If you aren’t a first time reader, you probably know I keep a food journal. You probably also know I’m fairly inconsistence with it now (mostly because I’m not losing, I’m maintaining). What you don’t know is that I almost always start my day journaling. Breakfast and lunch are easy meals for me. However, dinner and nighttime snacking are are another story. As a result I have TONS of half day journals. TONS!

What ends up happening is I don’t want to face the journal. I get lazy, and honestly I don’t feel like seeing my indiscretions on paper. That makes them all too REAL.

Tonight I decided not to turn my head to my momentary lapse of judgment. I need to be accountable for my total disregard of full stomach signs while indulging in fatty, cheesy, carb-y goodness, purely for the taste of it.

SO here it is, my un-abandoned food journal. It may not be correct, I estimated, but I don’t think it matters. I know what I ate, I know how much of it I ate and it’s CONSCIOUS! Something I think is very important in diet and in life.

Food Points
egg muffins with turkey breakfast sausage 5
Overstuffed Sausage and Pepper Wrap 4
Banana Split (Chocolate Breyers Free, small banana, handful of berries) 3
cheese stick and some cherry tomatoes from the garden 2
Stuffed Shells (~6-7), peas and about 3 pieces of garlic bread loaded with butter (totally overboard – estimate) 20
Dark Chocolate Raisinettes (the whole box) Total impulse buy, I was tired, driving and craving something sweet – not a good combination) 8
Total : 42
Activity
Bootcamp (1.86 miles run in 18 minutes! VERY HILLY! Ab work) Lower Body weights

Want a food journal like this for your blog? Try the table generator.

So I have a few questions this week. First, do you food journal? If so do you face it no matter what? Or do you run from it like an 8th grader that burns his failed math test so he doesn’t have to show his parents. (Where did THAT metaphor come from?!?) Anyway, I’d love to hear your thoughts!


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  • http://shortstuffruns.blogspot.com Amanda

    I’m a lil bit obsessed with my food journal. I plan out what I’m going to eat and write it down. Sometimes, if it’s late at night, I’ll borrow something from the next day (bad habit, I know), and I’m usually able to compensate by not “borrowing” again the next day.

    Sometimes, though, when I’m going through a transition (coming home, going on vacation, etc.), sometimes I get off schedule, and end up with a “balance” that gets added to my weight to lose (from un-compensated-for-”borrowing”). For example, “Oh, crap, this week I had an extra 700 calories…guess I have 5 pounds to lose PLUS 700 calories.” Make sense?

  • http://debbyweighsin.wordpress.com debby

    Hi Roni, Yes I completely food journal. I do kinda the same thing, start out in the morning, getting an idea for the day–whether I can really eat all the stuff I have in mind. Then I can adjust (down usually) if I need to. I don’t too often not finish the journal, unless I go out of town (which means I go off plan and/or eat out.)

    I actually can’t imagine not journalling yet because I know for sure I would still eat way too much, even if it was healthy food, and I wouldn’t even be stuffing myself.

  • http://www.blogtolose.com/profile/Christie Christie

    Yes, I food journal.

    I totally don’t face the journal as much as I should. I also start out with good intentions. I eat a good breakfast and I take my healthy lunch to work feeling so proud of myself. Then the office mates want to go out to eat and I feel like I want to as well and I end up indulging in that. I am usually able to get back on track when I get home but that doesn’t always happen either.

  • http://www.mizfitOnline.com MizFit

    I dont. for me it would CAUSE ME to become obsessed.

    intuitive eating is more my thing…

  • Leigh Anne

    I think I do a little bit of both. Last week when I fell face first into vacation eating I still journalled but didn’t figure out the points. I knew perfectly well that whatever the points were of the half pint of Ben and jerry’s was well above my daily points. It was enough to have it in writing and understand that there would be a slight gain at weigh in.

    Since I’m in the beginning weeks of WW I think it’s important for me to have that record. So if there are a few weeks when I don’t lose or even gain I can look and see that it’s not the program, it’s me not following the program.

  • Geri

    My food journal is like my sister – honest to the point where I don’t want to listen/look! I cringe when I have to write down the food I’ve ingested when I know I’ve gone over points. Yet I know that for me to have a good week I need to use the journal. I have lots of half pages, and some half weeks, when I’ve totally slipped and for some stupid reason, gave up for the week and decided not to get back on track until after the next weigh in. Those blank pages stare at me reproachfully even when I’m back on track. When I lapse, I buy myself a pretty new notebook to try and get back into using it again (I’m have a small office-supply fetish!)

  • http://blogtolose Nina

    I just skipped my whole weekend of my food journal for the same reason! Funny. Maybe I should be unabashed and write everything down to make everyone realize that we’re all struggling and@#$% happens :) But still, there’s just something about admitting to eating a 1/4 stick of butter for the hell of it (really, just plain butter, nothing else) makes me feel like a freak! ;) Thanks for taking the lead Roni! I’ll try better next time ( like tommorrow when I reach for the other stick of butter maybe the fear of blogging it will motivate me to stay away from it….MAYBE. I do LOVE butter!)

  • http://www.thefatburninginferno.com Tony

    I try to avoid food journals as it would cause me more problems than it would solve.

  • http://skinnyville.blogspot.com/ Christy

    I do journal, and at times it helps me keep on track knowing I have to write it down. However I do find sometimes I don’t want to write some things down if I totally go overboard….and am working on journaling no matter what!! I’m a bit of a perfectionist so if I have a bunch of half day journals that week it makes me not want to continue journaling for the week…I’m struggling with that this week!!!

  • http://seashorerose.blogspot.com SeaShore

    I journal it all: the good, the bad, and the ugly. I’ve only been doing it for 5 months, though. I hope if (when?) the time comes that I get tired of it and start to slack off, that I can remind myself of the time when it worked for me.

    Occasionally one problem I seem to have is preplanning my points vs eating until satisfied. Even if I’m full 3/4 of the way through a meal, I’ll catch myself thinking, “but they’re MY points! I’ve written them down and I’m going to eat them!” Twice in the past couple weeks I’ve managed to stop at satisfied and not worry about “wasted points” on my plate, but last night, well, I ate them anyway!

  • http://missionlessstatement.blogspot.com Haley

    I love food journaling — it was the key to me losing weight. I keep mine online at sparkpeople, and I will usually plan my day out in the morning (so I know what food to carry with me to work), or sometimes the night before.

    When I do have a bad night of overindulgence I generally don’t journal it, so I do have a few half-day journals. For me, it’s less about accountability and looking back, then about planning and preparation, so I don’t sweat those half-dayers.

  • http://deleted pam

    I thought this was an interesting idea….my weight watchers leader gave me this morsel. She said if nightime snacking and dinner were problem times it might be worth a try to start your points at dinner time and end them the following day. Her point was that in the morning you are so focused on starting your day out right. You have all these points to use up. I have noticed that I am totally stingy with my points in the morning and and dinner because I know how naughty I am at night. I have never tried this, but I would be interested in doing it to see how it works. Anyway, just passing this along.

  • Maggie

    I have kept a food journal for about a month now. I just recently decided to go about 90% vegan. The 10% is all added ingredients to products I already had. The journal has helped a lot, especially with mindless eating in the evenings. Yesterday I found this cool site to help you categorize your food and see if you get enough daily servings. I’m sure everyone knows about it already!
    http://www.mypyramid.gov/
    And going vegan has helped tremendously with cutting out junk, processed foods, and unhealthy fats/carbs.

  • Tanya

    For me I started out strong…I would journal everything…up until the start of the summer and reaching my mid point of weight loss. Now for pretty much the entire summer, I have not written down anything.
    In the beginning I carried my little notebook with me no matter where I went. It sat on my desk at work and when I ate, I wrote it down. Now I just do it in my head…funny…haven’t lost any weight in two months…
    I am going to purchase a new journal this Saturday when I weigh in!

  • http://spunkysuzi-mydailynosh.blogspot.com suzanne

    I have to admit i love to keep both a paper journal and an online one! I used to not put things in when i had a binge but now i make sure to at least write it in the paper one so i can go back and see what may have contributed to it!!

  • http://hlcaterpillar.blogspot.com/ Lynn C

    I’ve been having on and off trouble with journaling. My first few months of weight watchers, I was religious about journaling, but I switched to the Core Plan, and I didn’t journal for a while… but then I had trouble with erstwhile snacking and gaining weight back (downward trending, but the +1 or +1.2 pound weeks were just killing my spirit) so I started back up again.

    I can usually manage to do it, if it’s simple. I like the eTools journaling options, so I’ve been going with that.

  • Alisha

    I do and it helps alot. At first it helped me understand servings and then it turned into helping me decide if I wanted to waste points on something that wasn’t worth it. Now it helps anchor me because I know that the decisions are mine and I am accountable. In July, there was a week were I totally fell off the wagon and wasn’t journalling….on came 5 lbs. It is that easy for me, so I have to journal. I journal a quick line about my feelings at the end of the night too, helps to motivate me sometimes.

  • http://www.blogtolose.com/profile/RobinBachman Robin

    I am in my second week of journaling. I am finding it to be a great motivator. I can see how my eating is affected by my stress, etc. I had to put away my journal yesterday as I was just staring at my overage in points at lunch time. (I didn’t eat what I planned and I was mad!!) At the end of the night, I had only went over by two points and was happy. I think that journaling is going to be key for me in my weight loss journey.

  • http://fromflabtofit.blogspot.com Kate

    Since beginning maintenance, I went awhile without journaling altogether, but after awhile decided just to write down what I was eating. Its just in a notebook, I don’t count points or calories, but rather just write it down, and at the end of day, I just try to pick on thing I could have improved on. Yesterday it was the few bites of potato salad I had. I think it helps me keep a perspective on what I’m eating.

  • http://changingweight.blogspot.com/ Estellia

    My previous attempt at WW I tried to journal and hated doing it, so I did it sporadically. I think age or something have changed my perspective. Now I have come to accept what I eat and I write everything down and if I go over, oh well..I just try to do better the next day (and not feel guilty or beat myself up for it). It helps to be honest when you look back at the journals and see what helped and what didn’t when trying to loose. I hope I don’t have to do it in maitenance. I would love to get to the point where I just know the sum total of what I ate for the day. I would go back to journaling if I gained though.

  • http://onedayatatime-am.blogspot.com/ Amanda Daybyday

    Yes, I do food journal. When I started WW’s a 14 months ago, I was exact all the time and didn’t eat it, even if I had to estimate. I have of course relaxed over time and after 80 pounds gone. I’m at a pretty comfortable weight now and while I still want to lose a bit, I’ve gradually begun to have more and more days like you discribe above. For example…yesterday…started out great. Breakfast and lunch were no problem. Then at 4pm, when I should have been making supper, I made a batch of brownies from a mx that I ‘ve been wanting to get our of the cupboard. And of course I licked and then sampled my way to being out of points for the day…I think anyways, because I was estimating. I hate that. But to my best estimate…I still have flex points left, so it’s not all bad.

  • http://martinigal.blogspot.com marcie

    I do journal, however….the pages for Saturday are usually blank after breakfast. I’ve gotten to where I don’t track that day since I generally don’t count points on that night’s dinner. But knowing that I’m probably exceeding my 21 daily points, I dont’ use many (if any) of my weeklies the rest of the week. I earn enough activity points that I don’t feel deprived.

  • Amy

    I definitely journal- I think it’s critical not only the weight loss mode but maintenance as well. It’s easy to think that we can keep up with it in our heads, or just “be reasonable” with our food choices, but it’s that lack of structure that causes problems (for most people). I have learned that maintenance is extremely intensional. You have to know what you’re eating and you have to consider your calories/points- when I don’t, I should never be confused as to why my weight goes up. It’s like with anything- when you’re in control there is a more predictable outcome. I think people who work out regularly (and really burn some calories), have more room when it comes to being intense on the food journal. I am active but not a scheduled “worker-outer” so I really have to be thoughtful with the food aspect of this. And I have to say, it works!

    :)Amy

  • http://kristaskravings Krista

    I always journal, but I don’t always keep a point count. If we’re out for dinner or at an event, I write down what I ate. If it’s a “normal” day, I track point as well. I also keep an exercise journal as a benchmark. For me, it’s ALL about accountability and journaling seems to do the trick!

  • http://cintianfood.blogspot.com Cintia

    I do journal. I noticed that on Saturdays and Sundays sometimes there are two blank pages. Most of the time, I write everything I eat plus the exercise and I’ve been able to face it. If I mess up or eat too much I just start over the next day. Writing everything down helps me a lot. If not now, it helps me to look back and see how I feel.

  • http://www.icanbearunner.blogspot.com KK

    I do not journal. It is not for me since I feel it would make me obsessed with my food and weight loss. Then again, I created my lifestyle plan for me (ie: I don’t follow Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, etc but instead exercise, calorie count, portion control, and make smart choices–5 months and 40 pounds down!). I think you have to do what works for you!!!!

  • http://missjulynotyet.blogspot.com/ Julie

    Well, I go back and forth. I journal pretty well to begin with…then I start leaving things off…then I just stop and count in my head. I usually go back to journaling after I stop losing or am facing some gains. I actually just had a little blurb about this in a blog not to long ago.
    I should be better…and I should post them, but I just don’t like people to see how much I really eat. It isn’t pretty. I have a high number for points because I am pretty heavy.
    The good news is that I am now down 33 lbs and am doing pretty well. I am back journaling and doing great with that. I am putting in every “blt” no matter how much I don’t want to and have noticed quite a few patterns that have led me to gaining again.

  • http://Jesssfoodcoma Jess’s food coma

    I do journal I find it keeps me honest. I also reset my points at 5pm because dinner and snacking became such a problem for me. So instead of saying “oh screw it!” I think well if I eat that then I will be really low on points for lunch tomorrow. Before doing this I always felt that dinner was a problem, feeling like there were never enough points left over to have a proper dinner and that made me feel like it was impossible and I would just give up.

  • http://Jesssfoodcoma Jess’s food coma

    I also leave my weekends at the end of the point counting week so that I know to save my 35 points for special dinners out or drinks.

  • http://annettesawakening.blogspot.com/ Annette

    I don’t food journal yet. I am pretty accountable so far with my weekly weigh ins and blogging for motivation. If I get to the point that I am not losing, I may consider. I think it’s a great tool for those who really need it. Right now, I am okay without it. My biggest problem is I tend to undereat so it may be good for me to start checking calories to make sure I am getting enough.

  • Casey

    When I first started WW I journaled consistently and lost. But then the holiday season came around and I got lazy and went back to bad eating habits. After gaining some weight back I realized I needed to make myself accountable again so I resumed journaling. This sort of became a cycle for me – journal and lose, go back to unhealthy eating habits and stop journaling, and then starting journaling again in an attempt to regain control.

    Currently, I don’t really do WW anymore and I am still losing. WW helped me learn correct portions and how I should be eating. Now I am aware of what I should or shouldn’t be eating and my own conscience puts me in check. Not to say I don’t go back to journaling ever – I do, but only for a few days to remind me of how I should be eating.

    It’s an incredibly empowering feeling to know that I no longer have to follow the plan exactly, but rather I now know how to be healthy – and for the most part, I stick to it! (Of course, Roni – you help motivate me!)

  • Michele

    I journal everything. I have only been on maintenance for 6 months and still need to be accountable. I don’t trust myself to stop journaling yet. I need to journal every day. It helps keep me on track.

  • Rebecca

    I like you, am in my 3rd year of maintenance. I still journal, not like I did at first but it is what keeps me accountable. The tricky part is that late night snacking. Those things don’t usually get written down mostly because of the hour that I consume them. Our eating habits are very similar (except that I do drink diet soda and coffee, caffeine is my vice). I have really been struggling to not do the handful of this or that in the evening. Maybe we could be accountability partners in this area? I am afraid these little things are going to add up.

  • http://ronisweigh.com roni

    Great insights guys! I just love reading everyone take and experiences.

    Rebecca – Ohhh how I do need nighttime accountability. I was thinking of starting a night chat or something to get my hand out of the snack bags!

  • http://www.boobearsplace.blogspot.com mary beth

    To be honest I journal but as soon as I get home I toss the journal. With a temp disabled husband, a toddler and a million other things to do I often don’t journal past 4pm. Its bad and I wished I knew how to get out of this. I only wished I could find something that will help me with this.

  • Tammy

    I think this is exactly why I can’t get myself to keep a journal. I just can’t seem to do it. I have defenetly come a long way with what kinds of foods I eat and what I will and will not put into my body from a healthy point of view, but quantity and frequency in eating is a whole other ball game that I am just starting to tackel and no matter how much I hear that I should food journal I just can’t seem to do it. I also think it’s because I feel like I am resistant to diet, since dieting has always failed me in the past.o.k. I’m babbeling I’ll stop!

  • Beanie

    I need to get back to journaling…between my bff dying last year, the holidays, a move and a relationship not going the way I’d like it too…I’ve allowed myself to many liberties. I think when I write it down and see it in front of me I’ll be more aware. I lost 140 lbs, but ever so slowly over the last few months 25 of it has crept back on :(

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