Food Journaling to Improve Your Diabetes

Writing down your food can make a vast difference.


Diabetes patients are typically encouraged to keep a close eye on their food. Whether you control your diabetes via diet and exercise, medication, insulin, or a combination of these options, you must closely and carefully monitor the food you are placing in your body.

Food and Accountability

For many, eating a healthy diet can be tricky. Many people grew up on TV dinners and processed foods, and beginning a diet of whole, homemade foods can be difficult or daunting. It can also be difficult to hold yourself to an entirely new way of eating.

Accountability is a big part of changing any aspect of your lifestyle, eating habits included. Keeping yourself accountable can involve your doctor or a friend, or can rely entirely on your own honor system and honesty with yourself.

Food Journaling

Keeping a food journal is the simple process of writing down exactly what it is that you eat each day. Eating often turns into a mindless habit, such as downing a bag of popcorn while watching a movie, or reaching for a packet of nuts while completing work. When you keep a food journal, you record every morsel you eat or drink.

Take note, though, that food journaling is not intended to shame you or make you feel bad about your eating habits. Instead, food journaling helps you see areas of your diet where you might need to improve, and can also show you any trends in high or low blood sugar.

Food journaling can span a long period, to make sure your eating stays on track, or it can be used as a short-term tool to bring greater mindfulness to your eating habits, your areas of struggle, and your strengths.


Getting Started

To get started keeping a food journal, set aside a dedicated journal, or even a sticky notepad, and keep it in your kitchen, dining room, or purse—wherever you will have the most success remembering to track. If you are often eating on the go, you can use your phone’s notepad or download an app. Find a journaling tool that will suit your lifestyle.

Each time you eat, log it in your journal. Whether you have a small snack or have a drink, make a quick note of it in your journal. Including drinks can show you where you might be keeping a lot of empty calories, or can reveal a need to consume more (or less) water.

Food journaling can be an incredible tool for diabetes, as it provides a clear, solid window into your daily food and drink habits. Making changes based on your day-to-day becomes easier to see, which can make all the difference in sticking to a new diet and exercise regimen.


Diabetes UK. Accessed 9/14/17.

NCBI. Accessed 9/14/17.

Diabetes Forecast. Accessed 9/14/17.


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