There is value in an online food diary: Trust me

For a few weeks in 2002, as a member of what was then Weight Watchers, I tracked everything I ate. Though it required effort, I found the exercise highly beneficial. Fast forward to 2019. I participated in a fitness challenge at my local gym. To participate, we had to use the MyFitnessPal app to track our food intake. Again, I found this exercise to be valuable. I experienced several “aha” moments. These moments were part of the reason I won the challenge. 😉 Thank goodness for the online food diary!

I still use MyFitnessPal sometimes. Not every day. But when I do use it, I always find value in it. Nutrition tracking apps like this and others give us easy access to nutrition and dietary information. They’re worth a try.

Try this for seven days: Start an online food diary, and experiment with one of these tools. Track and measure everything you put into your mouth.

Get a useful peek into what you’re eating and how much. See your protein, carb, fat, sodium and sugar consumption. Seek to analyze and understand this information.

Until you use a tracking app, the surprising  — if not shocking — details about what you eat are probably happily unknown. But if you use one of these apps, you’ll understand crucial elements of your diet and gain a clearer understanding of how your dietary habits influence your health. The data can only strengthen your resolve to move from an unhealthy weight to a healthy weight if that’s your objective. What’s a healthy weight? Your doctor can help you determine that.

For those seven days, don’t change a thing. Eat as you normally would. Be honest. Experiment with one of these tools. Tracking your meals forces your awareness. You can, for example, assess if you’re consuming an excessive amount of animal protein. You’ll know if you’re overconsuming sugars or fried foods. You’ll determine if you’re on track for eating your desired number of fruits and vegetables. You could note if you ate emotionally or because of boredom or stress. You could figure out if you overate today’s lunch because you were still hungry or because of taste. Learn about yourself.

The food journal begs you to think about what you eat. It grounds you. Tracking and measuring everything you eat takes some effort, but you’ll benefit from this exercise because the knowledge you’ll gain will be worth the effort to acquire it.

By doing this, you’re accepting growth by inviting transparency and accountability. If you’re unable to take an honest look at your dietary intake, food choices and eating habits – for only seven days – you’re not ready to move forward with adjustments or changes. Your food journal is another example of you taking charge and showing up in your dietary life.

To be clear, I’m not an affiliate, and I have no sponsorship relationship with MyFitnessPal (or any other organization, for that matter).  

Just Google something like “nutrition apps.” Conduct your research and choose whichever app is best for you. Your food diary reveals the truth. Don’t you want to know that?

I’d love to know how that went for you. 😊


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