Weight Loss Support - Does everybody journal their food?

almost there
12-30-2005, 11:54 PM
I am wondering if everyone writes down their calorie intake? I am terrible at it and I tend to have a problem writing down everything. I try to keep mental note but its not working very good and I know i should be writing it all down. Is there anybody else who feels the same as me?

12-30-2005, 11:58 PM
fitday....a PITA to get started...but quite a useful (and free) tool. The database in my brain would need a serious upgrade before I would honestly be able to remember what I ate over the course of a week.

Check the link in my signature - it isn't always pretty...but it's honest.

When I stopped journalling is when I started gaining weight back :eek:

12-31-2005, 12:02 AM
Well, I don't count calories and I don't journal the food. For me, and I have absolutely no problem with other people doing it, but for me, journaling does not work for me. Then things feel like a diet instead of a lifestyle change. I don't journal and I don't have a hard time at all keeping on track. But I have heard a lot of people rave about fitday. I tried it but it made my head spin. :dizzy:

emerald dragonfly
12-31-2005, 12:13 AM
I keep a food journal and it's wonderful!!! It has helped me out alot and would recommend it to anyone. Fitday is more technical, but it's a good site. I have lost 2 pounds this past week just by writing down what I have eaten, how much water, and how much exercise. This helps me understand what I need to do in order to lose the weight. Like I might be eating too many carbs or not drinking enough water or needing to exercise longer.

But everyone has their own personal way of doing things. This is my way and I'm sticking to it. I have a deep respect for anyone who tries their best in losing weight and being health concense (spelling??)

Good luck to all!

emerald dragonfly

12-31-2005, 12:28 AM
I started Weight Watchers, so yes I journal everything.... well, everything with points... it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be.

12-31-2005, 12:35 AM
I use fitday religiously. I count calories so it is helpful in that respect. But, more than anything, it keeps me honest. When I journal what I eat EVERY bite counts. It isn't my main meals that give me trouble. Instead it is the handful of this and the nibble of that. Fitday helps me see how quickly that kind of eating adds up to a LOT of calories.

12-31-2005, 12:40 AM
I will say that I never knew how much I actually ate until I journaled. I used fitday before joining WW, and I would have to journal as I went. I took one day and ate as I please and I was SHOCKED when the total was somewhere in the 4000 calorie range, and that was without even trying!
Journaling is a great tool.

Valerie Joy
12-31-2005, 01:23 AM
I use fitday also. It's helped me so much!

12-31-2005, 08:32 AM
For 6 months I've used FitDay


But recently on another site, someone recommended:


And to be honest, that looks much better! The calories burned part of that site is definitely more accurate and useful than FitDay.

As I'm in the UK, I've had to put in a lot of custom foods, but as time goes on it gets quicker as you have less new stuff to input.

I give myself the odd week off now, as I've spent so long recording everything I eat that I do have a fair idea - and I found on the odd week I didn't use FitDay I still lost weight, but it helps me feel more in control and just as wyhen I was very overweight, I underestimated the # of cals in things, I find that now I'm getting closer to goal weight, I actually over-estimate cals and often eat less than I thought I had.

I can't recommend tracking your diet online, highly enough. These sites are free and they empower you to control what you eat and have no excuses about miscalculating!

PhatP x

12-31-2005, 08:46 AM
I usually will journal for the first 2-3 months of the diet, then I don't. The reason is after that time, you tend to eat the same cycle of foods and you get used to what works and what doesn't.

12-31-2005, 08:58 AM
Like teahoney, I used to HATE writing down everything I ate because I felt like I was controlled by it. But for some reason, when I started doing it this time, it just worked. For me it's a great tool. Like the others have said, it helps keep me in control, especially the nibbles! And I love all the reports I can generate.

I use nutridiary, and it is also a PITA to get started, but I liked it better than fitday. I do pay a fee to get access to the larger database (with a lot of restaurant items), but for me it's worth it

12-31-2005, 10:04 AM
Fitday again! I couldn't do it without it.

12-31-2005, 10:35 AM
I was looking at your fitday diary because I was curious what other people are eating. I can't say I would be able to follow yours, but you seem to have a lot of discipline. Good for you! As far as the excercise, you forgot to include selfcare (dressing, etc). That counts too!

12-31-2005, 10:37 AM
I am wondering if everyone writes down their calorie intake? I am terrible at it and I tend to have a problem writing down everything. I try to keep mental note but its not working very good and I know i should be writing it all down. Is there anybody else who feels the same as me?
I can't "write" everything down either. I use fitday, like many of the others here. It has its own database of foods, plus you can customize your own. Meaning you have your own list of foods that anytime you eat them, you can add them to your list with just a click. I have a HUGE customized list. I like fitday and look forward to using it every day. And anytime I buy a new food, I run to my computer to enter in all the nutrition info.

12-31-2005, 11:37 AM
Like wyllenn, I use Nutridiary and it works well for me. I don't think it matters too much which system you use, but somehow doing it online is more motivating for me than writing it down manually in a journal. An added benefit is that I can see what percentages of protein, fat and carbs I'm eating and I've also recently been paying attention to the salt.

I also like the reports you can do with all kinds of pie charts and statistics over a period of time. Of course, to have these reports make sense you have to enter the data every day.

It takes a while to get custom foods entered, etc. but it gets easier to use with time.

I did Fitday a couple of years ago and lost some weight but immediately gained it back when I stopped journaling. It keeps me honest!

12-31-2005, 12:01 PM
I hear ya Penny. If I'm avoiding fitday, I know something is wrong! and I'd better take a closer look at myself. For instance ... I haven't entered everything I binged on last night. Horrible

DeafinlySmart???? who's fitday were you refering to? you can pm me if you want to talk about it more.

12-31-2005, 12:54 PM
I keep a food journal. It keeps me accountable - knowing I have to write down what I eat all day can motivate me to eat better. It's also good for making sure I'm eating ENOUGH. Eating too little is just as bad for me as eating too much!

12-31-2005, 01:06 PM
I use computer software and it counts cals eaten/burned, ect...I like it alot, I have lost 10lbs since starting to use it. It really helps keep me in check, EVEN when I dont really want to log the food (I do anyways because I feel guilty of I dont..lol)

12-31-2005, 02:56 PM
For about the first six months, I journaled my food. However, my goal is to develope habits that I want to keep up for the rest of my life, and I don't want to journal for the rest of my life. I want to be able to have an internal journal, so to speak, where I just know how much I need to eat a day without writing everything down. I used journalling as an educational tool, but now I am trying dieting without it.

Having mixed results, but I don't really think that my recent stall out is a result of my not journaling so much as a result of my being tired of dieting and the holidays rolling around. I do occasionally journal sample menus to see how many calories I am eating in a typical day.

But no, I no longer keep track of everything I eat.

12-31-2005, 03:43 PM
I'm like Annie, I journal but then get sick of it. Problem is, I never have been able to go the internal keeping-track route. If I don't journal, I don't lose. (Although I seem to be able to maintain OK wihout journalling.)

12-31-2005, 04:28 PM
For the first few weeks of my healthy living change early in the year, I journalled. But, I found for me, it was counter productive. I found myself dwelling on food and writing it down, and endless comparisons between days. So I tried doing it without it, and found no difference for me in the rate I lost weight. When I hit a plateau I do start journalling again, to make sure I am being honest about the amount I am eating.

I am not slavish about my caloried intake, and I vary my intake depending on my activitiy level, on quiet no exercise days I shoot for 1200 - 1300 on active days I can go as high as 1800.

It's taken some time, and a few mistakes along the way to find out what works for me, and I am forever changing what I do as my body changes.

I hate fitday, I really have tried, but it just doesn't like me!!!

12-31-2005, 08:23 PM
i dont.....
i just eat when hungry, stop til full, and when eating no no foods i just use common sense

12-31-2005, 10:30 PM
I employ the eat till you are full method, but much much later in the dieting efforts. The reason is we've trained ourselves to be in the spot we are in. Our food habits don't change overnight. Journaling does make me more obsessive about food and what I eat, but it serves a means to an end. I'm reteaching myself how to eat again. For me, I gain every time I get pregnant. Then afterwards, I keep eating like I'm pregnant. Then 2-3 years when my mothering routine is more established I get sick of looking like this and retrain my body. It takes effort. When you first learn how to do something, you had to work at it. It does get easier because it becomes a habit. The trick is staying at it long enough for that to happen and then periodically remind yourself so you don't go haywire. Journaling, at least for me, is not a forever thing therefore I don't mind the tediousness of it.

01-01-2006, 08:25 PM
I used to write down everything from what i ate to what kind of physical activities I performed that day. And now I use fitday, and it is great.

01-01-2006, 09:01 PM
I need the rhythm and routine of a journal. I personally can not use fit day because I am not able to rely on myself to remember to record something ex post facto. So it is a notebook for me - I also use it as a scrap book - and regular journal. It is also a handy reference to see when you ate what and how successful you were...

Everyone is different...

01-01-2006, 09:38 PM
Hi everyone,

I am glad I found this thread. Today is my first day on the plan and I was wondering what other people thought of journaling. For me, I think it is going to be a good idea. My plan is to eat 1500 calories each day and I tend to eat small meals throughout the day. I like having a running tally of how many calories I have eaten for the day. I am one of those people who has to eat something, anything, before I go to bed. (I know that many people say it is not a good idea to eat before bed, but if I do that, all I do is want food more.) Since, I know that I have consumed 1330 calories today, then I can have a small snack before bed. Definitely nothing heavy, don't want that nauseous feeling.

I am doing it the pen and paper method as opposed to on the web.

Good luck to everyone. :carrot:

01-02-2006, 08:02 AM
Jodi - I think the biggest problem with eating beofre bed is that it forces your body to digest food instead of rest. I have also read that night time is when your body manufactures cholesteral.

That said - my dh eats before bed all the time and apparently sleeps just fine. So - I guess it can be different for everyone.

01-02-2006, 08:17 AM
I don't, and haven't done at any point during my weight loss. I did try fitday once, but it seemed too hard to use when it's all based on US foods/measurements that I'd have to think about to adapt to what I actually eat.

I keep a mental note of things in my head, but I have been trying to develop a healthy but intuitive attitude to food. So what that means is basically that as long as everything in my house is pretty healthy, I eat whatever of it I want. I wanted to be able to trust myself to make decent choices rather than relying on rules (because I'm not following a rule based plan, and I worried that writing down amounts etc would push me towards getting hung up on eating a certain number of calories rather than simply what feels right).

However, one of the reasons I don't really journal is that when I'm at work I eat pretty much the same food every day anyway, then allow myself a free choice of evening meal. So there's not really much that changes from day to day, I know it fits in with what I'm trying to do, and there's not much to be gained from writing it down.

It's not for everyone, and if I found myself going off track I might need to start analysing a lot more to find out why, but as long as it works then I'll keep on doing it.

01-02-2006, 09:10 AM
I'm Canadian and have found the same problem as Helen. I find I have to customize alot of foods but that's OK, because then they stay in my pull-down menu forever. Then I don't have to go hunt for them.

There are some calories counters working together here ... if anyone is interested http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/showthread.php?t=71269