Most people that are actively trying to lose weight will track their food intake. It’s something they feel will be helpful. And it’s easy to start on their own.
But it’s also easy to become obsessive about. Like weighing in on the scale.
If I have a new client that logs their food daily, I’ll ask them to stop. Weird…I know. I get challenged over this often. And, I get those sideways looks like they don’t think it’ll work.
This week’s blog is all about logging your food the correct way. Let’s dive in!
It Becomes Obsessive
You’ve probably read that you shouldn’t weigh yourself every day. Why? Because your weight fluctuates so much from day to day. Now, you might be thinking…if I know that, then I’ll just tell myself that.
So, when you weigh yourself, you’ll just remind yourself that it’ll fluctuate. But that rarely happens. When you jump on the scale and see the number increase, you get discouraged. And the mental games begin.
Will I ever lose weight? Why can’t I get this right? I’m doing everything I’m supposed to and nothing is happening.
This line of mental berating kicks off the stress response in the body. It makes matters worse when it comes to weight…not better.
Logging your food can become just as obsessive. You’ll look at foods in terms of calories or macros instead of nutrients. Food should be viewed as a source of feeding the body.
It Teaches You Nothing
Well, it teaches you one thing…how to track your calories.
Tracking your food doesn’t teach you how to eat. It doesn’t teach you how to increase your vegetable intake. Or to focus on the quality of the foods on your plate.
And it certainly doesn’t teach you how to listen to your body.
It only teaches you calories. And calorie counting doesn’t work as a weight loss tool for so many. I can’t tell you how many of my clients tracked their food and stayed within their target calorie range but never lost weight.
It’s a common story I hear.
The reason calorie counting doesn’t work for many is because the body is out of balance. As we age, hormones shift. That’s a HUGE factor when it comes to weight loss or gain.
Digestive health is another. If bloat, diarrhea, constipation, eczema, or heartburn are things you battle with, inflammation is running rampant in your body. And inflammation will stop weight loss in its track.
Stress is another big weight loss show stopper. And logging your food daily can just add to your already heavy stress load.
There is a right way of logging food.
The Correct Way
I don’t encourage my clients to track their food. I know. This seems so weird since I do help them lose weight. I’ve gotten a ton of sideways looks when I tell people to stop.
It goes against everything most have learned. You have to track your food so you know how many calories you’re consuming. That’s true, yes. But then you focus only on calories.
I’m a big believer in quality over quantity. And this shows time and again when people step on my scale.
If you’re hell-bent on tracking your food, limit your tracking to two times per week. Preferably a weekday and a weekend day. And when you look back at your food log, look at the food itself, not the calories.
Are most of your meals comprised of vegetables? Is your added sugar low? How’s fiber? Is your water intake good? Are your sources of protein clean? How’s your fat?
What I teach my clients is how to eat. What foods they should be going for. Not how to track their caloric intake.
Are You a Tracker?
Do you track your food daily and feel like you’re getting nowhere? Leave a comment below and I’ll respond with a tip to get you moving in the right direction.