What I’ve Learned From 7 Years Of Food Logging

food logging

 

One of the many benefits of logging my food intake off and on over the last seven years has shown me the progress I’ve made in my nutritional choices. Sometimes, I forget that we all have different ideas of what “healthy” means because we’re all at different points in our health journey.

Even though I’ve maintained a 125-pound weight loss these last six years, food logging is still part of my life. Some months, I log religiously (when I need the accountability) and some months I completely skip. Food logging isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s not a sign of being a big, unnatural weirdo– It’s about knowing yourself well enough to know that sometimes you may be guilty of overeating or eating not-so-great foods.

My very first food logging entry in 2009 looked like this:

foodlog2009

In May 2009, I weighed close to 300 pounds and this was my idea of what healthy was: pie for breakfast, sandwich and cookies for lunch, and a super heavy dinner. Not totally unhealthy… in fact, I’m sure I thought this was healthier than what I had been eating in the past.

After losing somewhere between 125-150 pounds, my food log often looked like this:

foodlog2010

 

In 2010, I frequently ate very low calorie. I would not be surprised if this was all I ate in one day (no dinner). It’s no wonder I developed an overwhelming obsession with food and suffered with binge eating. This was a nightmare to deal with– something I struggled with for a few years. I was SO focused on trying to get to my “goal weight” that I often ate low calorie meals and exercised a lot. That type of behavior only lead to binge eating and drinking vodka for breakfast some days. Not the healthiest cycle to find yourself in.

Even in 2011, I was still eating a lot of processed foods…

foodlog2011

In 2011, I still thought it was all about calories in/calories out and nothing to do with food quality. Poor quality protein powders, high-sugar yogurts, laughing cow “cheese”, and let’s not forget that pudding. Ugh. I see many people counting Weight Watcher points on Instagram eating stuff like this. It’s not as terrible as ultra low-calorie/binge eating cycle, but it still needed improvement.

In 2012, I got more into better nutrition via Paleo

foodlog2012

This is NOT a good example at all of what a Paleo diet looks like, but this is how eating Paleo helped improve my nutrition overall. This was the year I found out I had a gluten sensitivity. I also ran my second full-marathon this year. As you can see, it took a few years before I could get my nutrition under better control.

2013 was about the same as 2012, except even less binge eating

foodlog2013

Learning about eating cleaner through Paleo did help me curb some of my food obsessions and binge eating. In 2013, my binge eating was much better. This was the year that I drank “Bullet Proof” coffee with mct oil and tried intermittent fasting– only to realize that the fasting really isn’t great for people with a history of yo-yo dieting and restrictive eating patterns.

In 2013, I switched universities and the new, more difficult school work was very challenging for me. I wasn’t great at handling the stress of working 30 hours a week, going to school full-time, being a volunteer youth mentor, newlywed with a home to take care of, and becoming certified for my health coaching business– so, I slipped a little bit back into mindless eating and gained 25 pounds. So, even eating healthier doesn’t help if you can’t handle stress well.

In 2014, I started trying to eat even better because I wanted to start a family.

foodlog2014

The way I started eating in 2013 continued into 2014 but with more grass-fed liver, bone broth, gelatin, and collagen… which creeps a lot of people out. These types of food are very healing when they come from grass-fed sources. I was also excited to find skinless, boneless sardines.

In 2015, I’ve gotten less rigid with “healthy eating”

foodlog2015

My nutrition these days is a fair mixture of super healthy and a few processed foods. I typically eat pretty darn healthy these days, but I’m not borderline orthorexic (rigid about eating only organic, non-gmo foods). During the weekdays, I have some sort of smoothies or protein shake for breakfast, a salad for lunch, and some sort of skillet meal for dinner. On the weekends, it’s the same except lunch is either a frozen meal or something at a restaurant. My meals tend to have a lot of structure during the week and a little more relaxed on the weekend.

 

I wrote this blog post to show you that weight loss is never perfect. It’s all trail and error. If you’re willing to make a lot of mistakes (and learn a lesson from them), you’re more likely to have a sustained weight loss.

 

Do you think using a food log would help you on your weight loss journey? Why not try the Lose It! app and see if it opens your eyes, too?

 

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