How to Keep An Accurate Food Journal

Learn how to keep your food journal as accurate as possible so you can better support your fitness efforts and reach your goals!

How to Keep An Accurate Food Journal
7 min. read 3/6/2023, 11:09 PM

If you’re on a fitness journey, whether your goal is weight loss, building strength, or maybe just staying active and healthy, a balanced diet is necessary to support your goals. Each goal has different dietary requirements, and the best way to achieve them is by keeping track of them in a food journal.

Of course, when you’re keeping track of all the calories and macros that you eat in a day, you want the amounts to be as accurate as possible. And while this might sound very complicated, it’s easier than you think – you just need to follow the right steps!

We’re here to help you keep an accurate food journal with a few tips that you can follow to make your life easier in your fitness journey. This way, you can maximize the results of having a healthy meal plan and achieve your goals much faster!

Download a tracking app

There are two types of people: those who write everything down with pen and paper, and those who prefer using their phones. Whichever tracking method works for you will be the best, but if you want to take it one step further, then you should consider using a tracking app – even if you’re a pen-and-paper person!

Tracking apps are incredibly convenient since you almost always have your phone with you, and they offer different features that make food journaling much easier, such as extensive food libraries and nutritional info for each item.

If you want to try it but don’t know where to start, check out our Kitchen feature in the One Fitness app! So, aside from getting weekly goal-focused workouts, you’ll have access to Kitchen. In the Kitchen, you’ll be able to accurately calculate your macros and have access to our expansive food library to track all your meals and snacks!

Keep track after every meal

If you want your food journal to be as accurate as possible, you shouldn’t wait until the day is almost over and then rely on your memory to recall every single detail about the foods that you ate throughout the day. It’s not as effective and it takes more time!

After every meal that you have, make sure to take a couple of minutes to write down everything that you ate while your memory and knowledge of portion sizes are still fresh. If you don’t have your food journal or your phone with you at the time, write it down on a piece of paper or even on a napkin – you’ll thank yourself later!

Set reminders on your phone

Look, we know that the previous tip can be difficult to achieve sometimes, especially if you live a hectic life. You might eat breakfast in a rush or simply forget to write down what you had for lunch later in the day, which is why reminders can be a lifesaver.

If you know that you usually eat at 9 a.m., 2 p.m., and 7 p.m., then you can set reminders around those times to make sure you don’t forget to log your meals. And if you can’t find the time to do it during the day even with reminders, set a single one at night at a time when you’re usually free. It’s not ideal, but it’s better than not tracking at all!

Don’t leave anything out

When we think about tracking our meals, we usually just think about the main ones – breakfast, lunch, and dinner. However, unless you have very limited moments where you can eat during the day, you probably also have a couple of food and beverages such as snacks here and there, and those are important too!

For a more accurate food journal, you need to include everything that you eat, not just the biggest meals. Think snacks, coffees, that extra pastry that you grabbed for breakfast… every single food item counts! Unless your snack consisted of just water, whatever you ate contained calories and nutrients, and they should always be included.

Meal plan every week

There’s no better way to keep track of what you eat and drink than taking the time to plan and prep your meals, making it easier later in the week to add whatever is it that you had to eat to your food diary – and you can even add it before eating!

This is because, by planning your foods, you’ll already know the portions that you’ll be eating and how much of each macro is in your meal. Even if you mix your meals up every once in a while for some variety, your plan will help you visualize what you’re eating and how much so you can keep tracking more accurately.

Use measurements when cooking

If you’re meal planning and prepping, then you probably already do this, but if you don’t then this is the time to start! Eyeballing portion sizes and how much of each ingredient you’re using won’t give you accurate results for your daily food log.

The best way to measure your ingredients is by using measuring spoons and cups, and invest in a food scale if you’re able to! This will make it easier to measure bigger ingredients such as fruits, vegetables, and meat by weight. Knowing each gram, ounce, and pound that goes into your meals can go a long way when logging the foods you eat.

Be specific when tracking

Things will get a lot easier when you start measuring your portions, but you need to make sure that you’re including every single ingredient that you’re adding to your meals, not just the main ones.

If you’re making a tomato sauce for your pasta, for example, you should add the tomatoes, onions, olive oil, and garlic used… but don’t forget about the spices! Even a little bit of oregano counts if you want to make sure that you’re being as accurate as possible in your tracking. This might take time to get perfect, but it’s definitely worth it!

Have recipes at hand

Meal planning for the purposes of keeping a food journal can be difficult at times, and even if you’re not planning anything and just going one day at a time, it can still be tiring having to think of what to eat and then measuring everything.

By having a list of your favorite recipes at hand, you can save a lot of time not only because it’s easier to decide what to eat but also because a pre-planned recipe already has all the measurements that you need. And if you take the time to write down how many calories and nutrients are in each portion, you’ll have that ready to go every time!

Maximize your healthy eating efforts with a food journal

Keeping a food journal and tracking your meals might sound intimidating at first, but these tips will help you achieve it in a way that’s not only easier for you but also more effective for your goals – it’s a win-win situation!

Looking for a place where you can track all your calories and macros?

Check the One Fitness app!With the Kitchen feature in the app, you can log every meal that you eat by choosing from our extensive food library to help you keep track of everything that you eat daily and better visualize your healthy meal plan or even create a completely new one. Simply download the One Fitness app and try our 7-day free trial today!