning routine to shed those extra pounds? Then watch this video to discover the 11 habits to lose weight and feel great:
2. Printable Daily Food Log
via Ketofy Me
This food log is designed for those doing the keto diet, or any low-carb diet where one needs to monitor ketone and glucose levels. The log has boxes that users can tick for the specific meals of the day when the food was consumed, or when one is doing an intermittent fast (and for how long).
The design comes in a soothing teal, and it also has a space that allows users to record the volume of their water, wine, and condiment consumption.
3. Monthly Food Tracker
This food tracker is ideal for those who want to keep a record of the types of food they are consuming. There are several reasons for doing this.
For some, it ensures that they are taking the right kinds for food—especially for someone who has a health condition that needs specific kinds of nutrients only available from certain food products. For others, it might be a way of tracking how much junk food they consume in a month, giving them accurate information on whether or not they need to cut back on chips or soda.
4. Floral Food and Water Tracker
One way of motivating yourself to stick to your food-tracking habits is by personalizing your food journal. This charming food tracker is one example of how you can customize a planner to include your food and water tracker, exercise log, and focus goals for the week.
Add quotes that truly resonate with you on your journey to health, and you will be in a better spot to reach your goals.
5. My Food Diary
The CDCP supports people in their efforts to embrace a healthy lifestyle. They have made a simple food diary with enough spaces for users to record their food intake for the whole week.
Each day of the week features a pastel color scheme, and has slots for you to write down or type in the food you’ve eaten for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There are also three slots for snacks for each day of the week. The diary is in PDF format and downloadable for free from their website.
6. Food Diary
via NHS Direct Wales
This food tracker contains a reminder for users to eat a balanced diet, as well as to eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables every day.
A healthy diet means getting the nutrients your body needs from the right kinds of food. Health experts and nutritionists agree that an average adult needs to get at least 2,000 calories each day in order to maintain their ideal weight. Nevertheless, your daily caloric needs will vary with lifestyle, age, and gender.
To eat a balanced diet, one has to get most of their calories from fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy proteins, and whole grains.
7. Harvard Medical School Sample of Filled Out Food Diary
With this food journal template, you are not only keeping track of your food intake, you are also encouraged to monitor things like where you ate, with whom you consumed the food, hunger levels, and your mood while you ate.
This template is ideal for those who want to determine their triggers for emotional eating.
8. Food and Fitness Journal
With this template, achieving your fitness goals becomes easier. There are spaces allocated for tracking the number of servings of every type of food you ate in a meal, as well as the total number of calories in the serving portions.
A calorie-counter app can help you get the accurate calorie count of any food.
9. Weekly Food Journal
This food journal has ample space for you to list all the types of foods consumed in a week, as well as a tracker for daily water intake. It has a charming design, and to further motivate you, there is an area to write down your motivational quote for the week.
The journal also has spaces reserved for your weekly measures and goals, as well as for the exercises (with duration and calories burned) you’ve done for every day of the week.
10. My Nutrition
This food diary is provided by Queensland Health to its constituents. It is designed to help you keep a record of your daily meals. The agency encourages users of this template to be as detailed as possible in food tracking. The template lets you record the specific amount of food consumed, the brand of food, condiments used, and your mood when the food was consumed. (If you need more information, here are some examples of nutrition SMART goals.)
11. She Knows Food Diary
via She Knows
The streamlined design of this food diary makes it very user-friendly. You can print this out and place it in a binder to take anywhere with you, or you can enlarge it and put it somewhere you can always see it to help you stay focused on your health goals.
When you’re tracking your food intake, it’s also a good idea to write down the events you’re attending, along with the meals that you ate during the events.
Food tracking is also helpful if you are monitoring your sodium, sugar, or cholesterol intake. Make it a habit to check food labels so you can record the most accurate numbers.
12. Cute Meal Tracker
If you love customizing your trackers, here is a sample for inspiration. This spread was created on a dot-grid notebook using printable stickers.
If you like this sample, you might want to check out the inspiring bullet journal layouts in this post.
13. Minimalist Meal Tracker
If you’re into lists, then this type of layout might be what you want. The creator lists all the food she’s eaten for the entire month, using single entries for every meal.
The creator of this layout didn’t record her beverages, but you can include that in your own minimalist food log.
14. Mindful Eating Journal
via Dr Pamela RD
It is helpful to integrate mindfulness into how you eat. In this way, you can develop a healthy relationship with food. Mindfulness eating paves the way to better health and a sound well-being.
The template above was developed by plant-based dietician Dr. Pamela Fergusson. In addition to recording what you eat each day, you are also encouraged to reflect on your thoughts and emotions about the meals you had, and to take note of distractions during mealtimes.
15. Food/Exercise Journal
via Skinny Taste
This food tracker template incorporates the Weight Watchers point system, letting the user know if he or she is staying within his or her allocated number of points to control/lose weight.
The Weight Watchers program has a point system where users are assigned a set number of points every day (based on their gender, age, height, and weight), which they can use to track what they eat.
The point system is generated by an algorithm that factors in a food item’s calorie, fat, sugar, and protein content to come up with a “SmartPoint” number.
16. Kids’ Daily Food Diary
via Templates 807
The CDC reports that, as of 2019, the obesity rate for children between 12 and 19 years old is at 20.6%. In other words, it’s best to start kids young when it comes to learning healthy lifestyle practices.
You can use this food tracker to help kids monitor the things they eat and encourage them to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into every meal, as well as to consume the recommended amount of water every day.
17. Daily Food and Activity Diary
This food journal helps you track your food intake and physical activities for the entire week.
Although there are several ways for you to lose weight, health care experts recommend a combination of a healthy diet and sufficient regular physical activity. At least 2.5 hours of moderately intense aerobic exercise each week is both beneficial and safe for most people.
18. Healthy Eating Food Diary
This food diary has a tracker for recommended servings of dairy, protein, grains, fruits, and vegetables. It encourages users to be mindful of varying their sources of nutrients, and to make sure that they are meeting their daily requirements.
19. Food Journal for Allergies (Template with Sample)
Knowing the triggers for your food allergies can help prevent a flare-up, and even save your life. A food journal is a good way to track all the food you consume in a day and monitor your reactions to anything you consume by mouth.
Notice that the user who created this template had a reaction after consuming leek and potato soup. Moreover, in this sample tracker, the user also listed some medications, as well as the time and reason for taking it.
If you have food sensitivities, it is also a good idea to include the ingredients of the foods you eat so you can pinpoint a particular item if a reaction occurs.
20. JHM Food Log
This food log is ideal for tracking your triggers for emotional eating. If you are working with a health care professional, you can present this record to see if there are any patterns that indicate emotional eating or other conditions that might be attributed to food.
21. 3-Day Food and Activity Journal
Three-day food diaries are valuable assessment tools for health care practitioners. They can reveal a lot about a person’s health status, habits, and tendencies. If your doctor requires you to keep a three-day food log, make sure to fill it in as accurately as possible. Write down the correct amount of food and beverages you consume, and make sure that you record the physical activities you do, and for how long.
22. Daily Food Record
This is a straightforward food tracker, but you can be as detailed as possible with the description of every food item you consume.
When you measure your food, do so right before placing it on your plate. Whenever possible, count the pieces of food (e.g., grapes, chicken nuggets, cherry tomatoes). Ideally, if you’re logging a dish, it is helpful to include a list of ingredients, along with their measurements. For added reference, you can include the brand name of any packaged food items, as well as the nutrition information found on most packaging.
23. Weekly Meals Journal for Kids
We’ve already mentioned that it’s better to help kids form healthy eating habits while they’re young. This food journal is another fun template that can help children track the food they eat. It includes suggestions for healthy food items they can try at every meal.
24. Food Tracker
Many people use food trackers for their weight-loss goals. The template above adds a fun and colorful touch to your food logging activities.
What goals can you use your food diary for? The most common uses include:
25. You Can Do It Food Journal
As with any habit, starting a food journal is often the most challenging part. Fortunately, this food tracker reminds you that “You can do it!”
Keeping a food journal for weight loss is easier if there is someone who can be your accountability partner. This person can be a friend, a family member, or your dietician—anyone who can provide the support and encouragement you need.
26. Food Journal in Blue
via The Project Girl
If you want a food diary that’s soothing on the eyes, then you might want to try this blue-themed template. It has boxes where you can write the food you ate for the main meals of the day, as well as three boxes reserved for snacks. It also comes with a water-intake tracker.
27. Pocket-Sized Food Journal
With this pocket-sized food tracker, it’s easier to keep tabs on the food you eat. Print it out and staple the pages together. It’s just the right size to take in your purse or wallet for easy access no matter where you go.
28. Pink Floral Food Journal
This printable template uses a predominantly pink-and-blue floral motif. It is ideal for weekly tracking.
For some users, keeping a food diary is one way of becoming more organized. Food journaling makes them more conscious of the food they prepare. Thus, they put more effort into the planning process to ensure that the items they log into their journals have healthy components in them.
29. Daily Food Intake Tracker
via Laa Loosh
This is another tracker that incorporates the Weight Watchers’ point system. It features a total target point, and there are columns for points used and the balance. There are also check boxes for tracking one’s intake of water, fruits and veggies, and dairy products.
30. Food Diary Ribboned
via 101 Planners
This food journal layout is designed for keeping track of your food intake for a week, as well as the exercise you do. The standout features of this template are the spaces provided to record the user’s weight at the start and at the end of the week, as well as the trackers for water intake and fruit and veggie consumption.
31. Weekly Food and Exercise Tracker
via 101 Planners
This food diary is a variation of #30. It has a minimalist design and spaces that let you track your daily water intake.
32. Food Diary and Nutrient Tracker
In addition to logging the food you consume, this template provides spaces for tracking the amount of fats, protein, carbs, and calories in every meal. Formulas for calculating the caloric content of food items are also provided.
This tracker was developed by health and nutrition coach Suzanne Hiscock, owner of FitWatch. Through her site, she has provided support for people’s health and fitness journeys.
33. Cute Printable Meal Planner
via Lovely Planner
If you’re looking for inspiration for a cute, minimalistic food tracker, then this template is worth checking out. It is a fairly straightforward template, bordered in candy sprinkles. It has room for you to record the three main meals of the day, as well as a single snack.
34. What I Ate
via Life With Me
If you are into the no-fuss approach of food tracking, then this minimalistic weekly food journal might appeal to you. You can track what you ate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as snacks. There is also a column dedicated to tracking the volume of water you drink each day.
35. Rainbow Theme Weekly Food Journal
If you prefer a festive theme for your food journal, you might consider adopting this template’s design. This tracker features a space for your weekly goals, statistics and notes, and motivational quotes to get you going.
36. Emotional Eating Tracker
Research studies, such as one done at the University of Liverpool, show that emotional eating is one of the coping mechanisms of people who experience obesity. A food journal can be helpful for emotional eating.
One has to use a different approach when keeping track of what he or she eats to check for patterns of emotional eating. Instead of counting calories or servings, the user should log moods, feelings before and after eating, stress levels, and hunger levels.
The template above has a notes column where you can write your observations about things related to your emotions while you’re having a meal. We suggest working with a professional who can provide expert guidance and support on the subject of emotional eating.
37. Monday 2000 Food Journal
Monday 2000 is a nationwide campaign for better health. It is based on the recommendation that the average adult needs 2000 calories per day to maintain an ideal weight.
The template above features columns for tracking calories, protein, fat, and carbs. The goal is to consume food items that add up to only 2000 calories (or below) for the whole day.
This campaign is usually done on a Monday to raise awareness about making healthier meal choices through the rest of the week.
I Have a Food Diary, Now What?
When you’ve successfully kept a food diary for at least a week, it’s time to review how you did in terms of food consumption, and to see if there is any pattern to it.
Do you tend to eat a lot of sweets when you’re feeling low? A food diary with a mood tracker can help you detect this tendency.
Are you eating enough fruits and vegetables?
Are you hitting your macros and micros while doing a keto diet?
Did you get off track from your whole-food, plant-based diet at a family picnic?
Your food journal can help provide the big picture. This information can help you make the right decisions and choose the best course of action to take when it comes to your overall health and well-being.
Furthermore, the information you log will be of great help to your dietician or nutritionist, allowing them to plot a course of treatment or support for your specific needs.
A food journal provides information about the food you eat, and can help you live a healthier life.
If it shows that there are areas to improve in your eating habits, you will be in a better position to enact the necessary changes.
But remember-as with any habit, keeping a food journal will only be successful if you do it consistently.
Can’t get enough of healthy habits? Check out this post featuring almost 200 healthy habits you can incorporate in your life this year.
Also, if you’re in need of inspiration for other habits to track aside from your food intake, you might want to head over to this post about 125 habit tracker ideas for your bullet journal or app.
Remember, consistency is the key!
Finally, if you want to take your goal-setting efforts to the next level, check out this FREE printable worksheet and a step-by-step process that will help you set effective SMART goals.