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Many people have started jumping onto the food tracking bandwagon. But why? Is it really effective? Are the results long lasting? Well, I decided to take these questions head-on and start logging my food.
I downloaded the app called Lose it!, a free app available on I-phone and android. The first thing it asked me to do was to create a profile which was my name, age, height, current weight, goal weight and if I want to lose 1 or 2 pounds a week. Once my profile was created it gave me my calorie intake for the day and then asked me to log in what I had eaten for the day.
The app is very user-friendly. It has many food items, including restaurants already programmed on the app. To search the food I just needed to type in a few letters or scan the bar-code. Now disclaimer-- I did notice that a few items listed were a few calories off of the true amount. I was just smart with how I logged the information and also kept close track of what I ate.
Right off the bat, I noticed that once I started logging in my food, my portion control just automatically kick in. At first sight of how many calories I was allotted to eat, I thought I was going to starve but then as the day went on I realized that I wasn't starving, or dying of hunger. Logging my food helped me see how much of each meal and snack I should be eating in order to achieve and maintain a healthy body.
Results do differ with people-- in my first week of logging, I lost eight pounds! My second week-- five more! Once again this will not be the same for everyone, but not gonna lie-- I am happy this was the case for me.
Now in the mix of all these pros, here comes the con of all-- You have to be consistent. The app has a cool feature that rewards you for being consistent. After a week of logging every day-- yes weekends too-- it will tell you the projected date you will reach your goal. Every day after that, as long as you are consistent, it will continue to show your goal achieving date-- fluctuating on how well you are eating daily. I, of course, wanted to experiment with this as well. So I took two weeks off, ate clean and tried to portion control and you know what happened.... I went on a standstill, didn't lose, didn't gain, I remained the same. At first, I thought this couldn't be because of the logging but low and behold the first week I jumped back on I lost four more pounds.
Obviously, the app doesn't have magical powers and will only help me lose weight if I log. However, I do believe that this app is tool on how to eat cleaner and portion better and I had just left the app too soon.
There are other ways to food journal as well, such as other successful apps like My fitness pal, printable's or even an actual food journal. Like these ones off of Amazon...
Do I feel that food tracking is worth it... yes I do. If anything it can serve as a wake-up call to the things we are eating and how much of it we are consuming. Try it out for yourself!