The Synchronised Nutrition and Activity Program for Adults (SNAPA™) was developed to address the need for accurate, reliable, feasible, inexpensive and low-burden methods for assessing specific dietary and physical activity behaviours in adults. Short-term test–retest reliability of SNAPA™ was assessed in forty-four adults (age 41·4 (sd 17·3) years) who completed SNAPA™ twice in 1 day. Concurrent validity against direct dietary observation and combined heart rate and accelerometry was assessed in seventy-seven adults (age 34·4 (sd11·1) years). Test–retest reliability revealed no substantial systematic shifts in mean values of the outcome variables: percentage of food energy from fat (% fat), number of portions of fruit and vegetables (FV) and minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). For lunchtime dietary intake, the mean match rate between food items reported using SNAPA™ and those observed was 81·7 %, with a phantom rate of 5·6 %. Pearson's correlations between SNAPA™ and the reference methods ranged from 0·27 to 0·56 for % fat, FV portions and minutes of MVPA. For % fat and FV intake, there was no fixed or proportional bias, and mean differences between the methods (SNAPA™ − reference) were 5·1 % and 0 portions, respectively. For minutes of MVPA, a fixed bias of − 28 min was revealed when compared with all minutes of MVPA measured by combined heart rate and accelerometry, whereas a proportional bias (slope 1·47) was revealed when compared with minutes carried out in bouts ≥ 10 min. SNAPA™ is a promising tool for measuring specific energy balance behaviours, though further work is required to improve accuracy for physical activity behaviours.