Maybe you are the world’s least organised person and need the support of something tangible to keep you on track (sounds like me!). Or perhaps you enjoy being fully prepared. No matter what type of person you are, food diaries can make all the difference to your success.
Why you need food diaries
You could probably find lots of benefits from the use of a food diary found easily online. If you, like me, struggle to stay focused when shopping online, always darting off to some other suggested product, then stick to my guide. It’ll help you save time and money!
Using a food diary along with a meal plan gives you the best chance at success in your weight loss journey.
To help you stay on track, there are a few things you ought to do and utilising a food diary can help. If you follow Slimming World they can help you record what you have had for your healthy extra a choices and healthy extra b choice. For other diets, you may record glasses of water, calories, carbs or points. Equally, if you are not losing weight as quickly as you would like you can look back and see whether you have had as many vegetables as you should have.
You are welcome to download my free printables in my freebies menu. If you prefer to buy a physical one then read on for my top suggestions.
At the end of each week or even a little before then, sit down and decide which meals you will have throughout the coming week. I used to make the mistake of only planning the evening meals.
However, in essence, these are the least tricky. I soon realised that it is my lunches that I really needed to think more carefully about and, since doing so, sticking to my diet has been much easier.
It’s common to have a week or two now and again when you don’t lose weight. For some of us, this might signal the beginning of a plunge into terrible eating habits again, convinced that weight loss isn’t for us.
However, this self-sabotaging behaviour is not what is needed. Instead of only measuring weight loss, look at measuring parts of your body like your waist and hips.
Often, you will see changes there that are not immediately noticeable to your eye, but the tape measure will show it. This is a measure of your progress just as much as that number on the scales.
Keeping track of your goals is really important
If you need a little help with keeping on track of your weight loss then this freebie could make all the difference. Simply sign up to receive it by email and use it to help you stay motivated.
It isn’t simply our food that we need to keep a close eye on, but also our water intake and the number of steps we do per day.
You may spot a pattern. For example, Wednesdays might be a low-step count day. In that case, factor in a walk at lunchtime, perhaps, or walk to work on that day.
Need help drinking more?
Do you need more help and motivation to keep you drinking water throughout the day? This water tracker could keep you on track easily. Sign up to download the free tracker.
Starting a diet or getting back on plan
If you are looking to start a diet, or even kickstart a diet you already follow, then a fresh start can be just what you need. Check how many syns (approx) are in your favourites or how many calories if you follow another plan so you can regain control.
Meal planning can make a big difference so why not grab a notebook and plan this week’s meals. I recommend Musclefood for low-cost meats to keep you on track too.
5 amazing food diaries and food planners
Here are my favourite food diaries. Have a look and see which one would work best for you.
This journal impressed me on first viewing as it looks so simple and elegant. In fact, at first glance, there is no reason why anyone would assume it was for tracking food for dieting purposes. There are three different cover designs available to choose from: fruit medley, orange blossom, and sage.
This journal is perfect for tracking three months of your SW journey. There are pages for tracking your meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks), keeping a record of your body measurements and for sharing your weekly reflections.
Overall, this journal is reasonably priced, simple and attractive.
We all need a good telling off every now and then, don’t we? Well, this planner’s front cover will do that every single time you see it.
If you are notoriously bad for staying on plan, straying despite seeing good losses when you do follow it religiously, then this could be the perfect thing for you.
This is a 12-week planner which is available as a spiral book or simply inserts. There is space to do a weekly meal plan, a shopping list (split into various categories), and some undated pages to keep track of your eating.
It also has 15 stars to cross off or tick for treats or syns, plus similar for your recommended eight glasses of water per day. This is a perfect Slimming World food diary if you struggle to keep on track with syns!
Additionally, there is space for you to record your weekly weigh-in, starting weight vs target weight, and a visual for your overall weight loss.
This is perhaps the most versatile of the Slimming World food diary ideas I’m bringing you today. There are a wealth of different front covers to choose from in addition to having the option of tabs along the side to help you find each section more efficiently.
I am in love with this Slimming World compatible planner. It’s attractive, simple to use and packed with useful pages. The undated pages have space to write the date, your healthy A and B choices, your food choices and any other notes.
What’s more, you can also easily keep track of your daily steps by writing them in the space provided, as well as your water and caffeine intake, sleep, mood and the number of syns you have used.
We all have weeks where things don’t quite go to plan, don’t we? The weekly reflection page is a great addition. Thinking about what went wrong each week and reflecting on how we could have done things differently is essential to progress.
However, we shouldn’t be afraid to celebrate those weeks where we know what went well. Looking back and seeing our successes can help to motivate us and adapt our habits to continue to feel better about ourselves.
When life gives you lemons food diary
This weight loss and wellness diary is perhaps the most colourful of them all. I was immediately drawn to the ‘when life hands you lemons, ask for tequila and salt’ slogan on the front, which made me smile. If that doesn’t float your boat though, there are other covers available.
This food diary contains seven weeks’ worth of pages, which might seem a little small. However, I thought about it for a long time and actually, sometimes seeing our journey in shorter segments can be more beneficial.
Motivation can be greater when we see ourselves succeeding over time. The undated daily pages are so attractive, offering space to write down each food eaten as part of the morning, midday, evening meals and snacks. The healthy progress bars include water intake, sleep, five a day and exercise (length of time).
There are also pages dedicated to your progress and it comes with free stickers which are perfect for a stationery addict like me! You’ll also find inspirational words littered throughout the diary to keep you motivated.
Ok, so strictly speaking this isn’t really a food diary. However, I think everyone would agree that the mind and body are so closely linked, that this could be perfect for getting everything in your life on track.
It comprises weekly overviews, space for to-do lists, feel-good lists and even a gratitude journal.
This planner is a gorgeous rose gold colour, although you can choose from a range of other shades and designs. The pages are undated, meaning that you can start it at any time of the year so there’s no need to wait until January. Journaling is picking up speed in terms of positive psychology and having an attitude of gratitude. This could be the perfect way for you to start.
This diary is a little pricey compared to the other options. Having said that, many of the reviews claim that this has supported them to turn their lives around and helped them to manifest the things they really want.
How about meal boxes?
Have you considered recipe boxes to get healthy food delivered with recipes so you can make easy meals?
If you fancy trying them I have some offers for you.
Green Chef is the recipe box that makes healthy eating fun and enjoyable. With five delicious, nutritionist-approved options each week, you can stick to one preference or mix and match to discover what works best for you.
If you fancy trying GreenChef for vegan, vegetarian, keto, low carb or balanced meals then you can get 30% off your first box and 15% off the next 3 with my code GCAVERAGEJEN on the GreenChef website.
Free gifts for you
Are you struggling to exercise, lose weight or feel good about yourself? The free resources and support programmes I have to help you might be just what you need! Check them out by clicking the image below!