As a dietitian that promotes anti-diet lifestyles changes and body positive ideals, many people may think that means I wouldn’t approve of a food log. That’s actually not true.
While my main goal for my clients is to improve their relationship with food and to help them appreciate their body at any size, many of my clients do have a personal goal to lose weight. (As a side note, this decision is made by each individual, and is a “no wrong answer” kind of decision- it is perfectly acceptable to either want to lose weight or not want to lose weight). I want to help all of my clients reach their goals (whatever they are) in a way that improves their relationship with food, their perception of themselves, AND will keep them from spending their entire lives on a diet. Many times, this does not include a food log, but for some of my clients, a food log can be helpful, IF used correctly.
Read on to see what the top mistakes are that people when using a food log and to see if you should or shouldn’t use one for your goals.
The 3 Biggest Food Log Mistakes
- Using the Food Log as a Crutch. The food log can be a great tool. But it can’t be the only thing you use to lose weight. If you don’t make other changes to your overall lifestyle, then once you stop logging your food, you’ll be likely to gain the weight right back.
- Logging without a plan. Logging your food is all well and good, but if you don’t have a plan for your meals, you’ll likely not make any actual changes. You’ll either only log the things you think are good and not log what you think is bad, or you’ll log it all but never reach the goals. Or the only change you’ll make is how much you’re eating. Your food choices and perception of food and of yourself won’t change, and you may still be hungry. When you stop logging your food, you’ll be likely to go right back to the portions you ate previously. Plus, since your perception of food and your body stayed the same, the chances are that you’ll end up feeling even worse and gaining more than you lost to begin with.
- Not having an exit strategy. Who here plans to food log for the rest of their life? NOT ME!! It’s too tedious and time consuming to do it forever. You’re just not going to. And without a plan for post-logging, you’ll stop logging, gain weight back, start logging again, gain weight back… start and stop, start and stop. Trust me, have an exit strategy!
Why Use a Food Log?
You can definitely make a food log work for you! They’re a great way to be sure you’re on target for reaching your goals. To be successful, make it only part of your plan. Use it as a tool, not your crutch. And be sure to have a clear and realistic exit strategy.
Need help with the rest of your lifestyle change? I am here for you! My program includes a food log that connects straight to me so that I can help you each day, plus I can help you make sure the food log is only temporary while your achievements are permanent.
Want to stop food logging all together? Download my free guide, 5 Steps to Stop Calorie Counting for Good to get started! Don’t hesitate to reach out with questions or to get more help!