Food logs are effective way to keep track of your nutrition, but these can also be a bit tedious at times. The ‘skipped-food log’ (explained below) requires less time and can be more fun to track while still keeping your diet in check.
This idea comes from a friend Katie I was catching up with at the gym a few weeks ago. She is a busy mom of a super-cute 4-year-old boy, works 50 hours a week and keeps the household running while her husband regularly travels for work. With her busy schedule, she makes it to the gym as often as she can and focuses on eating healthy. In chatting with her about nutrition, she shared one of her amazing time-efficient tricks to keep her food in check—I’ve named the ‘skipped-food log’.
WHAT IS A SKIPPED-FOOD LOG?
Like most work places, hers is filled with junk food, donuts, candy, snacks, etc. These can be really difficult to avoid, but instead of feeling deprived (and stressed), she WRITES DOWN the food that she skips! At the end of the week, she adds up those calories & sees what she passed over. Some weeks she adds up a total close to 7000 Calories, which is equal to 2 POUNDS of FAT. Instead of feeling like she missed out on that food, she feels empowered because she made the healthy choice.
SHOULD I KEEP ONE?
Keeping a skipped-food log gives you a concrete reward (what you didn’t gain) in addition to a mental victory (which can be hard to feel but is so critical to building positive momentum with your fitness). This log is excellent for individuals wanting to reframe how they think about passing over food (i.e., from deprivation to an empowering choice) and/or seeking to “measure” progress in a method outside of just the scale.
If you want to try this, you can download the log below then simply jot down the foods you skip during the week. At the end of the week, add the calories using MyFitnessPal or Cronometer (or a similar site) to find out what you “missed out” on.
USING THE LOG STRATEGICALLY
If you don’t want to keep the skipped-food log at all times, you can just use it when your cravings hit you the hardest – like the evenings or mid-day. You could write down a food you choose (like an apple) versus the food you skip (like chocolate-pb candy) to compare your calories at the end of the week vs. what they might have been if you had given in.
Try it out and start seeing how many pounds you “miss out” on over the next month!
“I will not feel deprived when I bypass Junk food. I will feel EMPOWERED because I made the right choice.” – Shannon Dey