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You have now had the experience of doing the Day 1 food journal using the My Plate meal plan approach. Please review my comments before you do this Day 2 food record. If you have any questions about my comments please reply back to me. I am happy to clarify my comments.

The purpose of doing a second food record using MyFitnessPal (food tracker app) or NutriCalcPlus (NCP) is:

  • to give you a more accurate picture of what you’re eating and drinking (dietary intake) so you can determine if it’s too much or too little based on your personal weight and health goals as well as factoring in your activity level. A diet and activity log can help identify if you are eating too much or even too little of less nutritious foods as you learned doing the first journal. Eating too much of less nutritious foods and beverages typically results in not meeting your calorie and vitamin and mineral needs. This can result in negative health effects, such as, feeling tired, difficulty concentrating, and being more vulnerable to getting sick as well as other potential health issues, and not eating less nutritious foods may indicate you are being overly strict with food rules which can be unhealthy, The My Plate meal plan does not provide specific details on your macronutrient and micronutrient intake. A food and activity tracker such as My Fitness Pal or the e-text’s NCP diet analysis tool DO provide a detailed breakdown of nutrient intake. I require you to report the following nutrients: macronutrients should be reported in percentages, saturated fat grams, sodium milligrams, sugar grams, fiber grams and calcium %. In MyFitness Pal this information is found in the “Nutrition” > Nutrients and “Macros” section. In NCP it is found in the Nutrients Report. More info below.
  • to experience the use of a food and activity tracking app as a tool that was chosen to provide convenience, and easy access to analysis of your dietary intake. MyFitness Pal just happens to be a popular one, but there are many available that some of you may already be using. You may use another app, but it will need to provide the nutrient information that is required for this assignment as indicated on the journal template and mentioned above. Your subscription to the McGraw Hill etext also includes a diet analysis app called Nutri Calc Plus. Many of you used it for the MyPlate Food Journal assignment. It is a very user-friendly diet analysis tool. A benefit of using this one is it does provide the information regarding your progress in meeting My Plate Plan goals AND nutrient information. MyFitness Pal does not report progress with My Plate meal plan goals, but I wish it did. However, NCP does not have an app and so some of you likely prefer using an app vs online access only.
  • to help you identify factors that influence your diet decisions such as how often you eat, where you eat, physical hunger and fullness, mood and or emotions you are in while eating and making food decisions, and others factors that influence your food choices as discussed in Chapter 1.1 (What Influences Your Food Choices?). It also requires you to specify your physical hunger and fullness using the Hunger/Satiety Scale that was introduced to you in chapter 1.
  • is to help you identify your personal assessment of doing the food journal and identifying your food behaviors.

Complete a 4-question subjective survey. The survey is listed as a separate item in this module.

As you go about your day to day activities, this assignment may help you better understand if your diet is an obstacle to your healthy eating goals or supports not just your health goals, but additional goals you have set for yourself including academic and other wellness goals. The food journal template provides you the experience of using 3 different approaches to weight management and meeting nutritional goals.

1) calorie counting (MyFitnessPal, NCP),

2) meal plan (My Plate)

3) mindful eating (Intuitive eating using hunger and satiety cues as discussed in chapter 1).

You may find that you prefer one approach to another OR, you may like taking a little from each approach and adapting aspects from each to meet your own personal diet approach. It is completely up to you, but it needs to support BOTH your physical and mental health needs.

I am providing past examples of food journals that students have submitted.

  1. Download A grade Food Journal (16.5 -18 points)
    1. This food journal received a 17.5 due to missing added sugar for a snack but otherwise very well done.
  2. Download B grade Food Journal (14.5 – 16 points)
    1. This food journal was very well done and would have received full points except for not adding the information for macronutrients as indicated on the form which asks for percentages as indicated by the symbol (%) whereas this student provided grams so 3 points was lost.
  3. Download C grade Food Journal (13 – 14 points)
    1. The food journal received a 14 due to the following errors: net calories incorrect, not circling < or >, not including quantities with food and not indicating added sugar in fruit punch
  4. Download D grade Food Journal (11 – 12.5 points)
    1. This food journal received 11 points due to the following errors: missing quantities of food, missing added sugars, macronutrient percentages don’t make sense and sodium and fiber amounts are not reported in the units indicated on the form.
  5. Download F grade Food Journal (< 11 points)
    1. This food journal received 0 points due to the following errors: missing added sugars, food quantities and not circling < or >. The biggest issue was the nutrient information reported seemed suspect meaning the numbers are not supported by what was reportedly eaten and drank, So, zero points is automatically applied, In cases where I find an inconsistency between the food written down and the nutrient information, I will give a zero. The syllabus policy states that you can receive a 0 if the information appears to be false. I will provide the opportunity for you to send a screenshot of your nutrient report in MyFitness Pal to support that information in the food journal. I don’t think I have ever received screenshots.

Disclaimer: MyFitness Pal app includes articles you can read that may be informative and useful. However, they may include information that is confusing, that you or I disagree with and raise questions about accuracy with nutrition advice and what is best for you. I encourage you to ask your questions in Zoom live meetings or Inbox. We can also create a Discussion about it.

Student Learning Outcomes addressed in this assignment:

  1. Identify your nutritional needs and goals.
  2. Identify nutrient deficiencies and excesses.
  3. Identify the relationship between your basal metabolic rate and net calories.
  4. Identify controllable vs. non-controllable factors that support or hinder your nutrition goals.
  5. Experience different approaches available to individuals to identify nutritional needs and ability to meet nutrition goals by utilizing calorie counting (MyFitnessPal, NCP) vs MyPlate (meal planning), vs mindful eating (Hunger/Fullness Scale).
  6. Identify personal preference to support a sustainable and healthy diet approach.

This next statement is VERY important. Using a calorie counting method is NOT recommended if you have an eating disorder or think you have an eating disorder.

    1. If you have or are working with a dietitian and are currently using a meal plan, then continuing to use that would be appropriate for this assignment. I have had former students disclose to me they have an eating disorder or may have an eating disorder, or they struggle with food issues and they have appreciated being able to use an alternative approach to the assignment. Part of the purpose of this assignment is for it to meet your needs. So, if you have ANY concern or unsure about whether you have an eating disorder it could be very helpful to speak with me and find an approach that best fits you. If you do not have an eating disorder, but are concerned with using a calorie counting method, please talk to me about your concerns and we can work on an alternative approach also.

Apply what you have learned

  1. IF YOU WANT TO USE a food app on mobile device:
    1. Go to MyFitnessPal app (free) and download to your mobile device. You can also do this on , (Links to an external site.) but you will not have the option to scan the barcode of packaged food and beverage items.
  2. IF YOU WANT TO USE NutriCalcPlus (NCP) via etext webpage:
    1. Another option for recording food intake is to use NCP located on McGraw-Hill Connect. This does not have an app and can only be accessed via Connect.
  3. You must use a food and activity tracker app or NCP to receive credit for this assignment. I will not accept a food journal with any other method unless you have made arrangements with me prior to submitting your food journal. You will be graded 0 for this assignment if you do not use one of these methods.
      1. Download the FOOD JOURNAL. Download FOOD JOURNAL.
  2. You are now ready to begin entering diet and activity information AND record in real time additional information on the food journal template. It is important to have the template available to you whenever you eat and/or drink.For example, the food journal includes the Hunger/Satiety scale that was reviewed in Chapter 1 lecture slides. You will not find it in the e-text. Prior to eating your meal/snack you should identify your hunger/fullness cues and associated number using the Hunger/Satiety Scale handout (link provided below). You are asked to again check your fullness cues after you finish eating. You are also identifying your mood, reasons for eating, time and location.
    1. In both MyFitness Pal and NCP, the first thing you will be asked to do is set up a Profile.
    2. Follow the directions to create your Profile by entering your age, weight, height, gender, activity level. Choose your weight goal. Weight maintenance is recommended for the purpose of this project. However, you may choose weight loss or weight gain if that is your current goal.
    3. As you enter the foods you eat and drink throughout the day, calories are subtracted from your daily calorie goal and you will observe the “remaining” calories you have for the remainder of the day. If you exercise, please add this also because calories will be increased or added to your calorie goal. The goal is to have zero ‘calories remaining’ at the end of the day in order to meet your weight goal. However, this does not mean you will have met your nutrient goal.
    1. MyFitnessPal (useful tips)
      1. In ‘Home’ section, at the top of the screen, you will be able to see your daily calorie goal. ‘Diary’ section gives a view of what you eat per meal, water intake, and exercise log. Pressing the ‘+” button will enable you to begin adding your food, beverages, including water that you consume, and exercise. You can also add your daily weight (lbs. or kg) information (optional). When you enter dietary intake, you need to input specific amounts (cups, oz., grams, i.e. mathematical units) of what you eat and drink. This is the area where there is a lot of room to mistakenly estimate how much you ate or drank. Therefore, to get accurate information, measuring how much you eat is the most accurate way to determine calories, and vitamin and mineral intake. If you do not measure food and beverages, then your nutrient numbers will not be very useful because it does not accurately reflect what you are doing. Alternatively, when you bar code scan dietary intake or select nutrition information as reported by fast/casual food restaurants, you will not be measuring and in this way that can be an easier way to get more accuracy with nutrient reports.
    2. It is important to understand that NONE of these methods is 100% accurate, including measuring your food. What you select in the food database may not match what you ate. Therefore, please consider this when you finish recording and are reviewing your nutrient reported amounts for that day. There is a learning curve to using tracking app in order to achieve greater accuracy. You will be doing a total of 3 days of food records spread out during the semester. Ideally, your second food record will be better than the first and the third day will be better than the first two-day records. ‘Better’ can mean more accurate, but also you get more useful information about your food behavior, habits that can be applied to improving your diet approach that supports your lifestyle and goals.

Criteria For Success

See rubric for grading criteria and/or read below:

The following information that should have already been collected and recorded at and during meals/snacks: time, location, hunger/fullness, and reasons for choosing that meal/snack.

  1. For hunger/satiety cues, use the Download Hunger/Satiety Scale.


    • AT the VERY TOP of the food journal template (located in the header), transfer your calorie goal, calories eaten, exercise calories and remaining calories, This information is provided exactly in that order in your MyFitnessPal Diary Food Log.
    • Calculate net calories (calories eaten – exercise calories). Circle if your net calorie intake is greater or less than your basal metabolic rate (BMR).
      • To calculate your BMR, see page 237 in the textbook. Net calories in most cases, should be greater than BMR even if weight loss is your goal. If net calories is less than BMR, ask yourself, why? If weight loss is your goal, you are approaching it too aggressively by either cutting back calories too much and/or exercising a lot and not eating enough to compensate for your activity. If net calories are about equal to your calorie goal then you are working towards achieving your weight goal regardless of what you choose for your weight goal. Negative effects of net calories less than BMR is greater muscle loss and your metabolism slows down making weight loss even harder to achieve.
    1. You will need to look at 2 different reports to retrieve and report calorie goal, calories eaten, exercise calories and remaining calories.
      1. In the Reports section, select Calories Assessment to report calorie goal, calories eaten.
      2. In the reports section, select Activity Summary to report exercise calories.
      3. Follow the formula in the header to calculate calories remaining.
  3. Transfer ALL your food and beverage intake directly in Column 2 on the food journal template. This should be all the food and beverages you consumed on that day AND the quantities that you entered into the database. The quantity of the food and beverages listed should be exactly what you selected in MyFitnessPal. (i.e. 1 cup) or NutriCalcPlus.
  4. Indicate the My Plate food groups included in that meal. This is what you had to do in the first food journal. However, I do not require you list the servings according to MyPlate, but for those using NutriCalcPlus, you can do so by viewing the MyPlate report.
  5. State the amount added sugars in your food and beverages (if any) located on Nutrition Facts panel. If you can’t find added sugars on the Nutrition Facts Panel and you know your food has added sugar due to the name for instance, i.e. chocolate granola bar, you should then look at the ingredients list for sugar or some version of sugar. This information must be listed in the ingredients list on food packaging. State the name of the sugar used. You will not get credit if the food listed clearly has sugar, but you do not list it as having added sugar. If there is no added sugar, you need to put 0 grams. See Chapter 4 lecture slides for list of foods that are added sugar (besides table sugar).
  1. Your reasons for that food choice. Review Chapter 1, Reasons for food choices.

Located at the very bottom of the form (in the footer area): Report the nutrient info as indicated.

  1. To find this information in MyFitnessPal,
    1. From ‘Home’ view click on More > Nutrition > find the following information:
      1. Click on ‘Macros’ to find macros (must report in percentages to get full 3 points)
      2. Click on ‘Nutrients’ to locate and report other nutrient totals.
  2. To find nutrient info in NutriCalcPlus:
    1. Click on Reports.
    2. Click on Macronutrient Report to report macro splits (% Carbohydrates, % Fat, % Protein)
    3. Click on Single Nutrient Reports to report other nutrients (fiber, saturated fat, calcium, sodium)
  3. Now you are ready to submit your assignment.
    1. Upload your file the food journal template that you have now filled in (must be in word document file format) by clicking ‘Submit Assignment’ at the top of the page. Attach file.

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