How to Use a Food Journal to Lose Weight

When it comes to losing weight, I’ve never been super excited about counting calories.  I don’t believe that all calories are created equal, and for my clients, counting calories isn’t going to give them the results they really want to see.  In the FASTer Way to Fat Loss, we track our macros and practice carb cycling to make sure that our bodies are always in fat burning mode. The best way to track macros and start losing fat is by keeping a food journal.

What is a Food Journal?

Food journals, also known as food diaries, have been around forever. Before smart phones, people would keep their food journals in a notebook and track their calories and nutrient intake that way.  While that’s still a viable option for anyone interested in keeping a food journal, I much prefer using the power of technology.

Like many others, my favorite food journal app is MyFitnessPal. It’s very user friendly and completely takes the hassle out of tracking your food.  There are plenty of food and fitness tracking apps to chose from, so do your research and chose your favorite.

Setting up your MyFitnessPal

Step 1: Download MyFitnessPal from the app store on your device

Step 2: Create an account

Step 3: Answer the questions to set up your profile.  Note: The second question will ask you about your activity level.  Look at your normal lifestyle and answer this question honestly. Even if you workout for an hour a day every single day, that doesn’t mean that you are “very active”.  Unless you do manual labor for a living and remain active for most hours of the day, I highly recommend you select “Not Very Active.”

Step 4: Use MyFitnessPal to track your food, activity, and progress

Why are Food Journals Helpful?

Food journals and tracking apps are helpful for many different reasons.  First, you’ll find yourself thinking twice before eating anything if you’re using a tracker.  You’ll have a much better idea of how many calories are in your commonly consumed foods and it will help you make better choices.  For example, once you see how many calories and sugars are in a can of soda, you’ll probably think twice before drinking it (or at least make the decision to drink less).

Food journals are extremely helpful for people like me who want to track their macros and focus on losing fat.  In the FASTer Way to Fat Loss, I teach my clients how to use food trackers to track their nutrient intake (not just calories) so that they can still enjoy their favorite foods while losing weight.

Tips for Tracking your Food in a Food Journal

  • Use the bar code feature to easily scan food that comes in a container
  • Use the reminders feature to help hold yourself accountable
  • Always be honest with yourself and when you’re not sure, overestimate
  • Add your own commonly eaten meals so they’re easy to enter time after time
  • Easily add recipes
  • Easily track restaurants – anything with a green check mark is verified by my fitness pal
  • You can upload recipes from your favorite websites right into the app
  • Learn how to track macros and micros for maximum fat loss

Using a food journal has helped me lose weight and keep it off.  It’s an excellent tool for tracking macro and micro nutrients which is what my fat loss program thrives on.  Because I use a food journal, I’m easily able to plan my meals and still enjoy my favorite foods. Using a food journal is an amazing tool for anyone who wants to lose weight.

If you want to learn more about how to use MyFitnessPal, how to track your macro and micro nutrients, and how to lose fat and keep it off, I’d love to work with you on the next round of the FASTer Way to Fat Loss.  You can learn more and register for the program here!

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