Steps to a Healthy Weight – Getting Started

weight loss, goal setting, weight management Congratulations! You have taken the first step in achieving a healthy weight, which is to take a closer look at your eating habits.  Read on to get practical tips.

Write down your eating habits

Tracking your food habits is a powerful way to get a sense of your eating patterns. Create a simple chart and write down:

  • What time you ate
  • What you ate and how it was made
  • How much you ate
  • How you were feeling at that moment

Use this chart below or call EatRight Ontario at 1-877-510-510-2 for a sample Food Diary. The amounts don’t have to be exact, but try to be as accurate as possible.


What food/drink I had


I’m feeling…


Coffee with cream and sugar

1 cup coffee 1 tsp sugar 2 tsp cream



Peanut butter & toast

2 slices of white bread 2 tbsp peanut butter 1 tsp jam


Track your eating for two or three days. Try two typical weekdays and one day on the weekend. Some people also find it helpful to write down what they would have eaten if they hadn’t been tracking their food choices. For example, if you usually eat a bag of chips while watching TV, you may have stopped yourself from eating it on the day you were writing in your chart.

Questions to help you see where you can improve

After you have tracked your eating habits for a couple of days, you can ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you eating foods from all four food groups in Canada’s Food Guide every day?
  • Are you eating the right number of servings from each food group for your age and sex?
  • Do you eat at least three food groups at each meal?
  • How often did you eat foods that are not part of Canada’s Food Guide (like French fries, chips, chocolate, cookies, candies, ice cream, donuts etc.)?
  • Is half your plate full of vegetables and fruit at each meal?
  • Are you choosing whole grains most of the time?
  • How often are you drinking beverages that have added sugar (like pop or sweetened coffees)?
  • How often are you eating when you’re bored, sad, tired or stressed?

Once you have identified areas that could be improved, pick one or two to change. Now you are ready to go on your journey to a healthy weight! Your next steps starts with reading Steps for healthy weight loss – Taking action.

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Last Update – October 18, 2017

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If you have questions about what you've read here, or other questions about food, nutrition or healthy eating, click to email our Registered Dietitians or call 1-877-510-5102.