Diet Compliance Chart

Enough people have been asking for this chart, so here it is.

HealthHabits Diet Compliance Chart

This is a generic version that works with any type of diet.

As long as a meal follows the rules of your particular diet, you put a check in the appropriate box. If you cheat, you have to put an X in the box. Simple, but effective. Something about putting pen to paper makes your actions more permanent.

A chart full of checkmarks is very motivating, as is a chart full of Xs.

gold starBut, like any other tool, if you don’t use it, it won’t work.

Note – You don’t need to eat 6 meals a day.

Note – You can replace the Checks & Xs with Gold Stars if the child in you so desires.

healthhabits diet compliance chart

pdf version


Paleo Diet Compliance Chart

This is the chart that Mr.X is using.

The only difference between this chart and the generic version is the text at the top of the chart referring to the Paleo-style diet that I put him on.

paleo diet compliance chart 2

pdf version


Overview of Paleo Diet – 1 Month on the Paleo Diet

Just in case anyone is interested in giving Mr. Xs paleo style diet a try.

paleo diet overview - 1 month on the paleo diet

pdf version – includes compliance chart


If you like what you see here, click here for updates



  1. No cheese?! I think that would be even harder for me than the no bread/pasta/rice.

    If you could ever convince me to even try the paleo diet, I wouldn’t need a compliance chart–I’d need an actual meal plan. I mean, yes, you give what you can and can’t eat, but that takes away so much of what I normally eat that I can’t imagine what I would make every day.

  2. My two cents: Though lower-carb (no grain)/Paleo-type diets appear to be restrictive, you’re actually opening yourself up to a whole food world, and closing off only a very narrow window. Grains/sugar/junk/processed foods are all basically the same thing, just in various forms. Same ingredients, mostly — or at least, same low quality of food and same effect on body. Chips = Hostess cupcakes = Snickers = cereal, etc. Packaging and “variety” make it seem like a ton of food is off-limits, but really it’s just the same batch of ingredients reconfigured — high-fructose corn syrup, flour, sugar, various chemicals and additives, etc. It helps me to remember this, and then you realize you’re not depriving yourself of anything, and in fact doing the opposite — giving yourself more than ever. (There are many types of vegetables and fruits out there, not to mention nuts and fish.)

    Side note: I’m not sure how I feel about the diet-compliance chart. In theory I like it for motivational purposes (who doesn’t want gold stars?), but I’m generally anti-diet. Plus, what about the role of hunger? Quality vs. quantity debate, I suppose — better to eat “good” foods even if you eat sometimes when not hungry, OR, better to eat what you want (even junk) only until your hunger is satisfied, then stop? I guess in the end, the 90% compliance goal is the saving grace, as it allows for a somewhat relaxed mental state.

    Long post — sorry!

  3. Yeah, but at this point I’m not eating a lot of chips or Hostess cupcakes or Snickers or cereal. For me it’s more restrictive on the whole foods side, the rice and pasta and cheese and chocolate and beans side. No dairy means I can’t have feta on my salad or a glass of milk with my apple and peanut butter for breakfast, no beans/legumes/etc means no hummus, no pasta means I can’t saute vegetables and toss with pasta or make mushroom stroganoff, no rice cuts out sushi and most of the Asian and Indian dishes I’ve come to love, no chocolate means I can’t have a piece after dinner…the list goes on. At this point, I don’t think I could continue eating a single meal I currently have.

  4. DR, I like the simplicity of the charts.

    As I’m sure you’re aware (but your readers man not be), many scientific studies document that keeping a food diary improves weight-loss results.

    Keeping the diary as simple as possible improves compliance with record keeping.

    I’ve started working with horses over the last year. A standard training principle is “Make it hard for the horse to do the wrong thing, and easy to do the right thing.”

    Works in humans, too. The diary makes it a little harder to cheat on the diet.



  5. Good points — both by Brit (you’re right — cheese and legumes hardly seem like junk food), and Steve. Maybe I’ll give a compliance chart a whirl.

    Brit — on a side note, since part of DR’s health philosophy is doing what works for you (ie, not one-size-fits-all), maybe you could do a modified Paleo if you felt so inclined. Paleo, but have some cheese, some chocolate, etc. But I’ll leave that up to you — I’m certainly not telling anyone what to do with their diet!

  6. My main problem on all of the low carb plans is that I can’t eat eggs. I really cannot put them in my mouth, the smell is gag-inducing. So, breakfast is a huge problem. Any ideas?

  7. It’s funny (funny-strange not funny-haha) how habit plays such a large part in the success or failure of any behavior modification plan.

    And behavior modification is exactly what a diet is.

    Most of us eat the same 10 or 20 foods over and over and ignore everything else.

    This habit is responsible for why we think certain foods are breakfast foods (egg, bacon, cereal, bread, fruit), certain foods are lunch foods (sandwiches, salads, other convenience foods) and certain foods are dinner foods (meat & veg of many varieties + larger portions)

    Why is it weird to eat dinner at breakfast?


    But, I digress. Back to your question

    Low carb breakfast foods:

    Steak & eggs (skip the eggs and add some crunchy vegetables)
    Soup – meat & veg based – This is a great choice. Just re-heat & serve on busy mornings. Some people also believe that a heavy meal first thing upon wakening is hard on your still sleepy digestive system.

    If you are looking at more of a paleo-style diet:

    Fresh fruit is great (especially in season)

  8. I’d be interested in seeing what you eat on a day to day basis, DR, to see how you vary things and to get recipe ideas. You did a daily workout log for a while–how about a food diary?

  9. Great point of view, I never thought like this but you’ve opened my mind!

  10. Interesting idea, and I like the idea of charting and aiming for the 90%. I might try this with regards to the non-paleo foods I’m still eating like beans and dairy…would be interesting to see just how strictly I’m actually adhering to the diet standards.

  11. Seeing as breakfast: porridge oats are the one source of grains and carbs I eat all day (the rest is all fresh fruit and steamed veg, no sauce no dressing) and meat, I can’t see this diet working for me:

    Breakfast is the one meal that actually fills me up and keeps me full! Even eating 20-30g of protein per meal (= 125-ish grams of meat or fish) I still am ravenous about 20 minutes later. Porridge oats keep me full (a weighed out 30g then made up with water) for about 3-4 hours. Spot the difference!

    I guess its the same as with any diet: one size does not fit all at all!!

  12. “one size does not fit all at all”

    I agree 100%.

    We are all our own little personal science experiments

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