Assessing an Actual Client’s Food Journal

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This is a client’s actual food log from MyFitnessPal. Want to know how I evaluate it? First read “How to Evaluate the Data from your Online Food Journal”.

Then read my notes below to see how she did.

Foods

Calories

Carbs

Fat

Protein

Cholest

Sodium

Sugars

Fiber

Breakfast

General Mills – Honey Nut Cheerios, 1 cup (28g)

147

29g

2g

3g

0mg

213mg

12g

3g

Starbucks – Double Tall Soy Latte, 12 oz

130

18g

4g

7g

0mg

100mg

14g

1g

Peaches – Raw, 1 large (2-3/4″ dia) (approx 2-1/2 per lb)

61

15g

0g

1g

0mg

0mg

13g

2g

Milk – Nonfat (fat free or skim), 0.5 cup

43

6g

0g

4g

2mg

64mg

0g

0g

Lunch

Generic – Teriyaki Grilled Chicken Thighs, 1 thigh

224

2g

11g

17g

95mg

88mg

2g

0g

Rice – Brown, long-grain, cooked, 0.3 cup

65

13g

1g

2g

0mg

3mg

0g

1g

Edamame – Steamed Edamame In Pod W/Salt, 1/2 cup

100

11g

4g

13g

0mg

5mg

5g

4g

Dinner

Generic – Salmon Fillet Baked – 1 Fillet, 6 ounce

240

0g

16g

24g

60mg

68mg

0g

0g

Spinach – Raw, 1 cup

7

1g

0g

1g

0mg

24mg

0g

1g

Cuties – Tangerines, 84 g (2 cuties)

40

9g

0g

1g

0mg

0mg

7g

2g

Cheese – Blue, bleu, 0.5 cubic inch

30

0g

2g

2g

6mg

119mg

0g

0g

Mushrooms – Raw, 0.5 cup pieces

8

1g

0g

1g

0mg

1mg

1g

0g

Kirkland Signature (Costco) – Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, 1 Tablespoon

10

2g

0g

0g

0mg

0mg

2g

0g

Nuts – Walnuts, english, 0.5 oz (14 halves)

93

2g

9g

2g

0mg

0mg

0g

1g

Snacks

Bananas – Raw, 1 large (8″ to 8-7/8″ long)

121

31g

0g

1g

0mg

1mg

17g

4g

Trader Joe’s – Chocolate Covered Mini Pretzels (Dark Chocolate) Corrected, 8 pieces (40 g)

190

25g

10g

2g

0mg

150mg

11g

2g

TOTAL:

1,509

165g

59g

81g

163mg

836mg

84g

21g

As I dietitian, when I am evaluating a client’s food journal, these are some of the factor’s I look at:

Calories. She was right at her goal of 1500 calories.

Carbs. Goal for her is 188 g. She had 165 g. A bit short. Were they “healthy, high fiber” carbs? For the most part but 25 grams were from dark chocolate pretzels.

Protein. 13 grams short. She did have good quality protein provided by the salmon, chicken and milk however. I would be more concerned about falling short on the protein goal if her protein sources were vegetarian or if she consistently didn’t reach her goal.

Fat. She got some healthy fats from the walnuts and salmon. 12 g of unhealthy fat were from chocolate pretzels and blue cheese and had she chosen chicken breast instead of the thighs she could have eliminated some saturated fat.  But she gets credit for using balsamic vinegar on her salad. No oil! So she saved some calories and fat there. And blue cheese is actually a good addition to a salad as long as it is in small quantity. A small amount adds a lot of flavor and decadence without that many additional calories. I’m hoping she measured it out though. Her log indicates half a one inch cube. It would be easy to eat so much more and then be underestimating calorie intake. So be sure to measure.

Sodium. 2400 mg or less is the goal. Her diary indicates she ate less than 900 mg. I would guess more however because of the teriyaki chicken. I looked on other sites and the sodium content for 1 thigh ran higher up to 1100 mg for this serving site. Sometimes the entries on online journals are incorrect, especially if it was a “member submitted” and not verified.

Cholesterol. Goal is less than 300 mg per day. Hers was 163 mg. Good.

Sugars. The American Heart Association recommends limiting added sugars to 100 calories daily for women. She had 84 g TOTAL  sugars.  Her biggest sugar contributors were milk in the latte and fruit. These weren’t added sugars.The chocolate covered pretzels added some unnecessary sugar/carbs.

Fiber. Goal is 35 grams per day. She got 21 grams. This is a bit surprising because she did eat whole grains, veggies and fruits. Apparently not enough. She can improve this by adding more fiber-rich veggies to her salad. Maybe broccoli, carrots, celery, a few peas, raw cauliflower.

Did she get at least 2 servings of dairy? She had 1.5 servings from the soy milk in the latte  and some milk on her cereal. The contribution from calcium is one of the major reasons it is important to eat dairy foods. She did have soy milk which sometimes does not contain calcium unless it is fortified with calcium. Since all soy milk is not fortified,  read the nutrition information on labels carefully.

Was there a lot of “volume”? Yes. Peaches, edamame, spinach, tangerines, mushrooms and banana. These are filling and lower calorie and more nutritious than other choices might be. If you can picture the food on the plate , it was quite a bit. The salmon was also a good choice. She was able to have a big portion for a mere 240 calories.  6 ounces of beef would be at least double that in calories which means that if she had wanted to eat beef and stay within her calorie goal she could have only had a small 3 ounce portion.

Get 3 servings of whole grains? She had about 2 servings. A serving is 1 cup cold cereal or ½ c rice.She had 1 c Cheerios and 1/3 cup rice. (I wonder if she measured. That is a very small serving. My guess is that she actually had more)

Did she eat at least 2 cups of vegetables? Yes. Edamame (can count as a starchy veggies but still a veggie), spinach, mushrooms.

Did she eat at least 1.5 cups fruit? Yes.Banana, peach, tangerines.

So overall, she did well. There are a few areas to improve on that were brought to her attention because we took the time to assess her daily intake. Now you try it with your own journal entries usingHow to Evaluate the Data from your Online Food Journal“. 

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