Ok so my title might be a little cheesy but hopefully it grabbed your attention! But getting a little more serious, lately I have been using the fitness tracking app MyFitnessPal. This app allows you to easily log your food as well as exercise. For the sake of this article I am going to focus on the food logging piece.
A little back story… I have worked with numerous dietitians and competition coaches over the years. Often the initial interaction is completing a three-day food log and normally I despise doing that. Sounds funny right being that I am a fitness professional. Ok so logging isn’t the most exciting thing but I think that can come down to perspective and purpose. In face I enrolled in a Protein Study this year that requires logging food three days a week and I was still struggling to comply with that. So if you are someone who struggles with that don’t feel alone – I am there too.
However, recently, I just had a pretty invasive foot surgery that will have me off of my foot for six weeks… bringing my physical activity level down tremendously. Knowing this, I realized I would need to make adjustments to my nutrition, as I would not need to consume as much food. The best way I thought I could manage my nutrition was to log my food. And it’s funny how, when we have the right motivation and dedication, we can really do anything we put our minds to.
I have successfully logged since surgery just about everyday and am running a little experiment to see if I can maintain and/or lose weight over the six weeks of being non weight baring but focusing on my nutrition. (I am also doing some intermittent fasting – more on that in another article).
So what has logging my food in my fitness pal taught me so far…
5. It creates awareness and mindfulness. I have found myself way more present and in the moment throughout the day and when I am eating. I am conscious of what I chose to eat and when and am no longer just eating to eat. Yes, there are times I feel hungry, but I realize that feeling will pass and I usually just shift my focus by writing, or engaging in an activity.
4. It takes out the guess-work. By logging my food, I can see how much I have consumed throughout the day. It can be easy to overlook the 2 glasses of wine, the additional handfuls of train mix, the Hershey kisses at the office. Everything does have a cumulative effect. This isn’t to say don’t have them, it just provides information,.
3. It educates on food composition. MyFitness Pal provides food break down by macronutrients so I can see just how many grams of carbohydrates, fats, and protein in each food. It also generates daily graphs so I can see overall percentages day to day.
2. It provides a daily goal. I am a very goal-oriented person. I have to do lists all over my desk ;) By tracking my food, it gives me something to strive for. In a weird way, it almost feels like this is my new training log since I am not currently training much.
1. It assists with establishing lifelong eating habits. Do I think I will track everyday of my life? Let’s be honest, I struggle in the beginning of this year. However, when I feel like I need to reign things in or reassess my nutrition, I jump back on the app. By logging food for a few weeks, it creates a foundation.
Honestly, tracking hasn’t been as “scary or annoying” as I thought it would be. It does a great job of keeping me honest and now that I see it as sort of a game or tool to help me “train” I have learned a lot over a few short weeks.
If you feel inclined to give it a try, add me as a “Friend” on MyFitness Pal and we can work towards our goals together!
If you have any comments, feedback, thoughts, or experiences with logging your food - let me know by dropping a note below.