wikiHow to Maintain a Diet Journal for Life

So many of us start a food diet journal, but give up after a few days.This article provides some suggestions from someone who has successfully kept a diet journal for over 30 years.


  1. Image titled Maintain a Diet Journal for Life Step 1
    Buy a steno-pad. You could also buy a cover for the steno-pad which has pockets but this is optional. Using a word processing program such as Microsoft's Word is a great way to organize your diet journal electronically. Save your work by month and year in separate folders to your hard drive.
  2. Image titled Maintain a Diet Journal for Life Step 2
    Make a calendar on the first page of the pad, starting with Sunday on the first line, then Monday on the second line, Tuesday on the 3rd line, etc. for the entire week. Leave a line open after Saturday, then start again with Sunday. Put the day of the month beside each day of the week. There should be two columns of days, Sunday through Saturday.
  3. Image titled Maintain a Diet Journal for Life Step 3
    At the top of each column, put the words: "Calories", "Weight", and "Exercise".
  4. Image titled Maintain a Diet Journal for Life Step 4
    Put a paper clip at the bottom of the page to mark this page as the one to return to at the end of the day.
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    Write down everything you eat and the number of calories/kilojoules. Start with day one of journal (next page). If you're on the Weight Watcher's™ program, also add the highly recommended points.
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    Total up your calories/points at the end of the day and go back to your first page and record the total number of calories/kilojoules consumed that day.
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    Record how you feel, your emotions and the temptations that you resisted on your daily diet pages. Don't forget to also add what kind of exercise you did and for how long, and anything else about your day that is relevant.
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    Try having 4 days on one page. just divide the page into 4 equal sections with pen and use smaller writing. This helps you get an overview of your progress. Alternatively, you can choose to have one page devoted per diet day if you want, so you can make more entries, (e.g., emotions, exercise etc.).
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    Total up everything at the end of the week. On your main calendar page, total up the total number of calories/kilojoules/points at the end of the week. Also record your weight. Once you get a whole book filled, you will see how many calories/points it takes to maintain a certain weight, and you can see the weeks where you have lost or gained weight. You may also learn the triggers that cause you to eat more or less food.


  • Example of layout (using the point system):
    • Calories/Points/ Weight/ Exercise
    • S 20
    • M 25
    • T 30
    • W 35
    • Th 20
    • Fr 25
    • Sat 30
    • Total points 185
  • Make diet journaling a thing to look forward to. It's fun to look back at an old journal to explore your eating habits, and to see how much you weighed, what you were eating, and how you were feeling.
  • Learning the Weight Watcher's™ method of counting points is a lot easier than counting calories or kilojoules. With calories or kilojoules, you have to keep up with thousands of calories a day, for example (1200 calories), but with points, you only have to keep up with 20-30 points, as each food is given a point amount.
  • Then continue on down the page with Sunday through Saturday and record the points and weight and exercise: ------
  • One suggestion is to join Weight Watcher's™ for a while to get the information from them. You can become a lifetime member, which is free membership for six weeks if you reach your goal weight.
  • In the pockets of your steno pad cover place recipe ideas, diet advice/etc.


  • Don't become too obsessive about your diet journal; just make sure you stick to it. You don't need to be thinking about it every minute of the day.
  • Force yourself to write in the journal everyday, don't give up. It can easily become a habit if you stick to it!
  • You will lose weight if you remain vigilant. Even record the days you completely go off your diet, for example, even if you have 5000 calories that day. Write them down and record them. Don't give up the journal just because you went over your desired amount of calories/points. In fact, that is the point of the journal - to reveal the triggers that cause you to do this and to alert you to the need for change.
  • Remember to keep your weight within a healthy balance, as recommended by a doctor
  • Record it right after you've done each thing. If you postpone writing it you might forget.

Things You'll Need

  • steno-pad
  • steno-pad cover, book, holder with pockets
  • pen
  • optional: a treadmill, Weight Watcher's™ membership for a few weeks, just to get an idea of how to count points, and buy the point books.
  • calculator
  • scale

Article Info

Categories: Maintaining Diets