Recording what I eat every day helps me pay attention and make progress towards my goal, which is once again, getting leaner and lighter. I have specific targets for calories, protein and net carbohydrates. Keeping a log helps me analyze the results I am seeing. And it reminds me that I have a goal that depends on the choices I make at every meal.
Many paleo advocates suggest not weighing or measuring your food, and staying away from a scale yourself for a month. Maybe this works if you are strictly following a food plan. But I haven’t used this method with any success. And besides I think the data I collect is useful.
I don’t think it is necessary to keep a food diary or journal all the time. But I will until I reach my goal and stabilize at the new weight.
I have used a couple websites that I like. Fitday.com is free and has easy data entry but doesn’t track sugar, which is important to me. I have not found a mobile app for fitday however, another important feature.
MyFoodDiary.com offers a lot of tools and will evaluate your meals based on the typical calories in, calories out model, favoring low fat, moderate protein and high carbs. I do not like getting little red boxes on my food journal telling me I’ve eaten too much saturated fat and protein and not enough carbs. I do however like the social support I receive through the community forum. That is the only reason I keep paying the monthly access fee.
My current favorite for keeping my food log is a website I discovered through the app for my phone: fatsecret.com is free and works perfectly with a calorie counter on my phone. I love the scanner, which allows me to scan the label and saves having to manually enter the item and its nutritional information. I also like the reports it generates, which I can easily send to my trainer to review.
Plus there are some great social features like buddies, email, challenge threads, groups, diet plans, and so on. You can make up your own diet and share it too. I am really liking it a lot.
If you are not making good, steady progress toward your goal, then take the time to figure out why not. If you don’t know why not, then consider keeping a food journal for a couple weeks. It is not as hard as they say to get leaner. You simply need the right tools, the right information, and the right skills.