How to Keep a Food Journal

The number one complaint about keeping a food journal is that it is too much work for your busy schedule or that it makes you think more about food. Both of these are probably true. In the beginning, however, driving a car was a lot of effort. Eventually it became second nature and now you can probably drive while eating. By using either of these tools you can also update your food journal while in your car. (not while driving of course )

Keeping a food journal will help you improve your eating habits. No doubt about it. You can’t manage what you can’t measure. It is an old management adage that is just as meaningful to your weight control. Unless you measure something you don’t know if it is getting better or worse. If we are going to be able to help you with your weight management, we need to be able to see what you are eating and when you are eating it. SO.. we are going to do this thing, let’s make it as easy and fun as possible.

There are various apps on-line that regulate your fitness and food journal. They typically let you track what you eat with a few clicks – almost no data entry and record your workouts in minutes. Some examples are FitBit, MyNetDiary, Livestrong, MyFitnessPal, etc.

TweetWhatYouEat  is another on-line food journal – stripped down to the bare necessities.  If you use Twitter, this is incredibly easy to use.  You sign up with the service and then, using your Twitter account, send a direct message every time  you eat something.   Like this:

DM TWYE 2 eggs, spinach, olive oil

That’s it.  When you go to your TWYE diary, you will see a list of everything you entered.  The calorie counts are “crowdsourced”,  meaning that other users have given “2 eggs” a calorie count and TWYE uses that in your calculation.  If you don’t like the calorie count they used you can edit it.   TweetWhatYouEat gives you a total for the day.

You can use either of these services to send  food logs to your nutrition clinicians, or merely just for self accountability.

If you use Twitter, feel free to follow me on Twitter for our latest tips @ilanakatz.  I try to post neat stuff to share with  Twitter friends frequently.  Or of course Facebook too “Optimal Nutrition for Life – by Ilana”.