Why I'm Taking a Break From Logging my Food
Posted on 8/21/2013 by caseythirteen
Ever since I started MFP, I have found that logging my food has been an amazing tool. It gave me a level of information that I had never been used to seeing. I tracked calories, increased protein, made sure to get enough fiber and kept an eye on my sodium levels. It was (and is) amazingly insightful and helpful. Until recently.
It's taken me a few weeks to realize what's been happening but here it is - logging is making it harder for me to eat well. I know that sounds a bit back-asswards but that's the truth. Even though I had plenty of calories to work with, thinking about eating them all or not too many of them was making me think about food all the time. Which, personally, just makes me even more hungry (for instance, my stomach is now growling). While I would end the day eating a perfectly well balanced diet, I felt like it took too much effort. I don't mind effort, but the effort this took started to be counter productive. I started relishing in the days that I gave myself the out of not logging. I would eat so much more than necessary simply because it tasted good and hey, I didn't need to track it!
It wasn't until this past weekend that it dawned on me that this was my own version of binging and the start of an unhealthy relationship with food. I didn't sit around and eat bags of chips or 3 bowls of ice cream, but I did over indulge on healthy and not as healthy things. I didn't think about my macros or calories because I would just worry about it "tomorrow" when I went back to tracking. But all that did was set up a roller coaster of low and high days that wasn't balancing out properly for me. Too many days of lower than usual calories to try and balance out the higher days left me hungry. So then what did I do? Have another day or two of high days! And not in the planned and controlled calorie cycling kind of way.
I'll stop here so I don't make this a novel but the long and short of it is this - I'm taking a break from logging what I eat. I want to eat instinctively using the information I have learned along the way this past year. I'm going to eat my protein, eat my veggies, and measure many of my portions still. That's a healthy lifestyle choice I am willing to make. That's the effort I'm willing to put in. But weigh each and every vegetable or fruit that goes in my food just so I can record it? No thank you. Not right now.
I'm curious to see where this leads me. It's kind of an experiment to see what I have learned over the year and what I can sustain. I'm so different than I was a year ago in terms of my fitness and foods I enjoy that I'm looking forward to proving to myself that just because I'm not logging each and every morsel that those morsels can't still be (mostly) good for me. And that I can find the balance that works for me.
( ** Just wanted to add that I know it doesn't matter to other people if I log my food or not, I just like to write my thoughts out sometimes.)