Keeping A Food Journal: 12-Week Challenge

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Doubling down on food journaling! Today kicks off the start of my 12-Week Tracking Challenge.

Doubling down on food journaling! Today kicks off the start of my 12-Week Tracking Challenge.

Ok, I’ll admit it. I’m horrible at tracking my food. I don’t know why. I seem to go through cycles. Some weeks I am the most awesome tracker in the world. Others, I completely suck at it.

Guess what cycle I’m in now?

I know tracking works. When I track, the pounds fall off. It’s that simple.

Over the last 2 weeks, I went from tracking everything everyday to just a couple of meals a day to no tracking at all.

A part of me just thinks I don’t have to write it down. I can count my points and carbs in my head. Ha! I ended up snacking all last night and lost count sometime between dinner, the jello, the almonds, the wine, and the late night chicken wings.

Tracking Challenge
I decided to create a 12-Week Tracking Challenge using both paper and my iPhone. I want to reinforce a good habit…hence the 12-weeks. I’m tracking:

  • Food (PointsPlus and Net Carb)
  • Water
  • Exercise
  • Goals
  • Weekly Challenges

Paper Journal Vs. Apps
Conventional wisdom says apps make tracking “easier.” But I’m not so sure.

I find with paper, I’m actually thinking about what I’m doing. With the app, it’s more like I log it and think more about improving the app, not myself.

Since I’m tracking both PointsPlus and net carb values, I plan to use Weight Watchers, My Fitness Pal and Carb Master apps during the first phase of the challenge.

Truth is no one app does what I need it to do – calculate PointsPlus and net carbs, and track my activity. My Weight Watchers’ app is my workhorse for tracking, but it doesn’t count carbs (please WW gods add this feature!).  Friends recommended My Fitness Pal and Carb Masters. So I’ll also review the apps during this challenge.

Behold the Fitbook! My paper food journal for the next 12 weeks.

Behold! My paper food journal for the next 12 weeks.

I know paper isn’t a walk in the park either. I don’t know the PointsPlus value or net carb count of everything I eat. Paper is so DOS!

But again, if I write it, I tend to think about what I’m doing. Thinking is key to living healthy.

For the paper tracking, I settled on using Fitlosophy’s Fitbook. It’s a 12-week fitness and nutrition journal. It includes long- (3 months) and short-term (weekly) goals. It’s very clean and allows detailed info. It’s small enough to fit in my purse so I can take it with me.

The challenge starts today and ends December 18.

2 thoughts on “Keeping A Food Journal: 12-Week Challenge

  1. Dot

    It is a cycle. I think tracking is the hardest good habit to acquire. I’m in my 40s and it’s just something I never learned to do. I also think we tend to buy into the myth that we don’t have anytime to squeeze anything else in…truth is, tracking does only take a few minutes. Even if I just write down what I ate and the quantity I can always look up the points or carb count later if I truly am in a rush. During my 12 week challenge, I’m going to track food, but also take notes on challenges and successes. Some way to make it a little more fun.

  2. Liz

    I am in the same dilemma right now. Trying to track what I eat, and as you rightfully say, I am like a yoyo, sometimes I write sometimes I forget for days…yesterday I decided to turn over a new leaf, but then I was out the whole day and logged in nothing LOL Today I want to start afresh, again! and the cycle continues…sigh

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