One of my 2012 resolutions is to finally lose my “last 10 lbs”. I have joined a running club and I am training for my first 5K race. I would like to eat better too. What is your opinion on food journals? Are they helpful or a waste of time?
Resolution Runner, Winnipeg
Dear Resolution Runner,
Congratulations on taking charge of your fitness and nutrition.
I think food journals are GREAT, as long as they’re used correctly. When I want to buckle down and make sure I’m eating well, I whip out a journal and write down everything I eat. Here are my top tips for successful food journaling:
1) Carry your food journal with you everywhere. I like to choose a journal that is small enough to fit in my purse, but large enough that I can do one-day-per-page. I also like coil-bound books best because they lay flat and you can keep a pen in the coil. What I like the most, however, is an electronic or computer-based journal (more on that later).
2) Write things down as you eat them. Research has shown that your memory will fail you if you try to wait until the end of the day to log your food. For instance, you may forget that cookie you had on your coffee break or you may only remember a small portion of chips when you actually ate half the bag. Make a commitment to writing things as you eat them throughout the day.
3) Review your entries. I suggest weighing yourself, taking measurements, and measuring your body fat percentage on a weekly basis. Each week, go back through the previous week’s entries so that you can see what is working, and what is not. Do you see any patterns that you need to break? Can you identify emotional eating? Is there a certain time of day or day of the week that causes you to over-eat?
One last thing about food journals. Several years ago (I think it was in 2007) I started using an electronic food journal called DietPower. It changed my life, and I lost 15 lbs in a matter of weeks. Seriously, I needed a new wardrobe! This electronic journal is so smart that it basically learns your metabolism as it goes, adjusting itself to your habits and food intake. And once you’re finished losing weight, it’s a great way to track your nutrition to make sure you are eating the healthiest, most nourishing diet.
I like this product so much that I have decided to become an authorized dealer of the DietPower software. That means that I can offer you a $5 savings on the only diet journal that can guarantee you results, no matter what diet you are on, by monitoring your personal metabolism. To get this discount just put my name – Natalie Duhamel – in the “Authorized Dealer” box. This product is currently on sale until January 8, 2012 so combine the sale with my discount to save big!
So, Resolution Runner, I hope you liked my A to your Q.
If any of you readers have a question you would like me to answer, just email me at natalie (at) natalieduhamel.com or if you’re not shy you can post your questions in the comments section below. Your questions will always be anonymous if you email them to me!