Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Tip for Tuesday: Keep a Food Journal

Under the "My Program" tab, I have listed the main tools that have helped me lose 40 pounds, so far. The first tool listed is Sparkpeople.com. I have used Sparkpeople as my food journal to help me keep track of what I eat throughout the day. Now there is a Sparkpeople app for my phone, which makes it even more simple to keep a food journal these days! Previous to that, I would have to log onto my computer to log my food, and previous to that, I used the old pen to paper tracking. Actually, I still do sometimes. Call me old fashioned.

Keeping a food journal isn't the only thing I have done. I also keep track of my exercise. Calories in vs. calories out. If I overeat, I make up for it with exercise. Of course, the goal is to not overeat, but to know that there is a lifesaver in the form of exercise, it kind of takes the anxiety of being perfect completely out of the picture. That all or nothing mentality has never done me any good, anyway.

Not every week is a successful week. Some weeks, I have a gain on the scale. Some weeks, I lose. When I have a good week, I like to look back on what I ate and what exercise I did. It's like a recipe for success, and it's good to have that record to look back on.

Lately, I have been loving celery with peanut butter and apples with peanut butter. I have been loving the crunch of a fruit or vegetable with the soft creamy texture and flavor of peanut butter. Whatever works to get me to eat more fruits and vegetables! Peanut butter may not be the healthiest choice for a snack but the way that I'm using it these days it is a lot healthier than some other possibilities. (Such as, chocolate and peanut butter. Hello, Easter candy. Or should I say, goodbye Easter candy!)

Some people, like myself, have also had success in losing weight from taking pictures of their food for accountability purposes. Yes, I am that crazy person that has more pictures of food on their phone than anything else. Actually, that was true prior to giving birth to Piper. Basically, it's all about Piper now. But you get the picture. I still take a lot of pictures of food.

Psst. the recipe for the awesome sauce used on this salad will be featured in tomorrow's post!

Not only has it been helpful to keep a food journal throughout my weight loss journey, but it has been helpful to plan ahead exactly what I will be eating. Sure, I don't always stick to it, but most of the time I try. I made it a goal for the month of April to post my weekly exercise and dinner plans. Below are my plans for this week.

Exercise Plans for the week:
Monday: Yoga
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: Yoga
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Yoga

Dinner plans for the week:
Monday: Fish with Salad
Tuesday: Chicken Salad
Wednesday: Homemade Spaghetti and Meatballs with Asparagus
Thursday: Dinner with family - mother-in-law is cooking
Friday: Chicken Cordon Bleu with Brussels Sprouts

Readers, I want to know, do you keep a food journal? Where do you keep your food journal? What are some healthy snacks you have been loving lately? How far in advanced do you plan your dinner menu?

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