Challenge: Keep a Food Journal

Hello again! I'm popping back in today to share a new weekly feature coming to the blog: weekly challenges! Even though I love 30, 60, and 90 day challenges, I tend to do better when I just focus on implementing a new habit one day (or just one week) at a time, versus for the entire month or year. I'm guessing you might be the same way?

Well, in an effort to get us all practicing some new healthy habits, I'm going to post a Sunday (or Monday) challenge that I want us all to try to maintain throughout the week!

The first challenge is to keep a food journal!

APRIL-1-CHALLENGE

I know logging food, like counting calories or points can feel tedious, but if you're trying to lose weight, studies show this one small step can make a big difference.

In fact, studies, such as this one, suggest that you can double your weight loss by tracking your food! Other studies, such as this one, suggest that the key to losing weight isn't in any special diet or diet approach, but rather in your smartphone, if you'll just utilize one of the many apps available for food logging. And, are you one of the millions who vowed to get fit in the New Year? This recent study that suggests recording goals in a fitness diary maximizes the achievement of New Year's resolutions to stay fit.

Well, personally, I don't need science to tell me food logging is good -- I've always been more successful with my own weight loss efforts when I tracked what I was eating, whether I did so by providing my trainer with a handwritten list, logged it in MyFitnessPal or just jotted it in the Notes app on my phone. There's no magic method here, it's just a matter of being conscientious.

Technology is making it easier than ever to track food, too. Sites like MyFitnessPal show you the macronutrient breakdown for all types of foods and the index is unbelievably comprehensive -- search for almost anything and there's probably already an entry for that food.

Also, the MyFitnessPal recipe box can now read recipe URLs! How cool is that? Rather than creating a recipe by typing in one ingredient at a time, copy and paste in the recipe URL and voila -- you've got the nutrition facts at your fingertips!

Now, if you think you're one of those people who is pretty good at estimating calorie content and differentiating healthy food from junk (I've used that excuse too), a recent Harvard study suggests people think they're eating less than they actually are. In fact, the British Medical Journal reported that "underestimation of calorie content increased substantially as the actual meal calorie content increased." Say what?? (True story!)

With all that said, calorie counting isn't a perfect science and it's not the end-all-be-all to living healthy or losing weight, I get that! But, I'd like us to experiment this week and see what happens when we log! Do we feel more in control of our diets? Do we make better choices, plan better, or see better results? Let's do this and find out!

So, starting today, or at the very latest, tomorrow, write down what you're eating, and try to do that everyday this week!

Ready? Set? Get tracking!

Oh, and I'd love to keep each other accountable on social media -- what should our hashtag be?

Do you log your food on a regular basis? Why or why not?

Do you like weekly goals better than monthly or yearly goals?  

Image via Charm & Gumption // Get Fit Food & Exercise Notepad

PS: I'll be using MyFitnessPal to complete this challenge -- if you wanna be friends on there, shoot me an email!