This page contains affiliate links. If you choose to make a purchase after clicking a link, I may receive a commission at no additional cost to you.

Keeping a Food Diary for Busy Mums

Research shows that for people focused on losing weight, and using tools like keeping a food diary or journal can be an effective tool to help change behavior and create good habits. In one weight loss study, those who kept a daily food journal of the foods consumed lost twice as much weight as those that didn’t.

What is a Food Diary or Journal?

A Food Diary or a Food Journal is a tool to help you to keep track of and evaluate each day of what you are eating. 

By recording everything you eat in a diary or journal will help to identify any habits both good and bad. 

This will then help to rectify any potential issue that may be causing your weight gain or weight loss stall. 

Using a diary or journal can also be a way of eating healthier and increasing your overall well-being and not just for weight loss.  

Keeping a Food Diary
Keeping a Food Diary for Busy Mums

How Does a Food Diary or Journal Help you to Lose Weight? 

Research has shown that people who are actively engaged in losing weight and keeping a journal throughout their journey can be an effective tool to identify and potentially change their behaviour over time and recreate good habits from the bad. 

A study that was conducted by the Centre for Health Research found that using a food diary can double your weight loss.

That is a massive incentive just by using and writing in a diary or journal. Goes to show how powerful and simple yet effective a journal can be when used for purpose. 

What Should a Food Diary or Journal Include?

By asking yourself what your main aim and goal is for using a food journal and what you would like to achieve can help to know what to record in your food journal to then be evaluated and analysed. 

For instance, is using a food journal for weight loss, is it to find out what food intolerances you potentially have, or is it to improve your overall health and well-being?

Once you know this it will be clearer what you need to record.

What You Are Eating

Recording what you are eating is going to be the main factor in most cases. 

Being as precise as possible and as honest as possible will ensure you get the most out of this process in order to succeed.

Ensure you are recording everything that you consume throughout the day.  


Recording as accurately as possible is another entry you will need in your food diary or journal. 

There is probably not much use in going to the trouble of weighing all your food and ingredients unless you really want to, but as a busy mum, this can be hard to achieve. 

Taking an approximate will do the job but try and get as close to it as you can.

Using portion control can also help you not overeat and pile on extra calories unintentionally.   

When You Are Eating

Taking note of the times of day you are eating can potentially identify any eating patterns. 

For example, you may find from a week of entries in your food journal that each night around 8.30 pm you find yourself late-night snacking while watching your favourite show. This may be the cause of slowing down your weight loss.

You could instead of snacking, make a green tea or a sugar-free snack that you can meal prep and portion into 7 for each night. 

Mood / Emotions

Having a space for writing down how you felt, and your mood whilst eating at each particular time can also help to identify any potential triggers or links as to why you are eating. Perhaps you are just bored and eating for the sake of it.  


Writing down what each of the foods you are consuming will help to keep a record of the total calories for each meal and the day’s grand total. 

This can sometimes be the biggest eye-opener as not many people keep a record and realise just how much they are consuming in calories. 

Remember for you to lose weight you need to be in a calorie deficit. Without monitoring your intake of calories for the day, you won’t know. 

Keeping a Food Diary for Busy Mums
Keeping a Food Diary for Busy Mums

Be Honest

At the end of the day, you are doing this for a reason. Without being 100% honest, you are only denying yourself the chance to achieve your goal. 

Remember no one is perfect all the time. When you first start out, it’s probably going to be the hardest as you are opening yourself up and learning a lot about yourself, but this food journal can be kept private for your eyes only, as you would your diary. 

Focus on your why and be honest with your entries. 

Evaluate After The Week

At the end of the week, reflect back and identify:

Evaluate and identify any repeat habits or trends that may need attention and adjusting. 

Also, look to see the times you eat and if this is just out of boredom or a habit you have started with no purpose. 

By evaluating the types of food and whether they contain a large number of calories, can be an easy fit by swapping out for a healthier version or alternative.  

Keeping a Food Diary for Busy Mums - Wellness Journal
Keeping a Food Diary for Busy Mums – Wellness Journal

Benefits of Using a Food Diary or Journal

Using a food journal can have positive benefits in helping you succeed in achieving the goals you set out to do, including:

Healthy Habits

Creating healthy habits can be easy to start and implement when you have a routine in place. The more you do something the more familiar it becomes. 

Weight Management

Using a food diary or journal can help with your weight loss. 

It could be that your weight has stalled and you are not sure why or you are not losing anything at all. 

Having a food journal to monitor your food intake can be a positive tool to help with identifying the potential issue.

Increase Self Awareness

Increasing self-awareness can be hard to identify and change. 

Having a tool to help reinforce these habits and make yourself aware of what needs to change or needs to be done can help to identify, assess and implement. 

You are also able to set goals to help with the process and evaluate based on the written information throughout the week of entries.

Using a Food Diary or Journal has so many benefits and positive outcomes in so many ways.  

Have you used a Food Diary or Journal to log your food entries to help you evaluate and make changes to meet your goals?

Amy xx

Healthy Snacks
Healthy Snacks
Goodness Me Subscription Box
Goodness Me Subscription Box
10 Mind Body Health Tips
10 Mind Body Health Tips

This page contains affiliate links. If you choose to make a purchase after clicking a link, I may receive a commission at no additional cost to you.

Spread the love