How to Boost Results with a 7-Day Food Diary

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According to a new study, keeping a food diary can double a person’s weight loss efforts. Here’s a 7-day sample food diary that shows how keeping a journal can reveal off-plan eating and sabotaging habits.

Accountability with Food Diary Reflections

Just as important, daily reflections help fix bad habits.

Accountability is a game-changer for crushing your goals.

Unhealthy food choices like desserts, cans of soda, and/or bags of chips can wreak havoc on your health goals.

Eating healthy doesn’t require perfection, but daily deviations can easily turn into a downward spiral that takes you completely off track.

Discovering when and how you’re undermining your health goals is important information for making healthier choices and living your best life.

Let’s see what happens when this highly effective accountability tool is added to a week. Watch how reflecting on results helps better decision making going forward.

Tips and motivation to stay on track with your diet are sprinkled throughout.

7-Day Sample Food Diary Goals:

  • Eat clean – whole foods with little to no processing.
  • Drink 8 cups of water a day.
  • Take daily supplements.
  • Improve food choices with accountability and reflection.
  • Overcome obstacles that slow progress. There are plenty of obstacles ahead!
Food Diary SampleEat clean and lose weight

Sample Food Diary: Day 1

Morning:

Motivation is high. The day starts at 5:30 am with 2 cups of water.

Front-load water – Drinking 4 cups of water before noon gives you a better chance of drinking all 8 cups by the end of the day.

7:30 am – Breakfast: Green-drink-in-a-bag.

20 minutes of prep time makes 7 bags of green drink. That’s 4 convenient cups of veggies for each day of the week.

8 am – 2 more cups of water and hot cocoa cravings go away.

Afternoon:

1 pm – Lunch: spinach, cucumber, and tuna salad with homemade mayonnaise.

2 more cups of water with herbal cherry tea for flavoring.

After lunch, something sweet sounds good. I think about baking an individual sugar-free cake, but it sounds too heavy and the journal has me thinking of something a little less decadent.

A large ice coffee with a few drops of stevia and a cup of coconut milk hits the spot.

The journal helps keep me on track before dinner, while hubby snacks on chips and salsa.

Evening:

While waiting for some chicken to grill, I’m famished. Tablespoon by tablespoon I eat hot steaming jasmine rice that has come fresh out of the oven.

Normally, I would eat grilled chicken over lettuce.

Letting hunger levels get too high can derail your best intentions.

7 pm – Dinner: rice, grilled chicken tenders, basil, and tomatillo salsa.

A food diary helps you eat mindfully.

Even with the rice binge, there were many times I was about to grab a bite of something, and instead, the journal had me waiting for the next meal.

Over the next two days, I justify the rice as a whole food.

Unfortunately, white jasmine rice is a simple carbohydrate, and once eaten, the body turns it into sugar quickly. A complex carb like yams or a carrot salad would have been a better choice and just as fulfilling.

Food Journal Reflections:

  • Even with front-loading, I still fell short of 8 cups of water. Tomorrow, I’ll use my secret weapon for getting in all 8 cups.
  • Waiting until you’re famished is a pitfall.
  • Have healthy snacks available for those times when you’re really hungry and need something to tide you over to the next meal.
  • Eat enough food so you don’t end up binging towards the end of the day.

Watch out for the rubber band effect. When you pull a rubber band too tight it breaks and snaps back at you. Likewise, stretching your eating times too far apart can result in overeating.

Boost Results with 7 Day Food Journal

Sample Food Diary: Day 2

Morning:

Caffeine is on the menu first thing this morning after a bad night’s sleep.

6 am – 2 cups of water and hot cocoa with coffee

Hot cocoa: 2 cups hot water, 2 Tbl. of Cocoa powder, and a dash of sea salt.

7 am – Breakfast: Egg and veggie scramble with coffee and coconut milk over ice.

Egg and Veggie Scramble: 1-2 eggs, feta cheese, chive, mushrooms, spinach, hatch chili, and a spoonful of salsa. Sautee veggies then set aside. Scramble eggs and add a sprinkle of feta before eggs are fully cooked. Add veggies back into fry pan with eggs. Serve with a dollop of salsa.

Returning my plate to the kitchen, I grab a bite of grilled chicken from last night.

2 days later…

Why is it a struggle to keep a food diary?

Day one, I am mindful of every bite.

Day two starts off strong, but life happens and happens. In the middle of day 3, I realize if I don’t put everything aside and record the last 24 hrs, I won’t be able to remember it all. Day 2 is already getting fuzzy.

Food Journal Reflections:

  • Keep it simple. Journal in a note app that’s easily accessible.
  • Setting alarms on your phone as a reminder to record your latest meals is extremely helpful.

Sample Food Diary: Day 2 – Revisited

Afternoon:

2 pm – Lunch: I’ve run out of time for making and eating a real lunch. A quickly blended green drink with a scoop of collagen to increase protein content is better than fast food.

4 pm – 2 cups of water

Evening:

6:30 pm – Snack: After picking up pizza and groceries for dinner, I drink 2 more cups of water and eat a Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew Kind bar.

Some Kind bars are low in sugar and high in fiber making them a fairly healthy quick snack

Unfortunately, I didn’t read the label until after I ate the bar. With 22 total grams of carbohydrates and 11 grams of sugar, it’s closer to a healthy candy bar than a healthy snack.

7 pm – 2 cups of water and supplements.

7:30 pm – Dinner: Jasmine rice and grilled chicken with fresh basil re-heated instead of pizza.

9 pm – Dessert: Cherry soda water over frozen berries blended with bee pollen on top.

Food Journal Reflections:

  • Check the nutrition label on packaged foods before buying them.
  • A semi-unhealthy snack can be useful for making it to your next meal. Be flexible.
  • Having pre-prepped food or leftovers to eat on days when you’re pressed for time can save the day.
Begin again: 7 Day Food Diary Sample

Sample Food Diary: Day 3

Morning:

I wake up well-rested and not feeling hungry. I decide to water fast until I feel hungry or until noon, whichever comes first.

5:30 am – 2 cups of water.

8 am – 2 cups of water.

10 am – 2 cups of water

Afternoon:

Noon – Lunch: It’s a rush again, I didn’t make time for a healthy fast-breaking meal.

While cleaning the kitchen, I whip up a green drink from my preassembled bags, eat a kippered herring fillet, 4 sundried tomato halves, the last bite of grilled chicken, and make a sugar-free iced coffee mocha to-go with a scoop of peanut butter powder.

After eating, I feel sick.

By the end of the day, I am exhausted.

Intermittent fasting is great, but not like that.

3:30 pm – 2 cups of water.

Evening:

6 pm – Snack: 1/4 C roasted and salted almonds, 1/4 C red grapes, and 5 chips with salsa.

7:30 pm – Dinner: Steak and eggs with veggies and avocado for dinner.

8:30 pm – 1 cup of water with cherry herbal tea.

Food Journal Reflections:

  • Having a healthy meal planned for when you break-a-fast means you get the full benefit of the fast.
  • Make a plan for lunch in the morning and add the prep and eating time to your schedule.
  • Take at least 10 min to sit down and enjoy your meal for healthy digestion.
  • Light snacks help you make it to your next meal and keep you from overeating.
7 Day Food Diary Sample

Sample Food Diary: Day 4

Morning:

7 am – 2 cups of water.

8:30 am – Breakfast: Large cup of ice coffee with almond milk and a bowl of oatmeal.

9 am – 2 cups of water.

Afternoon:

12:30 pm – Lunch: Steak and egg with veggies and avocado.

While recording lunch, I remember to take my supplements and make a green drink for later.

3 pm – 4 C of water.

Evening:

5 pm – Snack: 2 C of green drink. I don’t feel like drinking this but talk myself into it by remembering the journal and compromising down to 2 cups instead of 4

To save green drinks for later, fill your container to the very top with your juice. Now, place the lid on so there is little to no air inside the container. This reduces oxidation and helps your green drink last up to 24 hrs.

7 pm – Dinner: Sushi, plum, and mineral water.

Food Diary Reflections:

  • Being mindful of food intake can cause you to eat less than you normally would. Make sure the meals you eat are nutrient-dense. Otherwise, you may trigger a binge.
  • Caffeine cuts your appetite, but too much is bad for your adrenal system and can increase cortisol. Which in turn, increases fat accumulation around the midsection.

Sample Food Diary: Day 5

Morning:

6 am – 2 cups of water

7 am – a large cup of iced coffee and almond milk.

8 am – Breakfast: Egg and veggie scramble.

Afternoon:

2 pm – Lunch: 5 flour-free crepes filled with shredded chicken and homemade dairy-free dressing. 2 cups of leftover green drink and supplements.

Flourless crepes: 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon melted butter, 1 tablespoon water, 1/4 cup of potato starch, 1 teaspoon almond flour, and 1 teaspoon sea salt.

Blend and spread 2 tablespoons around the bottom of a small fry pan on medium heat. Flip after about 30 seconds. Eat plain or add fillings.

4 pm – 2 cups of water.

Evening:

5 pm – Snack: 15 almonds and a nectarine.

Normally, being hungry and having a whole bag of almonds would have tempted me to eat at least half of the bag. But again, the food journal encourages a smart decision.

6 pm – 2 C of water.

7:30 pm – Dinner: Large steak and bean salad with avocado and salsa. 4 cups of water.

9 pm – My son comes home with a clear plastic container of fudge brownies topped with cream cheese.

The Debate Begins:

Nooooo! I immediately tell him to keep them away from me because I am trying to eat healthily.

Brownies in the house and I am watching a baking reality show with mouthwatering desserts.

When my thoughts turn to, “Just one bite” and “You know you will eat more than one bite.” I jump up and make 2 tablespoons of sugar-free and grain-free raw brownie mix, then throw in some frozen berries.

It’s enough to keep me on track and away from the highly processed, extremely tempting brownies.

Food Journal Reflections:

  • After almost missing supplements again, they get moved to the counter so they’re easier to take with lunch every day. A good example of small habit building.
  • Taking only what you want to eat out of a full bag of snack food and then placing the rest out of reach, helps with portion control.
  • When a strong temptation strikes, search for a healthy alternative quickly!
7 Day Food Diary Sample

Sample Food Diary: Day 6

I am looking forward to day 8 when I’ll stop keeping track of what I eat. There is pressure to keeping track of every bite.

The pressure is getting a little uncomfortable, but I haven’t had a week where I’ve eaten relatively clean all week in a long while.

Morning:

9 am – Breakfast: Short on time, I throw together a 4 C green drink and a coffee with almond milk to-go after drinking 2 cups of water.

11 am – 3 C Water

Afternoon:

Noon – Lunch: Steak, egg, and veggie scramble and flavored sparkling water. Supplements and 2 c water.

3 pm – Snack: Frozen berries topped with sugar-free chocolate sauce.

Sugar-free Chocolate Sauce: 1 tablespoon of coconut oil mixed with a heaping teaspoon of chocolate cocoa powder, a pinch of salt, and 2 drops of liquid stevia.

Mix and then poured over frozen fruit.

This makes the most delightful hard chocolate crunch layer.

4 pm – 2 cups of water

After helping my friend paint her room, she rewards us with her last two pieces of candy – chocolate and caramel over salted macadamia nuts!

They aren’t very big and I don’t think twice about taking it until it’s in my hand and I remember my food diary.

I decide to enjoy this shared treat and savor every little bite.

Evening:

6:30 – soda water

8:30 – Dinner: Corn on the cob smothered in butter, a bunless bacon cheeseburger with caramelized onions and barbeque sauce. The barbeque sauce has some sugar in it, but not too much.

Food Journal Reflections:

  • Keeping a short term food journal to help you pinpoint where you’re going of track and keeping food choices on target is helpful. If it causes too much pressure, take a day off.
  • Once you have some clean eating days deposited into your health bank account, you naturally start making healthier choices. You start to crave less junk food and temptations are just a little less tempting. This allows you space to make better choices for your health. Health builds on itself.
  • It’s the constant exceptions that keep you off track with health.

Sample Food Diary: Day 7

The next day, I wake up to sugar cravings. Could that one candy and bbq sauce have caused this?

Morning:

7 am – 4 C of water.

8 am – Breakfast: Half of an orange, a reheated bacon cheeseburger with red bell pepper, chives, and salsa.

9 am – Snack: A piece of bacon and two slices of cheese.

10 am – Snack: Healthy banana split.

Healthy Banana Split: slice a whole banana and sprinkle with cocoa powder, a pinch of salt, walnuts, and coconut shreds.

11 am – Snack: 2 cherry tomatoes, hot cocoa with a splash of coffee and almond milk.

Afternoon:

Noon – Lunch: 2 C of water, a handful of almonds, leftover bacon and onions.

Evening:

5 pm – while watching the baking show (this might be a bad habit) I have a craving for caramel. Instead, I realize, I’m just hungry for dinner or a snack.

Snack: Apple slices and peanut butter.

7 pm – Dinner: Taco salad and 2 cups of lemon water

Food Journal Reflections:

  • Accountability is HUGE!
    • The food journal made me investigate what wasn’t working and how to fix it.
    • So many times this week, I would have eaten overly processed foods, skipped green drinks, and cups of water if it hadn’t been for the food journal.
  • While accountability is important if you feel pressure to take a break, take it. Eat a lot of highly nutritious food without keeping track and have planned snacks and a healthy dessert.
  • Being too strict with food can cause binge eating. Make sure you eat enough and make room for healthy indulgences so you don’t feel deprived.

Eating clean, staying hydrated, eating your veggies, taking supplements, and exercising are proven ways to stay healthy and feel good. Your mood elevates. The mind feels clearer and more positive. And you build confidence in your ability to make healthy food choices.

A food diary is an important key to unlocking your healthiest diet and life.

Weight loss is a side effect of healthy living which makes healthy ways – shapely ways.

Do you keep a food journal? Have you ever tried and struggled to stay consistent? What helps you stay consistent and accountable with your health? Please share your thoughts or questions in the comments below.

Thank you for being here and chatting with me about all things health. Health journeys are made more fun when shared, so be sure to leave a comment below. ❤️

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April

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