May 4, 2017
How To Lose Weight Effectively And Keep It Off
Post 1: Food Diaries
There are lots of mistakes we tend to make when it comes to weight loss. See there is so much conflicting information out there as to which is the correct action to take, it can very easily become overwhelming. Theres different types of training, different diets, different meal frequencies, different restrictions, Different times to stop eating, basically every professional could tell you a different way to do it. And while none of them are necessarily wrong, they are not all for you. There is no one size fits all approach to weight loss. Everyone is different, leading different lifestyles, working different jobs, from different backgrounds, all of which need to be taken into account with your individual approach.
So in these articles I’m just going to cover some simple steps you can take to help with weight loss. And when i say weight loss this also means fat loss as some people may lose fat but not lose weight. But thats a story for a different article.
Today we will just talk about the power of a food diary. Food diaries are so under rated. A lot of personal trainers totally ignore them, while a lot of clients fear them. For trainers, most just hand out a set food plan for the client to follow. They are supposedly unique from client to client but you will find they are probably all the same. These plans focus on a reduction in calories by cutting out alcohol, sugar, cutting out or reducing carb intake, and choosing overall lower calorie foods to live on. This will work and will result in weight loss, but most of the time its not sustainable. And you will most likely gain any weight you have lost back as soon as you stop following this diet. See if they did not assess your starting point, they have just made random assumptions as to what to change, and most likely provided no education around what you are doing.
Clients then can also fear a food diary as its going to highlight their food intake, be it good or terrible. So theres an inherent fear of being judged around this. This can lead to clients then leaving certain things out of the food diary so it doesn’t look as bad, but this is one of the worst things you can do as you are now lying to the trainer, but more importantly you are lying to yourself. This can start a cascade of you believing your diet is not that bad, and then getting frustrated when you are not making changes because you have not been honest with yourself. Accepting your diet for what it is and taking ownership is a powerful thing. We will be talking about taking ownership in a different article as its an extremely powerful tool.
So with a food diary you don’t need to be fancy or over the top. Theres apps on your phone you can use such as MyFitness Pal. This is great as you always have your phone with you. You can manually input the foods you are having or even scan barcodes. This also tracks your calories, protein, carbs, and fats from food so its a very handy tool. Knowing this information allows you to know straight away if you have eaten too much or too little.
If you don’t want to use the app you can use a simple notepad. I provide my clients with a small notebook that will fit in most bags or even in your pocket and you can write food and drinks down as you go about your day.
Once you have a few days worth of data, weekends included as these tend to be different, you can start to make some changes. There is absolutely no need for a total diet overhaul, yes it will provide fast changes but they wont last. With your food diary you can start to make some small changes day by day or even week by week. Small changes done consistently will provide you with the big changes you want to see down the line.