Do you know How to Keep a Time-Saving Food Journal: 7 Tricks? A tried-and-true weight-loss method is keeping a meal log. You gain knowledge about healthy eating and improve your ability to produce a calorie deficit (a little difference between the number of calories you consume and those you expend) to lose weight by keeping a food journal.
A food journal only functions, of course, if you maintain it. How time-consuming and boring keeping a food diary maybe is one of the biggest obstacles to maintaining one. Starting out, it could seem like a nuisance, especially if you have to record complicated recipes or restaurant meals, estimate portion sizes, or choose the appropriate brand or category of food from a vast list of choices.
However, according to a study, if you get used to it, tracking your meals, drinks, and snacks only takes up approximately 15 minutes of your day. According to Sandy Younan Brikho, RD, “time-saving is extremely crucial when it comes to keeping a food journal because, for many individuals, if it’s not handy, you’re less likely to keep up with it.”
By making your intake more predictable, planning meals in advance can make food logging easier, even if it’s just day by day. Leah Forristall, RD advises, “Track your whole day at once and only go in and modify stuff as necessary.” Recording all of your meals and snacks before you eat them may take some getting used to, but it may help you remain on track because everything is already laid out for you.
Saving recipes and meals is one time-saving option Brikho can’t live without. If you frequently find yourself logging 10–20 components for a single meal, you can once-and-for-all store the recipe in a program like MyFitnessPal. It’s time-consuming at first, but doing’s worth it for your favorite go-to dinners.
USE A FOOD SCALE …
Another major issue when it comes to food logging is portion sizes. Aderet Dana Hoch, RD, points out that it is highly challenging to estimate the weight of food by sight in grams, ounces, or pounds and that your eyes are frequently larger than your stomach. Purchasing a food scale, which can swiftly determine the weight of numerous food products, is one solution. Even scales that you can connect to your phone and have the data uploaded for you are available, she explains.
… AND VISUAL GUIDES, TOO
You’ll start to memorize what a 3-ounce or 1/2-cup piece of something looks like after tracking a certain item numerous times, according to Forristall. Once you reach this stage, time-saving visual cues, such as your hand’s palm representing 3 ounces of chicken breast, can be useful. She advises choosing the way that works best for you because visuals are the least accurate method compared to food scales or measuring cups and spoons.
MAKE ONE FOOD STAND FOR MANY
According to Hoch, another technique to make food logging simpler on oneself is to substitute one food with another that has the same number of calories or macronutrients (the proportion of carbohydrates, protein, and fat). The exchange list, which was originally developed by the American Dietetic Association (ADA), offers a variety of foods with similar or equivalent calorie counts, including fruits, vegetables, dairy products, lean proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.
Here are a few examples that could come in handy:
- 1/2 cup (75g) of cooked non-starchy vegetables like carrots or zucchini = 1 cup (30g) of leafy greens
- 1 cup of fat-free milk = 3/4 cup (184g) of nonfat yogurt
- 1 ounce of skinless turkey or chicken breast = 1 ounce of fish fillet, canned tuna, or shellfish
- 1 cup (150g) of fresh berries or melon cubes = 1 small apple, banana, or orange
SCAN THE BARCODE …
Having to sift through a billion different listings to discover the precise brand and type of protein bar, bread, or crackers you consume is a surprisingly huge time drain. The remedy According to Forristall, MyFitnessPal’s Premium function lets you scan food items. She says all you have to do is scan the barcode and then confirm the nutrition facts line up. You can add it yourself if the database doesn’t already include it. Following that, the new entry in your My Foods list is simple to locate.
… OR YOUR ENTIRE MEAL
MyFitnessPal Premium’s most well-liked feature—and one that my clients adore—is meal scanning, according to Brikho. “You don’t have to enter a variety of foods, worry about it being the proper food product, or spend time looking for the right one,” the statement reads. All you have to do is briefly hold your phone above your plate to do this. Your food is recorded for you by the app.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Although keeping a food journal can initially take a lot of time, with some preparation, experience, and the correct app, you can speed up the process and stay on track to meet your health objectives.
However, Hoch cautions that this is a sign of journaling fatigue or burnout when “eating starts to seem like a work because of your food journal or you’re no longer enjoying food.” In this situation, taking a pause and using other weight-loss techniques like intuitive eating (paying attention to your natural hunger cues) or the plate method is entirely acceptable (filling half of your plate with non-starchy veggies and one-quarter each with starches and protein).