17 Oct Food Logs: tips and tools
You did it! You have completed week one of the new boot camp session. In addition to your recent fitness assessment, another way to measure your progress and accomplishments is to start a food log today for one week. In the same way that you will retake your fitness assessment during the final week of boot camp, you can re-log your food to compare and note any changes in your eating habits. How fun, right?!
But why? If your goal is weight maintenance, keeping a food log will help you. If you’re trying to gain weight in the form of lean muscle mass, keeping a food log will help you. And guess what, if you’re trying to lose weight (ideally fat mass), then keeping a food log will help you too. You get the picture. Please note, if you’re on a journey to lose body fat mass, please resist the urge to underfuel (restrict calories excessively) with the hopes of eating a lot less to lose weight. Unfortunately, being in a calorie deficit seems like a sure way to lose weight, but generally people lose muscle mass, are hungry (or even hangry), and don’t meet calories needs for their basal metabolic rate, which can then affect your metabolic rate in the future. Pro tip: focus on foods that you CAN eat that will pack in a lot of nutrition, as well as supply a generous volume, ie. fruits and veggies rather than dwelling on all of the foods you CAN’T eat because you’re trying to eat healthier. Remember, it’s all about what you eat/drink the majority of the time and remind yourself that it really boils down to frequency (how often) and how much (portion sizes) you choose to eat/drink.
A common question before starting a food log is, “Should I keep my eating habits the same as they have been or start making changes?” My response is usually, “Why wait?” You know yourself best, so if in the back of your mind you know there is room for improvement during a certain time of day, meal, or hydrating, then get after it. You can choose to stop something or start something, that’s up to you. Generally, starting or adding something into your diet (ie. adding in one more bottle of water per day, two extra servings of veggies, etc.) has a more positive perspective than stopping or cutting out something, but the choice is yours.
Last but not least, as you track your food to determine if your eating patterns are healthy (the majority of the time), keep in mind the Harvard Healthy Eating Plate in mind as you work towards your goal.
We love and trust myfitnesspal for all of our food logging. Give it a try!
Welcome to a new session of boot camp and happy food logging!
By: Victoria Emmitt RD