Why Logging Your Food Is the Best Method for Sustainable Eating

As someone who has been following a macro-focused way of eating for close to 2 years steady (and several years before that, I followed a macro diet when I was in my twenties), I'm very comfortable with my food choices at this point, and I often intuitively eat in the proportion now that I've found my body to best perform on. It really has become second nature for me after so many years (but that doesn't excuse me from the occasional deviation from my scripted macros, because...life), but I do still log my food. Every meal or snack, every single day, without exception. I log my food while I'm on vacation, holidays, crappy-eating days, picnics, parties, every.dang.day.

I'm not obsessed, I just love the tool of logging my food, and the information that it provides me about myself and my body.  

But I do understand that following a macro profile and keeping a food log are completely foreign to most people. When I first tell my clients that I need them to log every single meal and snack, they groan. They complain. They tell me that it won't work. They tell me that they don't normally diet. They say that logging their food will give them massive anxiety.

I promise that it works, you aren't on a diet, and logging your food will not give you anxiety if you're macro (un)dieting.

It's not easy to teach others to shift focus from the 'low calorie, low density' goals that are so prevalent in our culture. When I began on my journey with macro-eating, I thought that it would be impossible to eat "so many" calories and still lose fat. I quickly learned that it was possible, and with a higher upper calorie limit, I didn't feel soul-crushed each and every day when I was trying to figure out how many (few) calories I had left to eat my dinner with. 

Low calorie diets don't work.

Sometimes, clients ask me "can't you just give me a list of foods to pick from"? I'm sure that I could, but part of the process of learning how to eat sustainably for the rest of your life is learning how to eat for your body, for the rest of your life. Part of that is learning about the building blocks of your favorite foods. Learning about what your foods are made up of--is your favorite treat loaded to the hilt with carbohydrates? Did you log in the drink that you enjoyed with your lunch and realize that it contained 60 grams of carbohydrates? This happens pretty often with clients who tell me that they typically "don't eat many carbs".

Then they start logging their foods, and they're completely mind blown!

The other fantastic part about learning how to eat is that it makes it easier for you to eat your favorite foods without worrying about whether you "can" eat them. When you're logging your food and following a macro (un)diet, if you feel so inclined, you can eat a chocolate bar every day of your life for the rest of your life. You'll eat it without guilt, shame, or feeling like you had to repent, because it fit into your macro profile each and every day. You'll enter it into your food log from now until eternity, and you'll eat it each day without a second thought.

That one chocolate bar can change your whole perspective about eating well for your body. When you can build your power foods around your pleasure foods, life feels a little less constricting. You feel a little more in control of your own health journey. When you're offered a flexible way to eat and a solid, easy way to keep track of what you're putting into your body, the learning curve is much shorter. Logging your food just becomes a tool that you use to make sure you're feeding your body what it needs.