“I’m working hard and still not seeing the pounds budge.” I hear that a lot which almost always means it’s time to get real about what you’re eating. It’s time for a food diary.
If you’re still searching for a phone app food diary, I have an endorsement for one that I recommended last week.
One of my coaching clients downloaded the app from MyNetDiary. She purchased the MyNetDiary Pro for Android for a one-time fee of $3.99. She raves about the app and feels it is
making her much more aware of what she is eating. Plus she says that when she does eat something higher in calories for lunch – a Taco Bell Beef Chalupa for example – she can figure out ways to offset that so she doesn’t blow the entire day.
MyNetDiary also has a web site – that syncs with the phone app – so you can combine the applications for more usability. Prior to our coaching session today she e-mailed the data to me from the programs she has been using including a weight chart, exercise diary, goal sheet, and nutrition report. I was able to see exactly what she had been doing the prior week and we were able to talk about her goal success and progress.
Why Keep A Food Diary?
You might be thinking that’s all really nice, but why do I need to keep a food diary?
Get Really Real – Food tracking is a way to get completely honest with yourself and own everything you eat. Let’s face it. We all cheat. Track your food, including your cheats, for one month and see if your eating pattern has changed. Journaling brings a special awareness to what we’re eating and how much we’re eating better than any other tool. You may also find that if you think about what you’re eating, you’ll begin to ask why, which will lead you to whether or not you really need it.
Have an Ah-ha Moment– You don’t know what you don’t know. I was working with a client several months ago that was struggling to get to her goal of losing ten pounds. She thought she was doing everything right; eating more fruits and veggies, getting more physical activity and drinking more water. The pounds did not budge.
I suggested that she keep a food journal for one week and she agreed, reluctantly. The following week when we talked she said that she was shocked at how many calories she was eating. Once she realized she was simply taking in too many calories to lose weight, she started making better choices, getting creative with lower calorie exchanges and lost the ten pounds.
Re-evaluate Your Activity – It might be that once you start tracking your food you’ll see that you don’t have much to work with. If you’re eating within the calorie range necessary to lose weight, you may need to increase your physical activity or mix up what you’re doing.
For example: If you’ve been going to the gym and doing 20 minutes on the treadmill at level five, followed by a 20 minute strength training circuit on the machines your body may no longer be responding to that workout. Try adding some intervals to your treadmill work and move over to the free weight section of the gym for some squats and lunges with a body bar, ab crunches on a stability ball and tricep dips on the bench. Every thirty days it’s a good idea to make changes to your workout so that your brain and your brawn aren’t just going through the motions.
If you’re not particularly enamored with phone apps or on-line tools, purchasing a cute
notebook with an inspirational saying on the front and writing in the entries by hand will work just as well. You can look up the calories on-line at Calorieking.com