It is important that this record be both accurate and representative of your normal dietary intake. Thus it is essential that you do not alter your normal eating habits in any way and that you record as precisely as possible every single item that you consume (this includes water, vitamins, condiments, etc.). To do so, you must follow a few simple instructions (listed below). The purpose here is to correctly record and quantify your normal intake, not to judge it. If you change your eating habits in any way, then we cannot accurately analyze your typical diet. The procedure may seem somewhat cumbersome, but remember, it is only three days.
Keep a pen and paper with you at all times to record your intake including food item, quantity, and notes. This is imperative as snacks are typically consumed unpredictably and, as a result, it is impossible to record them accurately unless your recording forms are nearby.
Use a small food scale if you have one, or use standard measuring devices (e.g., measuring cups, measuring spoons) to record the quantities consumed as accurately as possible. If you do not eat all of the item (for instance a portion of an apparently delicious hastily prepared casserole of leftovers that turned out to be not so delicious), re-measure what’s left and record the difference.
Record combination foods separately (e.g., hot dog, bun, and condiments) and include brand names of food items (list contents of homemade items) whenever possible.
For packaged items, use labels to determine quantities.
Record three days that are representative of your normal intake. Therefore if your weekdays are different from your weekends, pick two weekdays and one weekend. Likewise, if your M, W, and F are different from your T and Th and all these days are different from your Sat and Sun, you should pick one day to represent each unique schedule.