After my mini-vacation, I had decided I would stop using the My Fitness Pal app on my iPad and just start using better judgment. Apparently this was a huge mistake.
Three days into my new calorie counting-free lifestyle, I began to see a dramatic increase in my over-the-sink nibbling habits. I’d grab a handful of granola to munch while I waited for dinner to finish and by the time I’d sit down to eat, I’d be full. Not wanting to waste food, I’d eat the dinner I had prepared and then have dessert! That all being said, I’ve decided to start counting (ahem, monitoring) my intake again, as I’ve learned I clearly can’t be trusted. As I’ve said before, I have decided to up my intake due to my running, but I have to get stop this right now!
What are the benefits of food journaling?
According to Livestrong.com, the following are just a few of the benefits of keeping a food journal:
Track Calories. A food diary provides you with the ability to track your daily caloric intake. Use calorie count charts in books or online to note calories on a handwritten food diary or opt to simply input foods into a program that provides you with nutritional information. You may find that you are consuming too many or too few daily calories for effective weight loss or maintenance. According to Jack Hollis, Ph.D., of Kaiser Permanente Northwest’s Center for Health Research in the August issue of the “American Journal of Preventive Medicine,” the act of tracking food eaten leads to lower calorie intake.
Recognize Eating Patterns. Include when you ate and how you felt at the time in your food journal. This can help you become aware of and correct patterns of emotional eating, according to 3FatChicks.com. A diet journal can help you to recognize when you eat or are apt to snack or binge. You may also realize that you’re skipping meals or not eating frequently enough.
Track Your Progress. Over time, your food journal can help you to see the positive changes you’ve made in your diet and recognize progress toward goals, recommends WeightLossMoms.com. Use your diary to recognize successes with better food choices and healthier eating habits. If you are struggling with a weight loss plateau, this can provide you with motivation and positive feedback.
Share Information. Share your food diary with your health care provider if you are discussing issues of weight or health, suggests WeightLossMoms.com. This can be especially helpful if you have medical conditions affected by diet, like diabetes, high cholesterol or heart disease. If you are struggling with weight loss, a food diary may help your doctor to recognize patterns or suggests appropriate tests.
As much as I’ve fantasized about living a calorie counting-free life, the “food baby” I’ve started to carry around is starting to wear on me. Even though I’m active, it simply isn’t enough for me. Standing just barely at 5’3 ½”, (gotta add the half) my small frame doesn’t know what to do with three extra handfuls of granola, so my thighs have been graciously taking on the load.
In closing, I’d like to salute you tall, slender ladies out there with jack-rabbit speed metabolisms, because even though you may be able to eat more pizza than me, you’ll always have boat feet.
My Healthy Choice of the Day: Going back to my trusty Fitness Pal application. May it bring me a flat stomach and slimmer thighs.