Food Journaling – Why You Need It

Food journaling is the only precise way to track your calorie intake.  We think we will remember from one day to the next what we ate. And we generally do for the major meals.  But a cookie here and a piece of candy there gets lost in the shuffle, and those calories add quickly add up and prevent us from reaching our weight loss goals.  My best weight loss success was when I first started food journaling.
Food journaling

When I first started I used an actual book to track and record my meals.  Several years ago, however, I started using MyFitnessPal for the 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 has shown food journaling is a far superior method of calorie counting, particularly if you are trying to lose weight.   paragraphspacer

Main Benefits:


  • There are tons of foods and brands already in their 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 fitness and nutrition goals and it automatically calculates your daily calorie and macronutrient needs.  As you enter foods, it  subtracts each meal/snack from the total and shows how many 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.  Down side is it doesn’t do the same for weight training.  You’ll have to calculate that 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 yet 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 little) it’s impacting your diet.
  3. Ignorance is not bliss.
  4. If you’ve hit a plateau or have’nt met your goals, you can take a hard (and accurate) look at your eating habits and make the appropriate adjustments to your diet.

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

Get fit & fabulous!

XOXO, Coach MaShelle



Written by MaShelle Dean
Hey Fam, my name is MaShelle. I am a fitness instructor and lifestyle blogger living in Atlanta. This blog is where I share my workout videos, healthy lifestyle and workout proof hair tutorials. Sign up for the Fit & Fab newsletter so you never miss my tips on living a #fitandfabulous life!