How to keep a food journal plus printable template


Screenshot of food journal. Click to enlarge.

In my earlier post I wrote about reasons for keeping a food journal.

In this post I’m going to explain how to keep a food journal and I also share a printable food journal template I created for myself. If you like it, you can upload it for yourself.

Basically, your food log can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make it. The only thing you need is a pencil and a piece of paper. Some people just jot down the foods  they ate and little else.

But if you want a deeper understanding of your eating patterns,  you need to keep a more detailed and informative food log. Before eating, you want to write down details like the date, time, your level of hunger, your thoughts and emotions and anything that is noteworthy about your situation.

Similarly, after eating you want to write down what foods you ate, how much you ate (optional), your level of satiation, your thoughts and emotions. You may also want to take note of what your body feels like after a meal– are you feeling sluggish, nauseated, energized etc.

My printable food journal template

I started keeping a very simple food diary using pen and a notebook, but now that I’ve established the habit I want to dig deeper. I created a printable food journal template that I could use to record my eating more systematically.

My food journal template is meant for recording one day’s worth of eating, so it has 6 slots for eating times. I think that is usually enough except I you a lot of grazing during the day. There are also fields to jot down the time, the normal-eating-coverlevel of hunger before and after eating plus a field for the food and field for recording your observations about your emotions, situation etc.

I also added a copy of the hunger scale from Sheryl Canter’s book: from Sheryl Canter’s book Normal Eating for Normal Weight: The Path to Freedom from Weight Obsession and Food Cravings. Nothing is my annoying than trying to learn to recognize your levels of hunger and satiation if you have to search for the hunger scale. After you’ve used the scale for a while, you probably don’t need it.


Printable food journal template.pdf (Click on the icon to download)


If you want to record your food intake for a week, grab my food journal template and print 7 copies of it, one for each day of the week.

p.s. If you have emotional eating issues, grab a copy of Sheryl Canter’s book on Amazon. If you’re an emotional eater, just trying to diet may do little good to you!