1) Keep your Dietary Journal with you and record everything consumed (food, beverages and water) for 3 consecutive days, including at least 1 weekend day. In order to obtain the most personal information from your weekly projects, record days that most closely reflect your normal eating habits and routine.
2) Include how foods are prepared (baked, fried, steamed) and brand names when if applicable. Don’t forget to list all fats used in cooking and spreads, sauces and condiments added. Record your use of natural or artificial sweeteners, as well.
3) Your Dietary Journal should include the time of day the food was eaten, the meal or snack it was a part of, all component parts of the food eaten (i.e. a hamburger has a meat patty, bun, condiments.)
4) The amount should be recorded in measureable terms such as cups, ounces, teaspoons, tablespoons, etc. If you are not certain of measures, use these visuals as a guide
a. 3 ounces (i.e. meat/fish) looks about the size of a deck of cards or an I-phone
b. 1 ounce (i.e. cheese) looks about the size of 4 dice
c. 1 ounce liquid (i.e. gravy, beverage) is the size of a standard shot glass and also = 2 Tbsp
d. 1 cup (8oz liquid) looks about the size of a baseball, fisted hand or yogurt container
e. ½ cup (4oz liquid) looks about the size of a half of a baseball or individual applesauce container
f. 1 Tablespoon looks about the size of a half of a walnut shell
g. 1 teaspoon looks like a diner style ‘pat’ of butter
5) Try to avoid vague descriptions of amounts such as bowl full, scoop, glass, bite, portion, etc. As well as avoid small/medium/large which are only OK for standardized items (I.e. fast food, egg, etc.)