Losing weight is a long and tedious journey. Thankfully, there are numerous tools dedicated to getting you from where you are to where you want to be. Here, we'll be discussing one of the classics - food journals.
Specifically, we’ll be taking a look at the best food journal options out there, based on what we found during our research. We tested these products firsthand to get a feel for how well they work for consistent weight loss.
We’ll also share some important things to know before you buy a food journal. By the end, you’ll have enough information to buy your own journal and achieve your health goals.
1. NewMe Fitness Journal for Women & Men (Best Overall)
Anyone who has ever tried to lose weight knows that it’s a daunting task. We love the NewMe Fitness Journal for Women & Men because it makes that journey so much easier, and here’s how:
This best food journal is divided into sections that help you organize your weight loss journey. The first section includes space for before/after photos so you have a visual goal to aim towards. You can also record body measurements like weight, BMI, and height to weight ratios.
Speaking of body fat measurements, the NewMe Fitness Journal contains instructions for a rough measurement of your body fat percentage in case you can’t take a test.
But the features don’t stop there. There are also pages that contain calorie information on common foods like chicken breast, milk, and brown rice. In total, there are 132 pages that can help you record your food intake for up to four months.
We also love that you can capture commonly neglected aspects of your weight loss journey, like sleep and mood.
At the end of your weight loss and fitness journey, the NewMe Fitness Journal gives you a clear overview of your activities and lets you easily see what worked and what didn’t. You can then use that information to plan your next steps.
If you’re looking to lose weight in the most efficient way possible, the NewMe Fitness Journal for Women & Men is the way to do it. It has helpful info like caloric information on common foods, as well as up to four months of writing space.
2. Women’s Boxclever Press Food Journal (Best For Healthy Food Habits)
We loved this journal the second we laid eyes on it because of its beautiful cover. It’s decorated with colorful and healthy fruit choices that immediately remind you of your decision to lose weight and eat healthily - but that's just the beginning of this journal’s usefulness.
It has enough room for 13 weeks of documentation. During this time, you can record your food choices, the quantity consumed, and how many calories it’s estimated to be.
The journal also has a specific section dedicated to goals and motivation. There are some words of encouragement, and room for you to fill out your weight goals. You can also pre-plan rewards for yourself so you’re all the more motivated to achieve your objectives.
There are also weekly summary pages that let you reflect on the past 7 days and review your gains or losses. These summaries will help you stay on track and plan your way out of bad habits.
You’ll need to keep a journal like this handy because of all the documentation you’ll need to do. We’re happy to tell you that it has a durable but flexible cover, and it weighs just 5 ounces and is no longer than 8.2 inches.
The Boxclever Press Food Journal is perfect to help users develop a healthy relationship with food. The fruit design on the cover, and the daily and weekly review pages will keep you right on track.
3. DIETMINDER Personal Food & Fitness Journal (Best For Food & Exercise)
Our favorite part of the DIETMINDER best food journal is how much thought was put into the section for recording food. As we know, your caloric intake is one of the most important parts of losing weight. This journal lets you document all of that, and even has segments for fat, carbs, and proteins.
Another thing we know for sure is that people rarely eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner alone. Sometimes, snacks find their way in, and that's why the DIETMINDER also has room for snacks, as well.
Another section is dedicated to recording your before/and after metrics and pictures so you have a way to measure your progress. Let’s not forget the exercise documentation - you can track your exercise routines, duration, and even estimate how many calories you’ve burned.
During the review, we were thrilled to discover that several health-centric organizations shared our enthusiasm about this product. Shape describes it as a great way to commit to your new year’s resolutions. Muscle & Fitness Hers calls it the best way to record your diet and exercise.
Other perks include standard nutritional guidelines, caloric information on common foods, templates for progress charts, and even room for recording your personal goals.
If you’re looking to count your calories and burn fat efficiently, the DIETMINDER Personal Food & Fitness Journal is your best bet. It has some room for recording your food intake, exercise regimen, and also helps you track your overall progress.
4. Hello New Me: Food & Exercise Journal (Best For a Well-Rounded Experience)
The Hello New Me best food journal helps you stay on task by keeping your focus on the end of your journey and all the goals you accomplish. It’s perfect for people looking to achieve one or more things on their journey.
If you want to get active, it helps you record your exercise and daily activity levels. On the other hand, if you’re looking to eat healthily, there’s also plenty of room for recording weight loss recipes and intake.
We love that the Hello New Me is simple and easy to use. That makes you even more likely to stick to your goals because you can easily record your activity, track your progress, and adjust as needed.
A standard weight training program is 3 months, and the Hello New Me Journal has just enough space to get you through your training.
We were a little too excited about this journal, but that’s because of how unique it is. There’s a small section where you can track cheat meals and guilty pleasures each day. That way, you can get an overview of how you respond to your cravings at the end of a period, and time your meals better.
If you’re looking for a way to consistently document your exercise, diet, and general activity in a single place, then the Hello New Me is exactly what you need. It guides you through your journey by helping you stay accountable to all the goals you set.
5. Today is the Day: A 90 Day Food + Fitness Journal (Best For Staying Motivated)
This best food journal is described as a guide to cultivate a better you, and that’s exactly what it is. From the name, you can tell that it’s designed to help you reach your goals in the most detailed and intimate way possible.
As you go through the journal, you’ll find room to record sleep, diet, water, and exercise patterns. The idea is that each of these are important when you’re trying to become a better you.
There are over 100 blank pages for you to record data however you want, and because the book is sturdy and durable, you can use it for as long as you want. If you record info every day, you’ll obviously have less to work with, but in all, there’s plenty of space.
The book also has a simple and easy-to-follow layout, and motivation quotes scattered around the pages. You’ll find that these quotes come at the perfect time and are guaranteed to keep you going.
If motivation is your challenge, the 90 Day Food + Fitness journal is excellent for you. You’re bound to enjoy the overall positive message. The cover has a playful but impactful font, surrounded by bright colors.
What to Know Before You Buy
Even though it only costs a few bucks, buying a food journal is a big step and can be the difference between a successful weight-loss journey and another abandoned project.
It’s critical to get the right journal for your goals. This section contains some information that can help.
What Makes a Great Food Journal?
During our search, we kept an eye out for a journal with the following properties:
Large Entry Space
Your journal needs to have enough room for all of your documentations. Depending on the one you buy, the journal may be exclusively for food, exercise, or a combination of both; and unless you’re a robot, you’ll sometimes deviate from the strike plan.
At times like these, it’s great to have a large entry space. That way, you can record any extra information and get a complete overview of your activities.
Just because you need a large space to work doesn't mean the journal has to be too large to carry. On the contrary, you’re much better off with a journal that’s small enough to fit in your handbag.
That way, you can take it everywhere and record all of your activities. If you have to wait until you’re home before recording, you’re very likely to forget or omit some info, which will mess with your overall assessment. Plus, having a journal at all times will keep you honest.
The food journal shouldn’t just contain space for recording your food consumption. You should also be able to find helpful resources within the pages. One of our favorite food journals has a table showing the caloric information of common foods. That way, you can estimate how much you eat daily.
Some other journals also have motivational quotes in between their pages. These help you stay motivated whenever you feel tired or frustrated.
How to Successfully Keep a Food Journal
Tracking every single thing you eat isn’t as simple as it sounds. It’s very easy to get sidetracked, forget to record data, or get several other things wrong. Here are some tips we’ve found that work great for maintaining a food journal:
Record Your Mood
This is where the large entry space becomes useful. Our mood determines what we eat and whether we make healthy choices or fill up on junk. Recording your mood can help you assess your choices and adjust as needed.
Don’t Forget Beverages
You probably already know that a can of coke contains about 184 calories, but what about a cup of coffee?
Tracking the caloric intake of other beverages can be just as important as main drinks like coke products. That's because when you’re trying to lose weight, every calorie counts. Additionally, these beverages help you stay hydrated and that’s equally important.
Take a Picture of Your Meals
Your food journal helps you track what you eat, but you know what they say, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Snapping a picture of your food can give you visual feedback for details like portion size.
Plus, if you ever forget to write in your journal, you can always look at the pictures and get back on track.
The Drawbacks of Food Journaling
By now, you’re pretty familiar with the benefits of a food journal, but it’s also helpful to be aware of some of the disadvantages. This knowledge can help you work around them.
It Could Promote Unhealthy Focus
Sometimes a food journal can make you so focused on what you eat that you start to associate food with negative feelings, which can be bad for your mental health.
According to Susan Albers-Bowling, the Author of Hanger Management, a food journal is best when you approach it with non-judgment. Be sure to keep our inner critic out of the process for best results.
It’s Not For People Who Struggle With OCD and Eating Disorders
If you have any of these conditions, food journaling may make you obsess over details, which can be dangerous for your mental health. It’s best to find another system for achieving your weight loss goal.
Finding and using the best food journal is an effective way to track what you eat and stay committed to your goals. If it can let you track your exercises, even better!
We highly recommend the NewMe Fitness Journal for Women & Men. It has enough room to help you document everyone you eat, plus a highly detailed chart on the caloric info of most foods.
If you're looking for something more motivational, try the Today is the Day journal. In addition to helping you track your caloric consumption, the pages contain motivational quotes that can keep you going.
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