What Are the Best Ways to Keep Track of My Daily Intake of Food?

N. Madison

One of the best ways to keep track of your daily intake of food is using a notebook or diary and writing down everything you consume. If you have to count calories and keep track of the nutrients you are consuming, you may find computer software a better option. Internet trackers are also helpful and make it easy for you to record your intake from just about any location. Smartphone applications can be effective for this purpose as well.

Food tracking apps are available for a variety of smartphones.
Food tracking apps are available for a variety of smartphones.

Using a food journal is one way to keep track of your daily intake of food. A food journal is a notebook or diary that you carry with you throughout the day and record what you consume. You may choose to write down just what you are eating or record calorie counts and nutritional values as well. You can buy food journals that are specifically designed for this purpose, but you don’t have to purchase a special book. You can create your own out of any type of blank notebook or journal.

Some people find it useful to keep a food diary.
Some people find it useful to keep a food diary.

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Another good way to keep track of your daily intake of food is using a computer program. There are many programs that allow you to enter and save details about the food you eat each day. If you need to go back and view previous entries, some have a search feature for this. You may even find some programs that help you with calculating the calories and nutrients in the foods you consume.

One potential problem with using computer programs to record your daily intake of food is that you need a way to record your meals until you get back to your computer to enter them. If you wait too long to do so, you may forget what you have eaten or experience some confusion when remembering details such as portion sizes. To avoid this, you can carry a small notepad in which to write what you have eaten and then transfer the information to your computer later. Alternatively, you may carry a personal digital assistant (PDA) with you and use that to temporarily hold your food intake data.

Online options may prove to be a particularly good choice for recording your daily intake of food. Often, Internet programs provide a lot of features, such as calorie calculators and goal charts that can help you achieve your food intake goals. Sometimes they have more features than programs you save on your hard drive, and you can typically update them with new and pertinent information from any device with an Internet connection. For example, if you have a cell phone that accesses the Internet, you can use it to add and view your data from just about anywhere.

If you have a smartphone, you may find food intake applications, also called apps, a good choice as well. These programs allow you to enter food intake data and count calories through your phone. Many of them have extensive food libraries that make keeping track of your food intake, calories, and nutritional percentages practically effortless. Some even allow you to enter exercise details and share information with other users as well.

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