WRITING IT DOWN – JOURNALING YOUR FOOD

One VITAL tool I learned on The Biggest Loser Ranch is to journal my food.  I mean every bite!  I did it when I came home as well.  It is so important!  Actually, from the time I knew I was chosen for the show and I actually left home, I had to journal everything I ate and when I ate it.  Dr. Cheryl Forberg, nutritionist for Biggest Loser, then sat down with me to review them!  Yes, chocolate milk, real cokes, and real southern sweet tea (which I could have just had by IV most days!), chocolate candy, and lots and lots of fast food.  I could tell you what was on every $1 menu in town as well as every “cheap” food at the grocery store; you know Ramon noodles, etc…….  OUCH!  It was an eye opener for me just seeing it but Dr. Cheryl didn’t look shocked or surprised.  I would guess most of us got there by eating some of the same things in great quantity.

I mentioned last week in the blog sometimes we let things “drift” and journaling lately has been one for me.  I know better and can’t remember why I slowed down…  I could add a number of excuses but they are that aren’t they, excuses…..

But journaling is an IMPORTANT tool to weight loss and maintaining healthy weight.

So today, I’m back on the journaling track.  There are different tools to use for journaling like smart phone apps, online programs, or just writing it down on a real piece of paper.  I have My Fitness Pal on my phone which I like as I can scan the bar code on a product and it adds the nutritional information in my program which is wonderful.  I also use Bodybugg like I did on The Ranch.  I love the charts there because I’m a visual person and love to see all the nutritional information it provides.

You need to figure out which works best for you but for me today, I have a new little book in my purse to jot everything down then I will put it in the computer but this leaves me with NO EXCUSES.   On The Ranch, there were only 2 computers for 18 so accessing one when you weren’t working out, eating, or sleeping was tough.   Writing it down was my lifeline!  We all had a couple of calorie counter books, The Biggest Loser Calorie Counter and Calorie King.  It may be hard to believe but I had to actually look it up and write it down to know where I was on my calorie count.  My calorie counter books are now on my kitchen counter.

If you haven’t journaled your food ever or lately, here are some reasons WHY:

  • Journaling is being TOTALLY HONEST with myself about every bite I eat because if I don’t, I am only cheating myself!   Yes, if you are like me, “tasting” while cooking can add up to a whole serving size!  Or wait, I did grab a handful of “whatever” as I walked by….. Write it down!
  • Journaling my food shows me exactly what I’m eating.  Sometimes I think I know how many calories I’m eating but by writing it out, I see it!  And it doesn’t lie… you know, like the scale!  Some estimate that if you don’t write down your food daily, you may actually be eating up to 3 times more than you think!!!!   Really, 3 times as much!!!!!!
  • Journaling helps me eat healthier and make better choices.  I can see where my diet is lacking say by not eating as many vege’s or as much protein as I need.  After a few days or a week, I can see where I need to make adjustments.
  • Journaling can also show me when I eat…. those late night meals or snacks that may be throwing me off track.  Or maybe I’m not eating enough or often enough.  I know lots of people say I don’t eat anything until about 10:00am.  Breakfast is key and should be eaten within 45 minutes of waking up; it jumpstarts your metabolism for the day.  It’s my favorite meal!
  • Journaling helps me plan my meals.  By planning meals ahead of time, I can make sure I’m getting the right foods in the right amounts and making better choices.  I get a great breakfast, pack my lunch if I need to, and take a little stress off “what’s for dinner” every night.  You know, take control of the aimless drive when you are hungry and making bad decisions.  Most every day, I have a cooler bag with snacks in it when I go out or travel to help me from making “stupid” choices because I’m hungry and not prepared, stressed or just tired.

Remember 3,500 calories are a pound, gained or lost!  That is worth repeating…..

3,500 calories = 1 pound

So…..17,500 calories = 5 pounds (you see where this is going… they all count!)

This small step is such an important tool to making us successful today and every day.

SO…. ARE YOU JOURNALING YOUR FOOD DAILY????  YOU CAN!!!!!

 Tell me how you do it!

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8 Responses to “WRITING IT DOWN – JOURNALING YOUR FOOD”

  1. I too use MyFitnessPal – very easy – but still I fail to do it every day – - it is the only way to “not cheat” in my opinion

    • I agree Joyce. I find when I don’t write it down, I look back and think I ate a little of this and a little of that this week and realize why the scale didn’t move or in the direction I wanted it to!

  2. I use myfitesspal.com although i have been off track the last couple of weeks. I wish it could be used offline as well. I have to start back today. I was excited to see the weight droping off.

    • Brenda, I hear lots of people using My Fitness Pal as well. I have mine downloaded onto my phone (which is a free app)mbut if you don’t have a phone that you can do that with or perhaps a business phone that you would rather not load personal info on, you can do what I’m doing and that is just the old fashioned way of writing it down then entering it into the computer as you can throughout your day. You do need to know where you are during the day so you don’t think, I’ve only eaten 500 calories, it’s 3pm and I can afford to eat whatever when really you are at about 900 where you should be (if you were on a 1200 calorie/day plan) and that is not in your budget for the day. You will figure out how to make it work again like you did when you were seeing the weight drop off because you want it! I just had someone give me a “good reminder” and made me kick it up again and figure it out, hense the post! Thanks!

  3. Thanks, Sherry! Great post!