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How to Track Your Food

How to Track Your Food

I know that I’ve mentioned it a great deal, but I suffer with Binge Eating Disorder. My continued healing is a constant process that I’m not sure I’ll ever master, but hope to one day.

On my journey, I’ve tried so many different things. Starving myself, eating at very specific times, diet pills, you name it and I’ve likely tried it. What I have found that works very well for me, is a little green notebook that goes everywhere with me. In that book I write every bit of food that goes into my mouth. I take a bite of my son’s toast, I write it down, a slurp of the chili that will be served for dinner, goes in the notebook. Everything. What it’s done is created a strong sense of awareness of my food choices.

How I Found My Little Green Notebook

I got the idea to keep a food journal when I read the book, The Compound Effect (affiliate link) by Darren Hardy. It’s a book about making small changes over long periods of time and how those changes can “compound” into HUGE things. I loved the book and so many of the tips that were offered, but one in particular stuck out to me. He suggested that if there is one area of your life that you want to correct and that you just can’t seem to get a handle on, to track everything in regards to that area.

For instance, if you constantly overspend, use a notebook and track your finances. Every tiny purchase goes into that book. The whole point is that the more frequently you pull out your notebook and write down what you’re going to do, the more likely you are to see where your money is going that it doesn’t need to. Eventually that new found awareness will hopefully lead to you curbing your spending. You’ll see where the gaping holes are in your budget and reel it in, which could lead to large amounts of savings. He also mentions that you’ll eventually get sick of having to pull that notebook out, which will likely lead to you doing everything within your power to not spend money (in this case).

In my case, where I needed to reel it in, was my eating. I knew wholeheartedly what I needed to do to lose weight, move more, eat less. But, I just couldn’t find the focus or drive to do it, everyday, I’d whine and complain to Seamus that I wasn’t losing weight, that I was just gaining and that I hated myself this way.

I read The Compound Effect and it was like a window opened, it was a breath of fresh air. Success WAS possible! The day I read the section of the book about having a notebook to track EVERYTHING, I went and bought my green Moleskin (affiliate link). I wasn’t great in the beginning, I’d throw it in my work bag in the morning and maybe remember to pull it out around lunch time and then I’d fill in breakfast and lunch and in the evening forget to add in dinner.

When I started carrying it around, everywhere – sitting it down on my desk at work, on our end table at home, and then on my desk at home, is when I started becoming successful. Now, I rarely forget to write in it, beacause it sitting there immediately in front of me is a constant reminder to enter my food. It’s worked too! I still have slip-ups, but I am SO much better about the food I’m eating, because I do not want to write down that I’m eating crap. I love it!

How I’m Tracking My Food

You might think that this is probably a million times more difficult than just entering your food to My Fitness Pal, or a similar site, right? Well, I’d agree if I were tracking calories. My goal with this is to eat mindfully – meaning, eating when I am hungry, and only until I’m full and then choosing healthy, whole, clean foods 80% of the time. And, I need to be honest, it’s working! Between working out, eating well, drinking my Shakeology and writing down what I’m ingesting, I’ve lost 14.2 lbs and it feels DARN good.

I don’t have a fancy formula. I enter the date at the top of the page, then each time I eat something I enter the time in which I ate it, and then amounts of food I ate. I try to measure most things, but there are definitely times when I don’t. So I’ll just enter the food. Since I’m working on eating mindfully, I rarely overeat. When I do overeat, there’s almost always something else going on mentally, that I need to address.

This is REALLY working and I’m so so happy to share with you, readers!

Your turn!

So, tell me, do you track your food? If you do, how do you do it?

Have you ever considered going back to paper and pen and seeing if you have more success?


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