Food Journaling – Why You Need It

Food journaling

We think we’ll remember from one day to the next what we ate. And we generally do for major meals.  But food journaling is the only precise way to track your calorie intake.

A cookie here and a piece of candy there gets lost in the shuffle. Those empty calories add up quickly and can prevent you from reaching your weight loss goals.  My best weight loss success was when I started food journaling.

When I first started, I used a manual tracker to track record my meals. Several years ago, I started using MyFitnessPal for ease and convenience.  I don’t always track my food and calorie intake.  Unfortunately, those are the times I start to gain weight.  So, while you may think you’ll keep it all in your head, history and research have shown food journaling is a far superior method of calorie counting, particularly for weight loss.

Main Benefits:

  • There are tons of foods and brands already in the My Fitness Pal database. So chances are all you have to do is search for the food you eat and it will already be listed along with the calorie and macronutrient breakdown (grams of protein, carbs, etc.).
  • Enter your height, weight, fitness and nutrition goals and it automatically calculates your daily calorie and macronutrient needs.  As you enter foods, it subtracts each meal from the total and shows how many calories you have left for the day.
  • You can track your water intake.
  • It estimates calories burned from cardio exercise and incorporates it into your daily calorie allowance.  It doesn’t do the same for weight training, so you’ll have to estiate calories burned from weight training on your own.
  • It’s online so you can access it any where, even from your phone.
  • You can log in with Facebook so no need to remember another password.
  • It’s my favorite price – FREE!

Reasons You Need to Use a Food Journal

  1. I don’t even have to say this one, but I will.  Practically all of us underestimate the number of calories we eat a day.  It’s subconscious. You want to believe you’re making the right food choices.  Truth is, you don’t know unless you track it.
  2. We inevitably will forget that one cookie or that teeny piece of chocolate we ate yesterday and the day before that, and the day before that.  Those “little” calories add up.  You need to know how much (or how little) it’s impacting your diet.
  3. Ignorance is not bliss.
  4. If you’ve hit a plateau or haven’t met your goals, you can take a hard (and accurate) look at your eating habits and make the appropriate adjustments to your diet.

Have a cool “must-have” fitness tech tool you love?  Leave a comment below and let us know!  Someone else may be able to benefit from it too.

Get fit & fabulous!

XOXO, Coach MaShelle

Written by MaShelle Dean
Hey Fam! I'm MaShelle, your Fit & Fabulous Coach. I'm an AFAA Certified Fitness Instructor and lifestyle blogger living in Atlanta with my husbae, Ron. This blog is where I share my fitness & nutrition tips, lifestyle articles, and workout proof hair tutorials for hairstyles that will outlast any workout! Sign up for the Fit & Fab newsletter so you never miss my tips on living a #fitandfabulous life!