You may be thinking, “What the heck is a food journal?” Or maybe: “I don’t need a food journal, I’ll just eat less.” Ya right is what I say, lol. To have total success in a body transformation you need to keep a detailed food diary. It’s that simple. Let me explain what exactly a food diary is and why it is so effective in fat loss or muscle building.
I am assuming you know how many calories you need, if not, you can read here on how to determine that.
Now that you know how many calories you need, you need to track them don’t you? Well what better way to track them than in a food journal. I personally use a spiral bound notebook, but I know of a very nice app for the iPhone called My Macros that is fantastic.
How to use it
Every meal, every food that you eat you write it down in your notebook. Then throughout the day add up how many calories, and grams of fats, carbs, and protein that you have eaten so you know how much you have left. Every day aim for exactness on your diet. Aim for being 100% spot on with your calories and macronutrients. When I say 100% spot on, to me that means with 5 or so grams of carbs, proteins, and fats.
Keep track of everything. Did you snag a cookie at a lunch office party? Go back to your phone or computer and look it up and get an idea of the nutritional info, and then write it in your food diary.
In this diary write down how you felt throughout the day, maybe after meals, after your workouts, etc. This will help you determine how the foods effect your energy levels and mood.
Numbers don’t lie
When you weight yourself at the end of the week, and you haven’t lost any weight and you haven’t lost any inches form your waist, take a look back at your food diary. Were you 100% compliant with your diet, or do you see times when you were way over or way under? Did you have days when you stopped tracking all together because you started eating bad? Your food diary will tell you this.
My food journal helped keep me on my diet. How so? Well, if I would be tempted to eat something that I shouldn’t, I wouldn’t end up eating it because I didn’t know the calories to it! How could I hit my calories accurately if I was having a huge plate of homemade lasagna and I didn’t know the calories, protein, fats, or carbs? Easy, I couldn’t hit my calories! I am not in any way saying that you can’t have food like that, or homemade food when you are on your diet, you absolutely can as long as you know the nutritional information. But me? I find it so much easier to eat 6 oz. of chicken breast, 6 oz. of sweet potato, a cup of green beans, etc. Not only do I know exactly what is in it, but it gives my body the nutrition that I need to get results.
If you aren’t keeping a food diary now, I seriously recommend starting. I didn’t get the results I wanted until I started keeping mine. If you want to take your physique to the next level and make 2013 the year that you get the body you want, start keeping a food journal! Here I’ve made it easy for you, here is a link to one you can buy on Amazon.
So tell me, how has keeping a food journal or not keeping a food journal affected your dieting? Simply comment below.