What Is a Food Log Template?

A food log template allows people to record everything they eat and drink throughout the day. It can range from a list of foods to a more detailed account of what you ate when you ate it and how you felt before, during, and after. It is designed as an easily accessible diary to help you or your healthcare team understand your eating habits and make relevant changes based on that information. 

A food log template is a pre-formatted document or spreadsheet that allows you to track this food intake. These can come in many forms based on personal preference, including online food log templates, apps, or printable food logs.  

There are many variations of the templates, but they typically involve date, time, food and beverage consumed, quantity, calories, macronutrients (protein, carbohydrate, fat), micronutrients (vitamins, minerals), and other notes. Some food log templates can also involve additional information such as mood, energy levels, and hunger. Once you have chosen your food log template, simply fill in the information as the template guides you. Once the food log is completed for the day, you can review the information to identify patterns or trends. 

Printable Food Log Template

Download this Food Log Template to assist clients in recording everything they eat and drink throughout the day.

How Does It Work?

When filling out a printable food log template or food log template within an app, you must first choose the type of template you wish to use. It is important to be honest and accurate when reporting and log your food consumption regularly to ensure accuracy in patterns and trends.

  1. Fill in the date and time; this will help track when you ate each meal and how they were spaced out.
  2. Write down the food or beverage you consumed. It is important to be as specific as possible, including the type, brand, amount, and preparation method. 
  3. Record the quantity, which can be done in whatever measurement you are comfortable with as long as it is kept consistent.
  4. Look at the calorie content of the food or beverage, which can be found on the packaging or online. Then, it is important to record these calories to track the total calorie intake for the day.
  5. These steps can then be repeated for each instance of a food or beverage consumed.
  6. You should review your food log to help identify patterns or trends in your eating habits.
  7. This form can then be shown to a doctor or registered dietician to gain personalized advice. 

Food Log Example (Sample)

An example of a food log template PDF includes sections to record your main meals and snacks for the day, as demonstrated in the sample PDF. It also provides a notes section in which examples of comments could include; ‘I drank plenty of water throughout the day’ or ‘I paid attention to portion sizes.’ 

This food log template has seven days of food log entries to allow users to track their food intake for at least a week to get a good picture of their eating habits. Individuals can add as much or as little detail as they want to their logs. 

Download this Food Log Template Example:

When Would You Use This Template?

This template can be used for personal use and when collaborating with a relevant health practitioner. A food log template can be helpful in specific situations, including weight loss. Tracking your food intake is essential for weight loss, as it can make you more aware of calorie consumption and make more informed dietary decisions. 

It can also help to identify areas where you can cut back on calories to make healthier choices. A food log can also help assess the overall quality of your diet by tracking the types of food and portion sizes, allowing you to identify areas where improvements can be made.

People managing chronic health conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease, can find use in tracking food intake and symptoms to improve overall health. A food log can help identify foods that trigger your symptoms and ensure you get the correct nutrients. 

When working with a registered dietitian or a healthcare provider, food log templates can be a valuable tool for communication. By sharing your food log data, you can get personalized advice and support in a much greater depth than if you simply describe your eating patterns to your practitioner. 

What Do the Results Mean?

Common results from free food log templates include increased awareness of food intake, empowering you to make more informed decisions about your diet. It can also be useful for identifying eating habits where people often have tendencies to overeat at certain times of the day, consume unhealthy snacks under stress, or skip meals when their schedule is busy. By recognizing these patterns, they can be effectively addressed. Results are important for those with weight management goals, so results can address areas of calorie rejection and how to make adjustments adequately. 

When interpreting food log results, you can compare calorie intake with relevant practitioners or compare it to online recommended daily needs. From here, you can understand whether you are undereating or overeating and how to combat these habits. By logging your macronutrients, you should have a balanced distribution of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Logging micronutrients ensures you consume enough vitamins, minerals, and fiber. 

Common patterns also include late-night snacking, emotional eating, or skipping meals which can be recognized and addressed through these food log apps or templates. Keeping a food log for an extended period means that progress can be tracked. This allows observing how food intake and eating patterns change and identifying any correlations with weight changes, health, or energy levels.

Research & Evidence

Logging food consumption has been used in clinical settings for years. However, the rise of food log apps has seen more people engaging in this behavior. A focused review of smartphone tracking apps looked at the usability, functionality, and coherence with behavior change across seven food logging apps. Significance of food tracking but also provided robust support for its efficacy, revealing that all evaluated tracking apps excelled in usability, integrated diverse behavior change constructs, and exhibited precision in coding calories and carbohydrates, thereby affirming their potential pivotal role in advancing dietary intervention studies (Ferrara et al., 2019). 

Strong research suggests that using a food log template to track consumption is successful in understanding eating habits and patterns. It has specifically highlighted that for people trying to lose weight, keeping a journal greatly changes behavior. One weight loss maintenance trial with 1,700 participants found that those who kept a food log lost twice as much weight as those who did not (Hollis et al., 2008). 

It is highlighted that food log templates are more than calorie counters. Research highlights four main advantages these apps and templates can provide: keeping you accountable, helping you lose weight, pinpointing emotional triggers, and identifying food intolerances (Yu, 2018). 

Commonly asked questions

How to create a Food Log template?

Create a food log template in a spreadsheet or word processing software by setting up columns for date, meal categories, food items, portion sizes, calories, and macronutrient breakdown. Enhance readability with clear headers, add space for notes, and encourage regular updates for effective dietary tracking. Adjust the format based on usability and share the template with clear user instructions.

When are Food Log Templates used?

Individuals and practitioners use Food log templates across various motivating factors, including weight loss, improved nutrition, managing chronic health conditions, and identifying eating patterns.

How are the Food Log Templates used?

Food log templates track daily food intake, monitor nutritional balance, identify eating patterns, achieve dietary goals, enhance self-awareness, support weight management, facilitate communication with professionals, evaluate nutritional content, identify food allergies or sensitivities, and modify eating behaviors for overall well-being.

Why Use Carepatron as Your Food Log App?

Carepatron’s food log template app is designed with simplicity and consistency. It allows you to track meals, snacks, and beverages effortlessly, quickly search for specific foods, and accurately record your calorie and nutrient consumption. With user-friendly food log template software and intuitive navigation Carepatron makes the process easy.

The seamless integration of health and wellness tools in the Carepatron food log app provides a holistic view of your overall well-being. It allows you to combine food log data with exercise routines, sleep patterns, and other metrics to make well-informed lifestyle adjustments. 

The food log template app also provides personalized recommendations with healthier food suggestions for potential nutrient deficiencies and tracks your progress to achieve personal nutritional targets. 

It also provides customizable meal templates and portion guides, allowing you to save frequently consumed meals and use already calculated portion sizes to make your food logging process as streamlined as possible. 

Carepatron’s food log template app and template software have accessibility across a wide range of devices, including desktops, smartphones, and tablets. This means you can log your food intake wherever you go to ensure consistency and minimize the risk of forgetting what you consumed if you wait until the end of the day to log your consumption. 

Practice Management Software


Ferrara, G., Kim, J., Lin, S., Hua, J., & Seto, E. (2019). A Focused Review of Smartphone Diet-Tracking Apps: Usability, Functionality, Coherence With Behavior Change Theory, and Comparative Validity of Nutrient Intake and Energy Estimates. JMIR MHealth and UHealth, 7(5), e9232. https://doi.org/10.2196/mhealth.9232

Hollis, J. F., Gullion, C. M., Stevens, V. J., Brantley, P. J., Appel, L. J., Ard, J. D., Champagne, C. M., Dalcin, A., Erlinger, T. P., Funk, K., Laferriere, D., Lin, P.-H., Loria, C. M., Samuel-Hodge, C., Vollmer, W. M., & Svetkey, L. P. (2008). Weight Loss During the Intensive Intervention Phase of the Weight-Loss Maintenance Trial. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 35(2), 118–126. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2008.04.013

Yu, C. (2018, February 7). 4 Reasons Why You Should You Keep a Food Diary. Www.dignityhealth.org. https://www.dignityhealth.org/articles/4-reasons-why-you-should-you-keep-a-food-diary

How to create a Food Log template?
How to create a Food Log template?
Written by

Join 10,000+ teams using Carepatron to be more productive

One app for all your healthcare work