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Use this simple tool to help you lose weight

Have you ever considered logging your food as a way to help with weight loss? It may seem like a lot of work, but it can actually be a helpful tool in managing your diet. In fact, one study showed that recording what you eat can actually double your fat loss efforts.

When you log your food, you are essentially keeping track of the calories and nutrients you are taking in. This can help you make better choices about what to eat, enables you see patterns in your eating habits and gives you some accountability to yourself.

So if you are looking for a simple weight loss tool, consider logging your food. It may just help you reach

your goals.

How can logging your food help with weight loss?

  1. It prevents you from overeating - Studies have shown that it is very easy to overestimate, or forget how much you eat. Tracking your food is a key tool that can overcome this issue so you can get a more accurate idea of how many calories you're really consuming.

  2. It helps understand portion sizes - Recording what you eat also helps you understand more about portion sizes. Even though calorie counting may not be perfect, tracking can help make you make more conscious decisions about what you are eating. The more you log, the more you can bed in these healthy habits which will lead to long term success.

  3. It helps you see trends and patterns in your eating - One way to see the trends in our eating habits is by tracking what we eat. After tracking for a couple of weeks, look back at what you have eaten and try and identify areas where we can make changes. For example, if we notice that we are consuming too many calories from drinks, we can easily make those adjustments to your eating plan. By adding subjective measures to your food diary like notes on how full you are and energy levels, helps you adapt your eating plan over the long term.

  4. Tracking your food helps you understand food values and how to make healthy food choices - When it comes to food, knowledge is power. Understanding food values can help you make healthy choices that fit your lifestyle and goals. Whether you're trying to lose weight, gain muscle, or just feel your best, learning about nutrition can be a major game-changer.

  5. It helps you overcome weight loss plateaus - It can be frustrating when you hit a weight loss plateau. You may feel like you're doing everything right, but the numbers on the scale just aren't budging. If you find yourself in this situation, one approach is to take a closer look at your diet and exercise habits. Are you really sticking to your healthy eating plan? Maybe you're inadvertently sabotaging your efforts by consuming too many calories. Tracking your food and reviewing your food diary can help you identify any potential problem areas.

How can you log your food?

  1. Decide which method you will use: There are many different ways to log your food, such as using an app or keeping a journal. Some popular apps include MyFitnessPal and Lose It, while simple methods like writing down your meals in a journal can also be effective. You may want to try out a few different methods to see what works best for you.

  2. Know how much to eat: Your weight loss success ultimately comes down to eating the right amount. By understanding how much to eat for your weight loss goals, provides you with a plan to stick to and follow. Metabolic testing is the most accurate way to establish exactly how much you should be eating for your weight loss goals.

  3. Know what to eat: You also may wish to look at macronutrients too, which are the major food groups, protein, carbohydrates and fat. The ratio of these food groups will differ depending on factors such as your activity levels and preference. Find out more about using macronutrients with our macronutrient guide here.


Now it's time to actually log your food!

Use MyFitnessPal to find the foods that you're eating and try and find the closest match to what you're eating. Look for the green tick as they foods have been verified by MyFitnessPal.

Step 1 - Scan

Scanning the barcodes from the packages of what you eat and drink will pull up the nutrition information. If it's not there, you can enter it as a new entry and save the food. These foods will store in the database so you won't have to enter them again next time!

Step 2 - Record your food

Enter in how much you're eating. A big problem I see amongst clients is not entering the correct details into the food app. Sometimes it's not practical to be perfect like when you're out, however at home you should make the effort to add the correct quantities of what you're eating. This includes weight (in grams), serving size and number of servings.

Top tips for recording your food.

The best way to measure how much you're eating is with a set of kitchen scales and a set of measuring cups. For weight, use a food scale. If you don't have one, you can look up the weight in grams for common household items (e.g. 1 cup = 240ml).

  • Use volume measures - A set of measuring cups can make your tracking a whole lot easier and make portion control a breeze. Be careful however, that this will be less accurate than using a set of scales. If you chop food into smaller pieces, you will be able to fit more in the same cup! After some practise in measuring your food, you will get a better ideas about portion sizes and be able to eye-ball something so you know how much you're eating. Once you know what 50g of carbohydrates looks like you won't have to weigh it again!

  • Pre-Log Your Day - Adding your food into MFP the night before gives you flexibility to ensure that what you eat fits within your targets. If it doesn’t fit, then change it. This also enables you to log any future ‘bad’ meals, which allows you to eat around them rather than running out of space for calories when it’s too late.

  • Log your recipes and favourite meals - If you have similar foods for breakfast and lunch, you can save these meals into MFP and easily add them to other days rather than adding foods individually. To save a meal, click the '+' icon,' at top right-hand corner after choosing add food, then select 'create a meal', and finally 'Add Food' to the foods that you are eating.

  • Vegetables - Tracking all your green vegetables is unlikely to make a difference because of their low calorific value, whereas ignoring potatoes will. Therefore, you should create some rules when tracking your vegetables. We recommend recording starchy vegetables, which include things like potatoes, carrots, parsnips, turnips, peas and sweet corn, whereas not to concern yourself about counting green leafy vegetables as their calorific value is inconsequential.

  • Don’t forget condiments - Mayonnaise, ketchup and similar condiments are high in calories and loaded with sugar and fat. Do not discount these when tracking.

  • Tracking on the move - If you’re buying from a shop, then scan the barcode. If you’re eating at a restaurant try not to worry about being too accurate as it’s almost impossible. Instead, just add the protein, carbohydrate and fat source and roughly estimate its size. Once you have been tracking for a few weeks you will have a better understanding of portion sizes, making tracking on the go far easier.

  • Set reminders - Under “settings” in MFP you can set reminders to remember to track and log your food as you will sometimes forget.

Step 3 - Analyse.

After a few weeks, look through your food diary and see where you can improve. If you're struggling to see progress, share your food diary with a professional who can help you identify areas where you may need improvement, and give you tailored guidance on how to meet your goals. Ignite uses food diary monitoring to help you understand where you're going wrong. This ensures you continue to see progress until to you're ready to go it alone. Find out more about Ignite here.

Remember, tracking is just a tool to help you progress. The numbers you have calculated are only a starting point. Your nutrition must be fluid when using metrics like body weight, body fat percentage, circumferential measurements, gym performance, sleep and recovery time will enable you to adjust your eating moving forward.

Are you struggling with weight loss?

Then get in touch to see how we can help or check out Ignite. The fat loss programme that uses metabolic testing to build a nutrition and exercise plan based on you as an individual, giving you the confidence to get results quicker than ever. Find out more here.


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