Woman sitting down, writing in her food journal.

By Helenbeth Reynolds, RD, LD

If we told you there was one simple tool that could predict if you would find weight-loss success, what comes to mind?

Maybe stepping on the scale regularly, or eating the recommended servings of vegetables? Well, according to a study by Kaiser Permanente of over 2,000 dieters, the best predictor of weight-loss success is keeping a food diary!

What Is a Food Diary?

The practice of keeping a food journal, or using a food tracking tool, consists of you recording all food and beverages consumed in a single day. Starting to use a food diary or food tracking tool can help you become more aware of your personal eating habits, which can create awareness of your current lifestyle behaviors and help identify where they can be optimized for good health and weight loss.

Food journaling is an important tool that can help you achieve your weight-loss or maintenance goals, in addition to creating lifelong healthy behaviors!

There isn’t anything complicated about keeping a food journal. You can use your paper Livea Journal or The Livea App on your cellphone to record what you are eating and drinking. If it works to create your own journal or spreadsheet, that fine, too; finding a method that works for you is what is most important.

Why Is Keeping a Food Diary Important?

The insights you’ll gather will be beneficial for you in two ways:

  1. You will get a glimpse of your daily eating patterns
  2. Your Livea consultant will be better equipped to provide recommendations and help you formulate individualized weekly goals that help you achieve weight-loss success.

Tracking allows you to look back and see what you did when you were most successful! It will also help you get a handle on any eating “triggers” and help you identify difficult times of the day, when you might be more prone to craving a snack.

How to Keep A Food Diary

While you may believe you are eating right, memory is selective, and it is easy to overlook bites and tastes.

To update your food diary, keep track of all portions and the kinds of foods and beverages you consume. One tracking strategy that has worked for many Livea clients is pre-recording their food choices for the entire day. They find that by writing out their journal in advance, they are better able to stick to their routine and not deviate from the plan.

When you pre-select your food choices, your decisions are simplified, helping you stay on track. Livea clients who journal on a regular basis report that it takes less than 5 minutes per day on average, and they find it helpful to stay accountable.

One Last Piece of Advice

By recording the times you have eaten, it will help you stay on track for eating every two to three hours to make sure you are getting in all your Livea Meals, your Fresh and Lean(s) and your Optional and Extra foods, as well.

We hope you find these tips helpful for starting your own food diary! To learn more about Livea, reach out to our expert team at 1-855-GoLivea or browse our selection of personalized meal plans and success stories!


  1. Livea Guide, Livea Weight Control Centers
  2. Complete Food and Nutrition Guide, 5th Ed, 2017, American Dietetic Association; Roberta Larson Duyff.