Food Journal – What Works For Me Wednesday

 I hate logging my food. I resist it like a toddler resists sleep. If it were socially acceptable I’d probably lay on the floor and kick and scream about it. Do you know why I hate logging my food? Because who the hell really wants to know how many calories are in the 12 Oreo cookies I just ate? Do you know why logging works? Because it tells me how many calories are in those damn Oreo cookies I just ate. Yeah, it’s like entrapment or something. I’ve fought logging my food. I’ve emailed people whose opinion I greatly admire in the fitness biz (and by biz, I mean other really cool facebook pages) to see if they log. I figured since they were hot, and cut, and fabulous looking they probably didn’t log their food even if they did at one point. Guess what? They log. Not what I wanted to hear. Although I somehow knew that would be the answer.

Here’s the thing – I apparently have food amnesia. If I decide I’m going to give myself a “break” from logging, I end up eating ridiculous portions. Then those ridiculous portions need to be washed down with something sweet. And probably chocolatey. But, since I’m not logging it the calories don’t count, right? ha ha ha ha HA! Tell my tight pants that.

Then a logging miracle happens. I discover that a serving of couscous is one cup for 120 calories. Suddenly, I’m full with just that cup. I don’t need to go back for seconds. See? A miracle. Because when I’m not logging, that couscous tastes damn good and nothing but a second helping will do. So I log to keep myself honest. And thin. Logging used to make me feel inferior. Like I’m not smart enough to eat reasonable portions. Well, I AM one smart cookie. I just happen to like cookies. So, I need to know when to stop. Seeing those calories in writing, well, that helps me keep my bad habits in check.

I personally prefer myfitnesspal for logging. It’s what works for me. (No, I’m not paid to endorse them.) Their smart phone app is fantastic and I actually prefer using that over the on-line version. They app has a bar code scanner so if you happen to eat something packaged, you can just scan it, rather than searching for it. Another reason I prefer this one is that it tracks the macro-nutrients too. I don’t eat meat except on the very rare occasion, so I like to make sure I’m getting enough protein. I also like to track my carbs and fat. I look at the ratios and see if I’m particularly heavy in one area or another. (If I’ve had more carbs than normal, did that make me feel tired or sluggish?) It also tracks other nutrients to make sure you’re getting what you need.

There are many choices for logging food if it’s something you think might be helpful to you. Sparkpeople, Livestrong, and Weight Watchers are just a few that come to mind. It isn’t a matter of how you do it; it’s a matter of being aware of exactly what you’re putting in your body and how it affects you. So, for now, I’ll continue to log my food. Every single bite. Because it’s what works for me.

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