It sounds tedious, I know. Logging every bite of food you take into a journal doesn’t sound too appealing, but it is effective. It is possible to lose weight without keeping a food journal, but it can be tricky. We tend to overestimate how much we really eat. How often have you heard an overweight person say, “I don’t know why I’m so big, I don’t really eat that much.” You may really believe you don’t eat that much, but your waistline tells another story.
I’m writing this post from experience. At the beginning of 2012, I tipped the scales at a whopping 285 pounds. I had higher than normal blood pressure, I ate a diet rich in fast food and soda, and I was suffering from intermittent knee pain due to the extra weight I was carrying around. I knew I needed to lose weight, but I didn’t know where to start.
That’s when I found MyFitnessPal. MyFitnessPal is a free online food journal, there’s also an app in the App Store, that allows you to input all the food you eat. You punch in your stats, height, weight, gender, age, and goal weight and it computes a daily calorie goal for you. I logged all of my food faithfully into MyFitnessPal, and I took up running as a way to boost my fitness level. By February of 2013, I weighed 160 pounds! I adjusted so much to logging my food that it was no longer tedious to do it. It became natural for me.
I have successfully kept the weight off for 3 years now. I have learned a lot about nutrition by using MyFitnessPal, and I can usually estimate how many calories I’m consuming just by looking at the food on my plate. I don’t log every single day anymore now that I’m in maintenance. I have learned how to eat intuitively, and MyFitnessPal helped me to do that. However, there are days that I do still log. If it weren’t for my willingness to keep a food journal, I may still be 285 pounds today, if not heavier.
As you can tell with my before and after picture, keeping a food journal works. It may not be for everyone, but it is for more people than are willing to put the effort into it. Everyone is looking for a quick fix to weight loss. You didn’t put the weight on overnight, and you won’t lose it overnight. If you’re serious about losing weight, try keeping a food journal. You never know unless you try. As always, check with your doctor before beginning any new diet or exercise regiment.
Josh Lowrance is a contributor from Authentic Christianity.