They say logging your food helps you to eat more healthfully. That’s what they say.
And I know this. I’ve experienced it! Doesn’t mean I’ve always been apt to do it.
But recently I decided to start tracking daily again. Mostly because I had gotten a bit lax with some foods (cough, cough…Special K cracker chips!) and I wanted to make sure I was eating balanced and healthful meals.
And just like every other time I have ever started daily tracking, I noticed a certain combination of things that happened. I figured I’d share them with you, just in case you’re thinking about tracking more consistently.
Here are 3 surprising things that happen when I log my food daily.
I cook more of my own food
Because for real? Nothing irks me more when I’m tracking my food than eating…”un-trackable food!”
It grates my soul, y’all.
Like…going to some random restaurant that doesn’t publish its menu and nutrition info online? Nope. Nuh-uh. Not doing it. Because at the end of the day I gotta reconcile that to my food journal and I dunno about you…but I do not feel like trying to guess what was in that bazooka “salad” that I thought was my best choice!
So inevitably I start making more of my own food, so that I can know what’s in it.
I start looking for the most protein bang for my buck
I know that a well balanced eating plan includes more than protein, but when I can see my numbers, I always want to make sure I’m getting the proper amount of protein.
But the pesky thing about protein is that it likes to hang out with it’s good friends fat and carbohydrates! Now there’s nothing wrong with that (in most healthy foods) but it’s disheartening for me to think I ate something super high protein and really it was mostly fat (cough, cough…peanut butter!).
Logging my food helps me balance out my nutrients, but it also helps me make better protein choices.
I snack smarter
Cuz…guys…snacks? Can take up the nutritional room of a whole meal on your food diary.
During times when I’m in the “eat first, log later” mentality, I often find that I’m doing ok through breakfast…and lunch…then I get to snacks and – BOOM! – I’ve blown through the rest of my calories for the whole day!
And I’m always left wondering, “What just happened?”
What happened was that I chose a high-calorie snack without really thinking about it (or looking at the label). When I log my food I ALWAYS look at the label. Always.
And looking at the label causes me to think about whether I’m truly making the best snack choices I can. I’m an avid believer of the power of a strategically placed snack…but it should not exceed a full meal in calories! It’s just not worth it!
I was less hungry
This one took me a minute to figure out. It definitely wasn’t a straight line of logic.
But, to the best of my knowledge, here are some reasons why I think am less hungry when I track my food:
- Because of reasons 1, 2 and 3! In general, I’m eating better. When I eat better, my body gets what it needs and my cravings lessen.
- I’m eating regularly. Which means my blood sugar doesn’t have a chance to dip into “eat all the things!” mode.
- I think twice about eating when I’m logging. Like…do I really want to log that Dorito? (And, let’s be real, it’s not just gonna be one…) Logging naturally makes me consider what I’m about to eat and why I’m about to eat it!
Very often when I’m in a good rhythm of logging my food, I have absolutely no trouble staying within my caloric goals, or hitting my protein goals. It’s like magic….
Need help logging your food?
Do you currently log your food? If not, My Fitness Pal is a powerful online nutrition tracking site that allows you to track your food, your water, your fitness, participate in challenges and make new friends!
Inside the Foodie Nation Community I teach members how to log their food using My Fitness Pal – and they also have a place to be accountable to their eating every single day!
You want in on the My Fitness Pal tutorial? Fill out the short form below and I’ll give you the link to it – so you can get off to the right start!
Join the Foodie Nation Community!
Inside the Foodie Nation Community, we share what we learn about living our best healthy lives. We also:
- Have monthly challenges to help you keep your head in the game
- Weekly support calls that are you-focused
- Monthly cooking demos to help you learn to cook better
- …and lots more!
I’d love to count you as a new member. Check it out and join today!