It has become trendy to argue against logging your meals and counting calories. From plans that let you eat as much as you want as long as its meat to critiques that argue it takes too long or makes people feel bad.
logging you food is great for anyone trying to improve their health. Whether you are losing weight, adding muscle, trying to control, blood sugar, cholesterol or sodium or simply want to eat fewer processed foods. Logging is a valuable tool for success and education.
- Calorie Count: Logging is the only way to truly know how many calories you consume, Especially when you first start paying attention to your intake or you go outside of your normal food routine. It also allows you to plan for events such as dining out. If I am going out to dinner, I will plan ahead, leaving myself extra calories. By logging, I know exactly what I have left myself and I am more likely to stick to my plan of reserving those calories.
- Awareness: logging your food creates a mindset. It keeps you aware of your actions and goals and provides you with some accountability. It’s visual proof of your actions that will either support or hinder your goals.
- Tracking nutrients: You may be able to argue that you can estimate your calories but few can do the same with macronutrients. If you trying to gain muscle and you’re only getting 20% of your calories from protein, your body won’t have the materials required to build lean mass. If you are trying to rid yourself of Pre-Diabetes but 60% of your calories are carbohydrates, you will likely go from Pre-Diabetic to Diabetic even if you are losing weight.
- Portion control: You can plug in food before you eat it to see how many calories it has per ounce or serving. This is great info when you’re at a restaurant deciding between the 6 or 8 ounce steak or what you want on your potato.
- Education: This is a biggie. I’m amazed at how educational logging my food is. It’s truly eye opening. By logging your food for a few months, you will learn the calories and macronutrient balance of the foods you regularly eat. This knowledge will help change eating habits and allow you to eat healthier without dieting. It’s not dieting if it’s just the way you eat. Education is knowledge and knowledge is how we change our mindset.
You won’t log your food forever. It is a tool for you to use to achieve a dietary goal and go back to when things get out of control or you have a new goal. It’s a way of staying focused and holding yourself accountable. It’s a way of educating yourself so you can live the healthy life you want to live.
As always, your questions and comments are encouraged.
TruChoice Fitness & Nutrition
Fitness From The Inside Out