T Nation

Food Log


Okay, Now I know that a food log is a valuble tool. So...

How many of you keep an ongoing foodlog, even if you feel that you've gotten a feel for what/how much you need to eat? Will doing this method possibly lead to cases where diet is the lacking factor of your overall program (Even for those of you w/ quite a bit of training age?

If you do keep a food log, what is the best way that you've found to organize it? Do you ever reference it? Make notes? Or is it a medium that you use to make sure you monitor what you eat?

I've read that t-mag article, the missing ingredient I think it's called, that emphisises the importance of a food log, but I was wondering how many people actually use one.

Kyle Witter


I usually log out a meal with a given calorie level. THen I eat the same thing everyday. If I substitute something out, then I make sure it is of the same calorie,carb,fat, and protein level as the original meal. This makes it easier on me. If I don't create a food log then it is almost impossible for me to be sure if I'm getting in the right amount of calories.


After more than a quarter century doing this stuff, I feel like I know what to eat and what not to. And I can tell you to within about 5g how much protein I've had at any given time of most any day, even without a food log. Total calories are a little more difficult, but if you weigh yourself every three days or so and take caliper measurements then you'll know what you're doing right/wrong in that area.

That said, I think that until you've had several years of good training and dieting experience under your belt, you should keep a consistent written log. And even now, if I'm starting on a new diet or program that calls for a special eating pattern or whatnot, I'll print up some of my "diet forms" that I've got in my computer and keep track for a couple of weeks until I've got it down. (This form is simply a table with places to enter cals, pro, carbs and fat and total them up. Nothing fancy.) The most recent instance of this was when I did the CD/EDT program for the Hot-Rox contest, which required some pretty exact calculations.

Now that I'm doing a powerlifting phase, though, I'm not keeping that close track. And if I gain a little fat while on it, no problem.


Same as Jason and CharDawg. I plan a new diet on an Excel spreadsheet, calculating grams of carbs, protein and fat and also total calories. Then I either eat the same thing every day that week, or if I substitute a meal I'll go to the computer and calculate the new meal to match the ratios for the one it's replacing. Each weekend I'll take a look at the spreadsheet and plan the next week's meals.

Once you've done a particular diet over and over you get the hang of it and don't really use the calculations all that often.

Don't Diet is my most used nutrition plan and I can pretty much figure out the meals in my head. I have a selection of meals I'm used to using and I know which ones match my P+F and P+C meal requirements.