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Taking the Pain Out of Food Journaling

on May 4, 2014

Food Journaling (or “tracking”) is an important piece to managing your food intake- after all, that which gets measured gets managed! But some parts of it are a pain, or difficult, or even stressful if you are an all-or-nothing perfectionist like me. Here’s how to take the pain to of tracking.

1. Measure, measure, measure. Get a couple sets of measuring cups and measuring spoons. Get a food scale. Measure everything. This is the most accurate way to estimate your calorie intake.

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2. Ate something and have no idea how many calories? Google it. Pick the answer that sounds like a slightly higher estimate, just to be safe. But don’t get hung up on finding something that matches exactly. The really important thing, in fact the key to success is that you a. control portion size. B. Continue tracking your next meal.

3. Make your food journal fun. Splurge on nice writing instruments- I bought some fun gel pens so I could track in colors.

4. Make process goals. Instead setting goals like “I’m going to lose 2 pounds this week” set goals around journaling- ie. “I’m going to journal everything this week.”

5. Don’t give up- the more you do it, the easier it gets. Write foods you use all the time on a cheat sheet in the back for quick reference.

It seems counter-intuitive: I say “get obsessive about what you are eating but don’t get TOO obsessive”, but there’s a balance. If you are too militant about it you will make yourself crazy and quit, too lax and you won’t get results and quit. But this how I find balance. What works for you?

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