How to Use a Food Journal

How this one tool can DRAMATICALLY increase your chances of losing fat.

Two groups of people wanted to lose some body fat. One group started exercising at the local gym; the other group did nothing else but keep a log of everything they ate. Who do you think lost the most fat after 2 months?

You may be surprised to know that it was the group that kept the food diary that lost the most.


Food has a much bigger effect on your body fat levels than exercise. Every meal affects you, and how many meals do you have a week compared to exercise sessions? When we write down everything we eat, we become a lot more aware of what we put in our mouths, especially if we have to show anyone!

So here is the guide I use with my private clients that you can use on yourself to make a food diary get great results for you:

First thing to do is: Set ONE objective. Is it to lose fat, gain strength, gain muscle size, have more energy etc? Going after one result usually produces better results than trying to achieve everything at once.

Second thing to do is: Measure yourself. Tape measure, piece of clothing, body fat %, photos, weighing scales etc all are fine. Have a look at your food diary and make an educated guess as to whether you think your measurements should be going up or down. Quick tip: Due to the enormous amount of variables in measurements (hormones, human error etc) measurements taken every 3 weeks are a better gauge than weekly.

Then look at your food diary and use the following questions:

Q1) Is there protein with every meal?

Q2) What is the quality of the carbohydrates like? E.g. Does it look like the type of carbohydrates that will help me lose fat?

Q3) Am I drinking enough water?

Q4) Is there enough good quality fat?

Q5) Does the quantity look about right if fat loss is the aim?

Once you’ve used the above questions to gauge how your food was this week as yourself how did you do over the week as a whole, what did you learn?

Name ONE improvement you could have a go at next week?

What did you do well this week?

e.g. was it simply to just keep the journal, did you plan your meals, did you learn snacks that worked well or prep ideas that save time. Were your meals helping you stay fuller for longer etc.

By working through this sheet you will be setting yourself up for success and not failure. This is because you are following principles almost 99% of the population that are trying to lose weight don’t do: you are reviewing what you’re doing, seeing if it’s working or not and developing a unique plan for you for the coming week. Go for it!

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