I have food issues. I don’t like the fact that I have food issues, but there you have it… I have a mostly dysfunctional relationship with food.
Mostly my issues are that I have no concept of satiety (i.e. being full) and I LOOOOOOOVE food. So really it’s a miracle I’m not 400 pounds.
I am not 400 pounds because I work at it. I exercise regularly, I make most of my food from scratch, I eat the healthiest food possible and… when all else fails, I track my food.
Lot’s of people have different opinions on tracking food. Some people think that it is the only way to control weight, while others think that it’s a time consuming, soul sucking activity that leaves you neurotic. Maybe it’s both?
I can maintain my weight if I don’t track my food, but I cannot lose weight. I think the main reason for this is that I will grab random handfuls of things if I am not tracking it.
The thought process goes like this:
“I’m a little hungry, but don’t feel like having a meal. I will just have a few almonds!”
*** walks to cupboard, grabs handful of almonds, sees raisins***
“oooo, raisins and nuts are like a trail mix type o’ thing, yup, happening”
*** grabs a handful of raisins and nuts, walks back to couch, nomnomnom***
15 minutes later…
“I haven’t had a real meal, but I’ve snacked so I’m not really hungry… let’s make popcorn”
Next thing you know, I have consumed 4 different “snack” items and no dinner and things get ridiculous. And yes, that is what my internal dialogue sounds like because I’m awesome.
If I am tracking my food the thought process goes like this:
“I am hungry, let’s have a snack! Wait, how many almonds are in an oz? how do I track 2 handfuls of raisins? ugh, that’s too much effort, I’ll make a proper meal that I can track better” – WIN!
So, for me tracking food stops the mindless eating because I have to actually thinks about the portion and the food and if there was a hidden ingredient in there etc. It FORCES mindful eating on me. It can be annoying from time to time, but for me it works. I use Spark People to track my food which I find is a decent tool though I know lot of people like my fitness pal or livestrong. It’s not for everyone, but I think a lot of people have found success through accountability with food journaling.
What have your experiences been with food trackers?