For those struggling to lose weight, food logging can be an effective way to experience consistent long-term results. For many of these people, they simply do not have a good understanding of the caloric content of the foods they are eating. By accurately logging their food, they are given an objective look into how many calories they are actually consuming on a day-to-day basis.
With this being said, many people who log their food do not achieve the weight loss they are looking for. Three of the more common reasons are inconsistency, inaccuracy, and lack of commitment.
For those that have committed to food logging for an extended amount of time without results, more than likely lack consistency. When faced with the repetitiveness of the work week, these people generally do very well. However, once the work week ends, so does the food logging. With family events and trips to the cabin taking priority, food logging often becomes an afterthought and sometimes not at all. Coincidentally, this is also the same time of the week most people over eat and drink. So, even with 5/7 days of the week on point, a few drinks and cheat meals on the weekend can easily erase any progress made from the previous days.
With no record of these extra calories, many people become confused and frustrated with no results, and ultimately give up.
Another pitfall food loggers run into is inaccuracy with the calories they are recording. To truly log food accurately, one needs to weigh and measure everything they eat. Understandably, a vast majority of people do not take the time to do this. As a result, many people underestimate the portions they are consuming.
For those that cook most of their food at home, they must also weigh and measure their ingredients separately before making their dishes. Again, this is time consuming, which leads many to guesstimate their portions – often on the low side.
Knowing exactly how many calories are in each meal is not imperative, but it is important to be in the ballpark.
Lack of Commitment
In my experience, the #1 cause of failure with food logging is lack of commitment. With infomercials and diet products promising rapid weight loss in only a few short days or weeks, it can be quite discouraging for people to realize just how much time and energy it actually takes to reach their goals. Unfortunately, many seek out the instant gratification of a pill or shake, and never achieve the goals they are looking for.
My Challenge to You
For those new to food logging, and those that have failed in the past, I challenge you to commit to two weeks of consistent and accurate logging of your food. This two week period tends to be the tipping point (also a great book by Malcolm Gladwell) for most when it comes to logging their food. Those that fail to reach this two week period tend not to experience any noticeable results, and often give up. However, those that remain disciplined and reach this two week period can begin noticing changes in their energy, mood, and physique – fueling them to continue logging until they have reached their goals.