Logging calories has become increasingly easy with the use of online and mobile apps that essentially do the work for you. Logging my food has always been my go-to method, not only when I want to lean out but also if I want to monitor my nutrient intake and ensure I’m feeding my body what it needs and avoiding large amounts of what it doesn’t need (for me...that’s SUGAR!!!). When you honestly and accurately log your food intake, it can be shocking how many calories are in certain food items. Additionally, almost everybody underestimates the portion sizes they are eating, quickly converting a healthy PM snack into enough calories to constitute an entire meal. In order to avoid these diet pitfalls, it’s important to not only log your food but to do it accurately by weighing and measuring to ensure your portion size is actually the portion you’re logging.
Food scales are relatively cheap and easy to pick up at any local store or online and help to ensure you know how much you’re actually eating. I use food scales for weighing all meat portions so when I log my chicken breast, I KNOW it’s 6 ounces versus an underestimated 8 ounces. Measuring cups and spoons are also great tools in ascertaining your portion sizes and very necessary in determining how much of a certain food item you should be documenting.
Logging food day in and day out...forever...can be daunting for some people. I take periods of time “off” of logging my food if I’m just maintaining my weight. However, a good practice is to do a check in and log your food at least one week each month as a reminder of what portion sizes should look like. When you’ve been diligently measuring your portions and logging your food, you gain knowledge that can help estimate portion sizes (i.e. you can pretty accurately guess what 6 ounces of meat looks like or how much is in a quarter cup), however, with a human tendency to underestimate portion size, we need the frequent reminders of actually measuring those items in order to be able to estimate the rest of the time. That said, if you are trying to lose or gain weight or reach certain macronutrient goals as part of your fitness plan, it’s important to measure and log your food each day to keep yourself on track.