Achieving weight loss or maintaining a healthy way of eating involves some amount of accountability. The easiest way to hold yourself accountable when it comes to eating is to use a food journal. Luckily technology has made this chore extremely easy and portable.
As a Registered Dietitian I am always available to help hold my patients accountable for their food choices. I have said on a few occasions that I am always available to provide the “kick in the pants” they need in person, over the telephone, or through email. Where do I turn when I need a “kick in the pants”?
In August of 2011 I wrote about my own weight loss story. You can read the entire story at http://www.appforhealth.com/2011/08/a-nutritionists-personal-slim-down-story/. I have used Lose It! to hold myself accountable and lose almost 30 pounds. My story is not over of course and I still need to continually hold myself accountable for my food and beverage choices.
Food journaling really lets you know where your messing up. The mess ups could be the beverages you choose, the afternoon or evening snack you sneak in, or the frequent trips to your favorite coffee shop. With the available technology there is no longer a need for us to carry around pieces of paper to write down our journal or to try to remember everything we put in our bodies the entire day to record at home. Many online food journals have apps available for our phone systems. Food and beverages can be entered immediately when they are consumed increasing accuracy.
Online food journals calculate kilocalories consumed and also account for physical activity. Some systems can even calculate the percentage of your kilocalories that come from carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Other information available include sodium, saturated fat, cholesterol, fiber, and sugar totals. Foods are stored to increase the speed of recording. Information is available for many restaurants and name brand foods.
Food journaling either on paper or virtual is important for individuals attempting to improve their diet. I have heard so many excuses for not keeping a food journal. I keep a daily journal. I would not recommend this if I did not think it was so important and so easy to do. So stop making excuses and download a free app or register for a free food journal site. Below is a short list of the websites and apps available.