Kidney Diet Tips

Change Your Diet by Using a Food Diary

Research on dieting for weight loss and what works for long term weight maintenance is extensive. One tool shown to help weight loss dieters maintain their weight is a food diary. This is a useful tool for dialysis patients or anyone on a kidney diet making new and long lasting changes in eating habits.

A food diary is a record of the amount of foods and liquids consumed. It may include additional information such as eating times and places, vitamins or other supplements or even medications. Accuracy is best if foods are recorded the same day eaten.

If you are starting a new kidney diet or if you are already on a renal diet and need to focus more on what you eat, try keeping a food record. Use one of these record keeping formats:

  • Keep a small pad or notebook in your pocket or purse and make notes each time you eat
  • Place a tablet in your kitchen and record intake after meals and snacks or at the end of the day
  • Record daily intake in your day planner
  • Buy a food diary and record in it each day
  • Use a PDA to record foods; download a daily diary
  • If you work at a computer make a food diary file and record intake there
  • Use an online meal planner such as DaVita Diet Helper which has a Nutrition Log to record food intake. Online meal planners provide you with analysis of foods eaten—a useful feature when trying to manage sodium, potassium, phosphorus or protein.

You are more likely to stick to your kidney diet plan if you keep a food diary. It’s a great way to keep on track.

Sara Colman, RD, CDE

Sara Colman, RD, CDE

Sara is a renal dietitian with over 20 years experience working with people with diabetes and kidney disease. She is co-author of the popular kidney cookbook "Cooking for David: A Culinary Dialysis Cookbook". Sara is currently the Manager of Kidney Care Nutrition for DaVita. She analyzes recipes and creates content, resources and tools for the kidney community. In her spare time Sara loves to spend time with her young grandson, including fun times together in her kitchen.