Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Using a Food Diary to Lose Weight & Balance Meals

A little over a month ago I went to my doctor for my physical and found myself frustrated by the stable weight on my chart.  Despite my workout efforts, I wasn't seeing the number change anticipated.  Upon expressing that, she lovingly suggested that I check portion sizes to better accomplish my goals.  It takes an amazing woman to be able to say this in a way that keeps patients on the offense rather than placing them on the defense.  She rocks.

While some in this situation feel called to weight management systems, paid for products, and shakes, that just isn't me.  I knew if I wanted to grab hold of better health for myself and my family I wanted to be as natural as possible.  After all, God created me and He created sustenance.  Clearly there is a way in His design to balance them well.  :)

So, I downloaded the free My Fitness Pal app (I briefly mentioned a few weeks ago) that my mother-in-law told me about

 

and let the math and science nerd in me live in its glory.  Immediately I found myself grateful for the calorie count and food chemistry info and let me tell you why....

It quickly became apparent that I was greatly overdoing my calories on some days causing my body to want to grow and drastically under-eating calories on other days confusing my body into thinking I was going to starve it so it should hold on.  There was no consistent healthy window for my body to experience normalcy (and lose unhealthy pounds).

This was an eye opening revelation for me.  With increased awareness, I found myself better pairing meals together.  I haven't eliminated anything.  I've only shifted around some side choices.  And, when I come in under calorie, I dig into the ice cream without guilt!

The scanner makes for a dorkishly fun little toy to add in my foods, which is the only downfall.  It does take consistency in putting in your food and drink to be effective.  But, my mama always taught me that everything worth while takes work :)

Because I'm the primary meal planner in our house, everyone has benefitted from the awareness.  They're eating even healthier more rounded meals and I feel better about the influence my meal choices directly have on their bodies.  Plus it has fostered some good discussions with my girls, who are twigs.  At their one notice of my using the app and mentioning calorie intake, I was gifted with the chance to explain that we shouldn't be afraid of calories because our bodies need them (may that serve them well in the future when society tries to impress its version of beauty onto them), and, since God calls our bodies temples we simply need to try to choose healthy foods to care for the one body The Lord gave us.  That message is re-emphasized in my working out and lack of scale ownership.  It's not about a number.  It's about healthy habits.

Needless to say, I was still curious if this effort was making an honest difference.  People were commenting that I'd looked like I lost weight and without any immediate doctor appointments on the horizon I stepped onto my mother-in-law's scale and guess what?  In just 3.5 weeks of using a diary I dropped to a weight lesser than my chart has shown in three years.  Yes!

If you find yourself feeling like you're eating well and living right but not seeing the results or maybe you aren't even trying to drop weight but just want to eat a healtheir diet, I would encourage you to try a food diary.  The awareness and documentation will help you create balanced meals and treat your body in a way that better glorifies the One who created it.

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2 comments:

  1. Keeping a food diary is one of the best ways to lose weight. It makes us more aware of what we're putting into our bodies. Keep it up! Visiting here from the Better Moms Monday link up.

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  2. I definitely could benefit from a food diary. I will check out the app. I'm visiting fro the Time Wrap Wife's linkup.

    http://kid-smiths.blogspot.com/2013/08/clean-eating-danish-meatballs.html

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