Importance To Keep A Food Log
I love food. Being a French-Vietnamese, food plays a huge part in our culture. Since I am diabetic type 1, I also have to be careful and mindful about what I eat, so that my blood sugar does not go out of whack.
So not only I have to track my blood sugar but also what I eat on a daily basis, and adjust my nutrition based on what I am going to do - train, walk, relax or sit the whole day (which is not a great idea!)
But in this post, I want to talk more about the importance to keep a food log, especially if you’re looking to lose weight and body fat.
Nowadays, food is much more like eating as fast as a skyrocket, rushing and then not even realizing what you put into your body.
It’s important to know what goes into your mouth – food, drinks, supplements or even medications
Everything you eat and drink can affect how your body react and how you feel after eating certain food.
The majority of the women I coach, just want to lose weight and get slimmer.
When I work with them, I always ask them to keep a honest and complete food log and give it to me every week. That way they are kept accountable for their food intake as well as being aware of what they really eat and drink on a daily basis.
It’s pretty essential for you to keep a food log if you want to change your body shape. You can then realize what you eat and drink and being more mindful about your food intake.
If I ask you what you ate the past 3 days, I bet that you will barely remember what you had for breakfast or even for dinner last night. It’s quite typical for an individual to not be able to recall what he or she ate.
Now: To lose weight and drop body fat, it’s important to write down honestly all your food intake – and by that, I mean EVERYTHING that go into your mouth:
Know What and When – you can go on the whole day, and just eat without even realizing what and when you ate. Some food here, then a chocolate bar there, maybe a coffee later with a slice of cake when meeting up with friends or family. Dinner time, then some time later you might get some biscuits or a pack of gummy bears... and it can go on and on. All those intake add up throughout the day without you realizing what you really ate and the amount of food you have put or not into your body.
When I see food log that says “eggs or nuts”, I have no idea how much my client have eaten. Can it be 1, 2 or 10 eggs?? Nuts are addictive – so was it just a handful or a full 100g bag of nuts?
Be specific with your portions and the timing of what you ate. So you know how you feel afterwards.
Know Your Energy Expenditure – The less active you are, the less food you will need. As you already know, calories still matter. If you want to lose body fat, you will need to reduce your calories intake.
However, I still see way too many women who cut their calories far too low, which can hit them right back by preventing them to lose weight. So what they tend to do, is to cut even more food from their diet in order to try to lose weight. The vicious cycle just continues until their body and health just break down. Majority of women just do not eat enough to give the necessary fuel that their body requires.
Calories play a role when it comes to weight loss but you need to manipulate them according to your activities. Your body is very clever and adapts very quickly to any change to keep you alive. We call this state homeostasis.
Staying on a very low-calorie long term is not a way to lose weight and can lead to major health problems such as hypothyroidism, drop of muscle and bone mass... Lots of women have this tendency to cut their food, thinking it is the way to go. I say "No, no, no!!" Stop the madness.
When upping your calories, it does not mean that you can eat whatever junk or cardboard food you want. Stick with whole food, plenty of vegetables, protein and healthy fat.
Know What Food To Eliminate – Food intolerance is very common. Most people don’t realize they have food intolerance by eating the same food over and over again – I see so many women food log where they just eat chicken days in days out. They could grow feathers at this rate with that birdie meals.
Contrary to food allergy, which is an immediate reaction, food intolerance can take up to 72 hours to have some adverse reactions. By keeping a food log, you will know what has caused symptoms such as skin rash, bloating or joints pain, and be able to eliminate them from your diet for a minimum of 30 days.
Food intolerance causes problems in your gut which will make it difficult to lose weight.Majority of people are intolerant to food like eggs, milk, dairy, grains (gluten) and peanut butter.
As Hippocrates said: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” – By keeping a food log, it’s not only great for weight loss but it can also be very beneficial for your own health. As I always emphasize with all my clients, if you aren’t healthy – mentally and physically – it will be very difficult to lose weight.
Every food you eat plays a major role to your brain, hormones, tissues, cells, joints, mood and even for people suffering from auto-immune disease like myself who lives with diabetes type 1.
By tracking and writing down what you eat, you will know what food affects your mood, sleep, conditions and symptoms. If certain food makes you feel sick or bloated, then do not eat it. Simple as that!
You can heal your body and mind very easily with proper nutrition. Medications treat only symptoms as a quick fix - not the root causes of your problem.
Keep Rotating – As said above, some people – and the majority to be honest – eat the same thing over and over. By keeping a food log, you know what you eat, so you can plan in advance and prepare your food with more varieties.
Don't just stick with chicken or eggs - they are plenty more choices you can get your protein (beef, lamb, turkey, venison, duck, fish...).
By rotating your food, you get plenty of nutrients from different vegs, fruits, fat, protein.
Bear in mind that the nutrients on your food change depending on how you cook them. A basic example is eggs – scrambled, poached, boiled, fried, raw, baked... – they react all differently and provide quite a change in nutritional values.
With all that said... do you have to keep a food log for all your life?
Hell no! But it will be a good way for you to know what goes into your body and start to make some small changes and habits with your eating, drinking and snacking.
Be honest with yourself - and your trainer/coach - when writing down your food. The more you are, the better you know what you have to do to lose weight and get healthier.
There’s really no magic!
To Your Better Health Every Day!