Weight Loss Support - Do you write down everything you eat?

04-08-2008, 10:07 AM
I have been writing everything down since Jan 1. Every single little thing I have put into my mouth so far in 2008 has been documented. It is good, and yet it is kinda getting old and Im tired of constantly writing it down. Part of me is scared to not write it out because I know it keeps be honest and accountable. I take what I have eaten for the month and bring it to my dietician. She reads thru it and gives me suggestions. Anyway, I am just not wanting to do it anymore...

So, what do you do?

04-08-2008, 10:10 AM
Good Morning!

I don't "write down" everything I eat - I enter it into Fit Day. If you don't know what that is, just go to http://www.fitday.com - it's free and easy!

Oh, and BTW - congrats on your weight loss so far!


04-08-2008, 10:13 AM
I'm fairly consistent with tracking everything I eat on pen & paper. Right now it's something that I know that I need to do in order to stay in the right frame of mind and keep myself accountable for what I eat. There may be a time in the future when I don't have to keep as close of a watch, but I believe that, for me, it would be well into maintenance, and only after careful experimentation.

04-08-2008, 10:18 AM
I use thedailyplate.com - all of my favorite foods and meal combos are just a click away on that site. I love it. I take 5 minutes in the morning and enter in all the planned foods for the day. Then later I add anything I ate that wasn't marked down, plus I add my exercise.

I actually love the feeling of control I have when recording my food. Plus - if I do it ahead of time, it really makes me stick to the plan!

04-08-2008, 10:24 AM
Faerie and Lori -

I totally agree! I feel more in control if I can see what it is I'm eating. Keeps me in the right mindset. Now that I've done it these past 3 weeks, I think it's now a habit :) or at least I hope so!


04-08-2008, 10:42 AM
I've been journaling in Fitday since June 1, 2001. It's a great planning tool, it only takes a few moments of my day, and it keeps me accountable. Certainly not every maintainer continues to journal, but I don't want to give up one of the tools that got me to goal. :)

04-08-2008, 10:50 AM
When I started I kept a food journal in my purse. Now that I know the number of calories that allows me to lose, I keep a mental tally. I know I don't eat more than 5 meals per day etc. If I don't lose any weight for a week or two I go back to keeping the journal so I can see if I'm doing anything wrong in my diet.

04-08-2008, 10:51 AM
I tracked everything I ate (and exercise, too) for about a year and lost 40+ pounds. It got tedious after awhile and it does seem to take time as I always had the note book open and wrote in everything after each meal, but I persisted. It is interesting that after I stopped journaling my food intake I started gaining again. A few months ago I started doing it again but this time online on a vegetarian forum I visit. I've lost 10 pounds since January and I think just seeing what I eat on "paper" is helping. I considered writing everything down but it's so much easier to type it. I'm considering printing off each month and keeping a paper copy. I'd advise you to keep doing something with food tracking, especially since you have a dietitian to help you.

04-08-2008, 11:07 AM
yes yes yes i write it down in my food journal! every bite! i can not use the online sites for tracking because i am not always at a computer when i am eating, and i have to write it down THEN not later or i get off track!

Beach Patrol
04-08-2008, 11:18 AM
Oh yes, I'm a faithful FitDay'er.

For instance, I just had a healthy snack of 12 almonds & 2.5 teaspoons of Skippy Natural Peanut Butter. Went right to FitDay & entered it. I even enter my coffee, Diet Dr Pepper, water, etc.

If I'm not near a computer or otherwise CAN'T enter something into FitDay, I try to write it down & enter it later. I like knowing what's going into my body & where I need to cut back or add more (such as veggies.) It's a wonderful diet tool. Tedious? You betcha. But being FAT is even MORE tedious.

04-08-2008, 11:21 AM
Yep, I food journal everday in the Whole Foods forum of 3 Fat Chicks. It does keep me accountable - sometimes, I am tempted to eat something offplan and I don't, just because I know I'll have to write it down! I've been recording my meals everyday for over 3 years, it takes less than 3 minutes. Just one of those good helpful habits that I learned losing weight that's helping me keep the weight off.

04-08-2008, 11:29 AM
I know what you mean about it getting old. I've been writing every morsel since Oct 07. What has helped me is using the same small notebook to also jot down reminders (call the doctor, school, etc), shopping lists and how I'm feeling at the moment. I just date a blank page and start writing so it can look a bit messy with food/calories, notes, list and disconnected thoughts, lol. But, it keeps me honest. I've done this yo-yo for too long to realize it is the only way I can maintain my current loss.

Mrs Snark
04-08-2008, 11:46 AM
I write every bite in my online food/exercise journal (along with how I'm feeling, sleeping, projects, etc.). It only takes me a minute and I love being able to see trends and it definitely makes me AWARE of what I put in my mouth.

04-08-2008, 11:49 AM
I do write done every bite. I plan my meals for the day . It was not planning that brought my to over 200 pounds.

04-08-2008, 12:13 PM
No, I don't. I don't count calories either.

04-08-2008, 12:18 PM
Since January 3rd, 2008 I have logged every single thing I have eaten, every day, without fail on FitDay. It truly has not gotten old for me at all. With the way I do it, it's not time consuming in the least- I take about 5 minutes in the morning, or the night before, and plan out everything I'm going to eat for the next day. I can see myself doing this for the rest of my life. :)

Maybe you should consider using a website like FitDay or The Daily Plate before you decide you don't want to do it anymore?

04-08-2008, 12:28 PM
I use thedailyplate.com and I've found it to be tedious but I know that I have to be accountable to something or someone! I have in the past week not posted any calories however felt like I needed to......I feel that if I'm not accountable for my calories it would be easier to eat more of even a good choice item then I should! It also helps me keep tabs on my weight loss......if I lose only 1lb in a week I review my eating for that past week and see where I usually ate my maximum calories with no extra exercise....if I eat my maximum calories and do the extra exercise I tend to lose more.....so this helps me keep that in check.

I feel eventually I can step away from recording my calories but for me right now I need the discipline. I know right now even I can plan my food and keep it within my calories for the day because of the routine of menus I do.....however its those days I have that "snacking" urge that I need to know my calories.....so if I'm under I know its ok to snack a little higher for instance or if I'm low I need to increase my water & exercise so that my snacking wont hinder my weight loss.

Since I want this to be a lifestyle change rather than a diet I don't want to get into the habit of exercise burning my calories so that I can eat more......I want to be able to eat and enjoy what I eat with no worries of excessive eating. My goal is to exercise 3 times a week for now.....and on weeks that I may have special meals or functions with food.......I usually will exercise an extra time to counter balance the effects of poor choices ......I've stayed within my calorie intake except for once since Feb 4th, and I don't think that I could of done this without posting everything I ate daily.

04-08-2008, 12:42 PM
One thing that helps me is that I make up a "shell" or "template" on my computer for a basis week. It takes about 15-30 minutes depending on how many interruptions I have in the background. Then I save them on my computer. I just change the week and date each new week. I have saved every food diary since I began posting on here last September.

I check online with both dailyplate and here for the calories or on the package if it differs (it does sometime) then I write down the calories (but you could do this with points or whatever too). I have a tendency to go in streaks where I like to eat the same foods over and over and over. On those meals, I just copy and paste those meals so the work has already been done.

Once you figure out a "system" that works for you, you would be surprised how quickly you can do it.

I agree with everyone else. I consider this to be one of my most important weight lose tools that I use. And, yes, everything gets written down. I want to know what I eat. And, yes, it does show up on the scale.

04-08-2008, 12:46 PM
At the moment I am not tracking what I eat at all--but while I was actively losing, I did it very consistently. I use FitDay, the downloaded version. I don't have a dietitian to work with, so I had to look after my own calories and nutrients, and FitDay was the easiest way.

I'm not doing it now because after all these months, I found that my food choices were going to be what they were, regardless of whether I tracked what I ate. But, I'm not losing now, either.


04-08-2008, 01:11 PM
I've journaled my food in Fitday PC for about 2 and 1/2 years. For the last 6 - 8 months, I've been doing it only at night for the day that is ending. Probably not the best decision, because at that point, I'm really only doing it to see whether I can have that before bedtime fudgesicle or not. ;) Frankly, I know that I'm not planning out my meals well enough, but I'm like Jayell in that my food choices are going to be what they are right now. Like Jayell, I'm not losing now either. Coincidence? - No but that's another thread.

I will continue with Fitday though, because it keeps me accountable. Even knowing the calorie counts of the foods that I frequently eat isn't enough. If I don't journal it, I'm far too apt to go overboard on my food. I have experimented with giving myself breaks from fitday enough to know that I'm not ready to stop and may not ever be ready.

04-08-2008, 01:15 PM
Yes, it's not always pretty I may have skipped a day or two in the past year, but it keeps me accountable and keeps me honest about the deficit I create everyday. I track online.

04-08-2008, 01:29 PM
I "write" mine on Fitday, almost every day. I usually take a break on weekends, unless I am deviating a lot from what I know is my good, healthy eating plan...then I'll track it to remind myself what a little bit off plan can do to my totals.

04-08-2008, 01:37 PM
I "write" mine on Fitday, almost every day. I usually take a break on weekends, unless I am deviating a lot from what I know is my good, healthy eating plan...then I'll track it to remind myself what a little bit off plan can do to my totals.Same here, except sub Daily Plate. I used to use spark-people, but found that Daily Plate works well for me since it lists lots of brand names and restaurants.

I find that if I don't journal my food I get off track. I tend to eat fairly well normally, but I eat more than I should if I don't keep track of it. I don't gain, but I don't lose either.


04-08-2008, 02:00 PM
I count and keep track of food, exercise and weigh almost daily... It just keeps me on track because when I don't keep tabs on myself I inevitably gain ...

04-08-2008, 03:51 PM
I'm not as good about it as I should be, but it is my goal to write down everything, and as I get better with it, I think my weight loss will be more consistent.

I'm using an exchange system, and one thing I did recently when I wanted to get away from journaling was to print and use exchange cards I found on the TOPS website (like the old Richard Simmon's deal-a-meal cards). It forced me to stick to the cards (my exchange plan) so I knew my calorie count was not exceeding my 1800 calories. It was a nice "vacation," from journaling but I quickly became "homesick" for the journal, because of the limits of the cards. A compromise that I made for myself was to create and print journal pages that had little boxes for each exchange. I check off the boxes as I eat throughout the day. I also write down what I ate. There are occasionally days when I check the boxes, but don't write down the specific foods, but these are more and more rare, because I find that writing down what I ate, I can look back and see if I'm shorting myself of certain nutrients (are all of my veggies and fruits varied in colors, am I eating citrus fruits...) or even just look back and see my strengths, weaknesses, and progress.

One thing that REALLY helped me was to alter my way of looking at the journal. Rather than looking at it as an unpleasant chore that I was forcing myself to do, I looked at it as a tool to learn about myself and make better choices, and even sometimes a fun game or contest with myself. For example, setting aside a small reward for journaling 7 days in a row.

A lot of that was inspired by various TOPS leaders I have had in the past (TOPS, taking off pounds sensibly, is a non-profit weight loss group about 1/10 the cost of Weight Watchers. Many groups run games and contests for it's members to make losing weight more interesting and fun). One leader used to ask everyone to bring in food journal pages, or copies of them (one day per page). You'd sign your name to each page, fold it up and put it in a basket. The leader would draw one out of the basket, and the person would win a prize (so the more days you journaled during the week, the greater your chance of winning).

For someone with a short attention span like myself, I have to make dieting fun or I get very bored and drop out. I never realized though how fun weight loss can be if you look at it that way.