Ani said it.
Journaling is a powerful tool – and I’m not just saying that cause I like to write in ’em. It’s a fact, that someone somewhere studied and proved – if you track what you consume, you will consume less.
There are lots of ways you can do this. The Biggest Loser TV franchise sells a paper journal, Weight Watchers has journals and online trackers, you can use the Daily Plate which now resides on Livestrong.com (not .org – .com is the money-making arm). Or you can use an old-fashioned pen and paper. I have tried to do this from time to time, but I’ve never been able to keep myself doing it consistently. Plus, I seriously carry around too many notebooks anyway.. you have no idea. One more could break my back.
Me? I use MyFitnessPal.com. I was using the Daily Plate on Livestrong for a while, off-and-on to be honest, and when I got my cool android-powered superphone I was looking for a Livestrong app. To make a long story short, there was a blog post from the LS people saying, ‘hey, here’s our android app!’ and then there were a slew of comments from LS users that spanned a year which started with this app is cool, and then this app sucks and then eventually hey, why can’t i find the app to download? Somewhere in there, people were starting to get annoyed that no one from LS was giving any information and someone posted about trying MyFitnessPal instead. And liking it.
So, I gave it a shot and holy cow – it rocks my freakin socks off!
It is so user-friendly and the android app has a barcode scanner. Do you have any idea how cool that is, people?! A barcode scanner makes it easy and fun to track stuff which makes it so much more likely that I will actually use it! Another feature I really like is that you can customize the meal labels. I work an odd schedule. None of my meals fall neatly into the “breakfast/lunch/dinner/snack” categories and it’s become increasingly important to me to track my intake based on the time of day. As the picture above illustrates, I’ve devised a pretty good system (for myself) for tracking when I’m eating what. This helps. I am to start tracking mood too – like on Monday, I had far too few calories in the beginning and middle of my day – not only was I sporting a headache (which may or may not have been related to my weekend activities) but I was moody and starving by the time I got out of work at 8pm. That is not helpful for staving off the binge. I’m happy to report that I made wise choices that evening after work, but I can definitely say that if I didn’t have that app to preview calorie counts, things could have been very different.
What method do you use? Do you hit up Weight Watchers? How do you like it? Do you not track at all? I want to know what works for you.
Oh, and if you happen to find your self on MyFitnessPal (it’s freeee-eee!), look me up!: http://www.myfitnesspal.com/Cattio