Not That Kind of Diary - How To Keep A Food Diary!
Want to almost guarantee that you’ll lose weight, get ripped, or even bulk up? Then stick with your workouts (everyone knows that one), but you ALSO need to figure out your numbers, and then keep a food diary! I know, I know, keeping a food diary isn’t exciting, it doesn’t sound fun, and it can be a pain when starting out.
I used to be one of those people who were against counting calories since it seemed like such an impossible task to do that average people like myself can never stick to. Why is it so hard to keep track of your numbers (the number of calories, protein, carbs, and fat that you take in each day)? Well, I think the answer to that is obvious. That would mean for every piece of food you put in your mouth, every liquid you drink, you’ll need to record the calories, protein, carbs and fat.
Now if you just exclusively ate from your home then this would still be difficult, but not too bad. It starts seeming like an impossible task though once you go outside of your home and eat out at restaurants, and at your family and friend’s homes. Try asking your grandma for all the nutrition labels and how much of each item she put in the food she served you. Try doing the same thing at the next party you go to. People will think you’re crazy right?
Well, I found a way to keep a food diary that average people like you and I can easily stick with, and that won’t make us look like crazy health freaks when we’re out and about. If you’re serious about hitting your goals, then read this post from start to finish so you’ll know exactly how to keep a food diary.
Why Keep A Food Diary?
I was a big skeptic to keeping a food diary so I want to appease the skeptics since I used to be one of them.
How To Keep A Food Diary - Why?
I already mentioned the main reason for keeping a food diary. You can virtually guarantee that you’ll hit whatever goal you’re after…whether your goal is to lose weight, get toned up, get ripped, or to bulk up and look like the Hulk.
Now I say that you can “virtually” guarantee that you’ll hit your goals for one reason. That reason is that EVERYONE has different body types, metabolism’s etc. As you’ll learn below you’ll have to use an online tool to figure out your initial numbers that you’ll stick with. Since we’re all different though, these tools aren’t 100% accurate. So you have to track your numbers daily for 30 days or so (while sticking with your daily numbers), take your body measurements at the end of 30 days, and then make adjustments if needed so that you hit your goals. By the way, don’t worry if you’re totally confused or lost…I’ll be explaining everything step by step below.
So I have to ask you…how SERIOUS are you about losing the weight, getting rid of the flab, getting toned up, or adding muscle mass? If you’re absolutely serious, and you are dead set on accomplishing your goals, then you have to do what needs so be done to hit those goals.
If you don’t do what needs to be done, then you’re just a dreamer or “hoper.” You hope that you’ll lose the weight one day. You dream of having a six pack and having a ripped, healthy body. But I hate to break it to you, simply dreaming or “hoping” for changes isn’t going to cause you to hit your goals. TAKING ACTION will.
So you need to make the decision on what you are going to do, commit to following through with it, and you need to go to work and just do it.
How To Keep A Food Diary Step By Step
Ok, I’m stepping down off of my soap box, and it’s time to get into the nitty gritty. I’m going to walk you through exactly “how to keep a food diary” so that you can hit your goals.
Step 1 – Figure Out Your #’s For Each Day Based On Your Goals.
I created an entire blog post on how to do that, so go here to the following link and then come back to this page- How Many Calories Should I Eat A Day
The only thing I don’t tell you how to do on that page is how to figure out what your nutritional proportions should be. In other words, how much protein, carbs, and fat should you be eating each day? For that, I’m going to tell you to reference the Nutrition guide to whatever Beachbody fitness program you’re doing.
For me personally, I’m doing P90X as of the writing of this blog post and I’m following the nutritional proportions somewhere in between the Energy Booster (Phase 2) and the Endurance Maximizer (Phase 3) phases. I’m taking in 55% carbs, 25% protein, and 20% fat each day. If you’re doing P90X, I highly recommend following the P90X Nutrition Guide, especially if you’re just starting out with P90X.
Step 2- Create A MyFitnessPal Account & Start Tracking!
Next, just click the following link to create a free myfitnesspal account- Create A Free myfitnesspal Account
This is totally free and will allow you to keep an online food journal. This is what I’ve been using and it allows you to track precisely the number of calories, protein, carbs, and fat that you’re taking in each day. This is my SECRET weapon that allows an average dude like me to keep track of this stuff without looking like a crazy person! :-)
What makes this tracking tool unique is that they have one of the largest food databases…they have a database of over 1 million food items with all of the nutritional information already in the database. So even if you go out to eat, it’s very likely that whatever food you order is in the database. If you make a recipe from a book, more then likely that food is in the database.
I also love that they have an iPhone app and I believe (not positive) that they have an app for Android phones too. So you can conspicuously track what you’re eating no matter where you are.
Video Walk Through – How To Keep A Food Diary
Now What Do I Do?
Now that you know a simple way on how to keep a food diary that anybody can stick with, you’ve gotta to actually DO IT and stick with it. I won’t lie, the first week of keeping a food journal is ALWAYS the hardest. Any custom made food you’ll have to pull out a calculator and figure out the numbers. But the cool thing is with myfitnesspal, you just have to figure out the numbers once, and then you can save it as a custom food so you can easily add it later.
You’ll find that you eat A LOT of the same foods. So after a few weeks of keeping a food journal and adding the foods you eat, you’ll be able to effortlessly add those foods to your daily food diary with just few clicks.
The road to getting fit and healthy is NOT easy, but the payoff…living a long, healthy, happy life…Feeling GOOD about yourself, gaining that self confidence, being PROUD to get into that bathing suit…makes it ALL worth it.
With time, keeping a food journal will become second nature. So if you’re serious about results, JUST DO IT!