Food Diary: Helpful or Waste of Time?

I LOATH keeping a food diary. I think it ridiculous and unnecessary. If you just eat the right food and watch your portion sizes, then it should be simple, right?

I tried once, but I was too lazy to keep up with it for longer than a few days and I found it tedious and hated it.

However, here I am, four weeks into hating my fluff enough to chisel away at it, yet again.

One week in I gained 3 pounds.

Two weeks in… nothing budged.

It’s frustrating, and of course I know it doesn’t happen overnight, but I was really tired of not seeing results. Before I took my 2-month hiatus, I had been at a pretty steady plateau and I now I am mad and just want it gone. Which leads me to do crazy things… like starting to track my food.

I read about it all the time when researching ways to help you` lose weight and I always just roll my eyes and then get cranky because all the other things I already do. So, I bit the bullet and created a My Fitness Pal account and started logging everything I ate.

I guess when you’re desperate, doing something simple, such as logging your food, doesn’t seem too bad.

After one week of eating proper portion sizes and making healthier choices… like having ½ cup of ice-cream instead of a large bowl, even though I ate really well that day and totally deserved it… I lost 2 pounds!

2 pounds!

Nothing major, but definitely a victory.

My Fitness Pal makes it easy and have other cool features on the free app. I enter in my weight, what my goals are, what and how much I eat, the water I drink, the exercises I did and how many calories I burned. You can even scan the bar codes of food you eat or search for recipes you use and it figures out the nutrition and calorie stuff for you.

It tells me how many calories to eat to reach my goals and even tells me if I’m not eating enough, which I like because starving yourself to lose weight is not healthy and usually backfires.

It also tells you how much protein, carbohydrates, and fiber you should be getting. How little sugar you should actually be consuming, which I never realized how easy it is to go over with sugar, and other important vitamins and minerals. And you can track your macros, which apparently is important.

I also realized that I have not been drinking nearly the amount of water I use to be or thought I had been. Now I keep track and it totally helps me reach my goal of a gallon a day… which makes me feel pretty awesome.

I wouldn’t say I have a new-found love tracking and seeing what I eat, but it has definitely helped me make better choices in the kitchen and be more aware of the food I do eat, instead of just eating to eat. And I honestly do believe it helped me lose those 2 pounds last week, so I’m going to continue until it’s second nature.

Apparently, I’m a big over eater. I like big portions and love getting seconds and experiencing the deliciousness of food long after I’m satisfied, or even full. I’ve heard this can be remedied by eating slower and chewing more… which is challenging as a mother of young gremlins who want to eat all your food.

As tedious as it may seem, I would definitely recommend keeping a food diary, whether it’s with old fashioned pen and paper, My Fitness Pal, Fit Bit, or something else you find that works for you. Especially if you are struggling and feel there is not much else you could do.  Finding out what is going on the kitchen has proved beneficially to me.

Duh! Right? Professionals recommend it for a reason.

“Eating healthy gets easier when you turn “I can’t have that.” into “I don’t want that.””

Do you now or have you ever kept a food diary? Was it helpful to you? I’d love to here your experiences in the comments below. Especially for some extra motivation!

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