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To log or not to log?

daneejeladaneejela Posts: 146Member Member Posts: 146Member Member
I see many of you log your meals and calories. I see also, many of you don't.
What is more effective for the long run? Logging your food or just having some meal plan and just sticking to it?

I can se pros and cons of both:

- Logging makes us more mindful what we eat
- It gives us historical overview where we can see cause of our weight fluctuation
- Logging discourage overeating because overeating requires extra logging effort

but also:

- Logging takes time (In bussy days it can become hard to maintain)
- Logging can become a bit obsessive (stressing about exact calories, etc.)
- It sound to me a bit all or nothing approach (I could be wrong tough)

What do you think?
What works best for you?
To log or not to log? :)
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Replies

  • TavistockToadTavistockToad Posts: 22,844Member Member Posts: 22,844Member Member
    Logging works best for me!
  • lisasimmons155lisasimmons155 Posts: 126Member Member Posts: 126Member Member
    For me log everything that enters ny mouth. I can keep control of my calorie intake then. Lost 23lbs by doing that.

    For me it helps plan meals for futher. Stops me grabbing a takeaway which is why im on here


    edited April 21
  • Machka9Machka9 Posts: 8,036Member Member Posts: 8,036Member Member
    When I'm working on losing weight ... I log meticulously and consistently. I also weigh my food and try to be as accurate as possible with what I enter.
  • 4legsRbetterthan24legsRbetterthan2 Posts: 4,561Member, MFP Moderator, Greeter, Premium MFP Moderator Posts: 4,561Member, MFP Moderator, Greeter, Premium MFP Moderator
    It largely depends on where in your journey you are. If you are new to calorie counting and trying to figure out what works for you and have goals to meet then I think it is important to log as accurately as you can. If you are happy with your progress and/or where you are and feel comfortable weaning yourself off logging there is nothing wrong with that.
  • mccord62803mccord62803 Posts: 165Member Member Posts: 165Member Member
    Logging everything works best for me apparently... I've been doing great and then yesterday I slacked off and logged my meals but had little snacks that I didn't log. Just little stuff, no big deal.

    And this morning I'm up a pound. Lol.

    And do know that it's mostly just fluctuating or whatever but if I didn't log I know I'd slowly get back to my old habits. I do hope that one day I won't have to log everyday.
  • 3rdof7sisters3rdof7sisters Posts: 486Member Member Posts: 486Member Member
    Logging.
    It takes time and planning, but worth the effort.
  • ChadxxChadxx Posts: 1,076Member Member Posts: 1,076Member Member
    I don't actually keep a log but I do count everything. It is extremely easy to do.
  • Stella3838Stella3838 Posts: 438Member, Premium Member Posts: 438Member, Premium Member
    Gotta log or I'll not stay in check. Been doing it for years and years, so it's a regular thing for me now. As others have said, it takes some planning. It's the only way I've been successful to lose weight. But, with that being said, it's not a one size fits all. You gotta find what works best for you!
  • macchiattomacchiatto Posts: 2,450Member Member Posts: 2,450Member Member
    You know, I've had phases of success with both at various times in my life. I've tried various things through the years: Weight Watchers, the Zone Diet, and a few different low carb plans (which seem to work best for me). When I've had luck with not measuring or logging, it was a low carb diet of some form. I think that worked for me b/c it suppressed my hunger and I'm much more likely to overeat things like cookies than meat and veggies. The past year and a half, though, weighing all my food and logging everything has been the most successful for me (and that's eating keto/LCHF).
  • tinkerbellang83tinkerbellang83 Posts: 1,376Member Member Posts: 1,376Member Member
    daneejela wrote: »

    - Logging takes time (In bussy days it can become hard to maintain)
    - Logging can become a bit obsessive (stressing about exact calories, etc.)
    - It sound to me a bit all or nothing approach (I could be wrong tough)

    What do you think?
    What works best for you?
    To log or not to log? :)

    It takes hardly any time at all - it takes a few minutes a day, I think given that most people can lose hours to social media, a few minutes to improve your health and fitness is not worth dwelling on. By the time you get into the habit of logging you have saved meals, recent/frequent foods and recipes saved it takes very little of your day.

    For most users it's not an obsessive things, it's just data, for those who are stressing about exact calories they have bigger problems than weight loss.

    All or Nothing? - No point me logging only the good days and not a day when I have eaten more than I should have, you have to be brutally honest with yourself, if you can't do that long term, why bother at all? Only you can hold yourself truly accountable.

    A meal plan can be helpful for improving nutrition and reducing overeating, but even "healthy food" can make you fat if you eat too much of it. However, am I going to stick to some diet meal plan for the rest of my life? Nope. Instead I will stick with having the food I ate before but eating less of it.

    By logging my food accurately for the last 3 months I am far more mindful of portion sizes and where I was taking in the extra calories that got me in a position where I need to lose weight.
  • cozytimescozytimes Posts: 111Member, Premium Member Posts: 111Member, Premium Member
    logging! the pros/cons are mostly dependent on how you choose to perceive it.
    edited April 21
  • CiaIgleCiaIgle Posts: 67Member Member Posts: 67Member Member
    I use a simple rule: IF YOU DON'T EAT IT, DO NOT LOG IT

    :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)
  • dutchandkiwidutchandkiwi Posts: 976Member Member Posts: 976Member Member
    daneejela wrote: »
    I see many of you log your meals and calories. I see also, many of you don't.
    What is more effective for the long run? Logging your food or just having some meal plan and just sticking to it?

    Well the reality is that this is a logging site - the majority of people log
    daneejela wrote: »
    - Logging makes us more mindful what we eat
    - It gives us historical overview where we can see cause of our weight fluctuation
    - Logging discourage overeating because overeating requires extra logging effort
    3x yes, but mainly it makes us accountable to the one that really matters, ourselves.
    A huge bonus is that you learn about food, portion size, and what makes you tick in the food department. For instance, cravings when you tend to overeat etc. So you also learn a lot about yourself during logging.
    daneejela wrote: »
    - Logging takes time (In bussy days it can become hard to maintain)
    - Logging can become a bit obsessive (stressing about exact calories, etc.)
    - It sound to me a bit all or nothing approach (I could be wrong tough)
    -
    the first one - Nope only takes me about 15 minutes a week to plan the whole thing out and then on a daily basis maybe 5 minutes in total. Nothing much even on busy days
    Second one. - Well that is a personal thing. I am not obsessive about it, but some people can be. I guess it also depends a little on personality. What you need to be mindful of is that MFP is a tool, nothing more than that. It is not the goal, just a tool. It has it's inaccuracies and is by no means perfect. But it is a good tool to use fot those that need a tool kit.
    Third As with the second - it is not all or nothing really it is not. Again it is a tool, not a goal. When I first tarted I did not change a thing about my lifestyle at that stage, I just logged and learned. Just by logging I lost weight (as I did not want to log the sweets, but it also meant not eating them)
    A large number of people take a holiday break from MFP when they are on a holiday - that too is fine. SOme people use it when in maintenance and some are no longer logging eexcept if they are heading toward the edges of their maintenance area.
    The tool can be used in so many ways.

    daneejela wrote: »
    What do you think?
    What works best for you?
    To log or not to log? :)

    For me, logging every day works best. Been doing it for over 3 years and I have no intention to stop. - it is just a habit now that only take s a little time (the boards take a lot more time)
    Mealplanning is part of MFP for me, but not logging it - well would lead to being able to eat and nobody notices ecept my body:wink:
    edited April 21
  • RUNucbarRUNucbar Posts: 142Member Member Posts: 142Member Member
    I log every single thing but not on MFP. This site does not support Bokmål so I use an app that allows me to use that language. I stay here for the support forums which the other app doss not have.

    It looks like my diary is utterly empty but every single bite is logged.
  • LounmounLounmoun Posts: 5,495Member Member Posts: 5,495Member Member
    I did not log food for 15 years while try trying to lose weight. I would do strict meal plans/diets but I didn't know how many calories was right for me or what I was eating/burning. I was either stressing about sticking to the unsustainable plans or giving up and hating myself. When I did not log I was not losing weight consistently or at all. I was frustrated more. I lost, regained, lost, regained, gained more.

    When I did start logging about 2 years ago I was more successful at losing and keeping the weight off. It was not very time consuming and became even less so as I logged more. It takes a few minutes to prelog my whole day every morning. I don't obsess or over restrict. I eat what I want because I can see the numbers. I'm not afraid of eating something. I'm not worried about eating at restaurants or holidays. I've learned a lot about my choices and what satisfies me through logging. My nutrition is better because I can see that too. Logging is easy and works well for me.

    My dh, however, did not log a thing or go on some meal plan. He just ate less of the same food and lost 30+ lbs and has maintained.

    Logging is a good tool. It helps some people, others don't need it. I think it can be good to log at least temporarily to learn even if you follow a meal plan.


  • lemonychildlemonychild Posts: 656Member Member Posts: 656Member Member
    you should log in the beginning, but eventually u do this long enough where it becomes second nature and you no longer need to log
  • heiliskrimsliheiliskrimsli Posts: 735Member, Premium Member Posts: 735Member, Premium Member
    I log everything that has calories. I don't bother with zero calorie things like water, unsweetened iced tea, or calorie free soda.
  • livingleanlivingcleanlivingleanlivingclean Posts: 5,714Member Member Posts: 5,714Member Member
    I have a meal plan.... That I've worked out and logged myself, taking my food and meal timing preferences in to consideration.

    I eat the same food every day during the week - works for me.
  • CoachJen71CoachJen71 Posts: 866Member Member Posts: 866Member Member
    I log, and am trying to learn to be less anxiety-ridden obsessive at the same time.

    ____________________________________________

    Down 140lbs: My story.
  • TacklewasherTacklewasher Posts: 3,035Member Member Posts: 3,035Member Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    The log helps you understand the consequences of off-plan days. Some days, it's totally worthwhile to eat over goal or off plan (special occasion, say), or you just slip. If you log those, it's an opportunity to see that maybe the consequences weren't as bad as you thought (as long as it's rare), or conversely, that your temporary enjoyment wasn't worth its cost, in objective terms. In that way, it can foster calm, realistic analysis, rather than emotional "guilt and retribution" thinking.

    Further to this, it can help on days when you are on plan, but eat something that will impact your weight (not fat). I'm having sushi today, which means soy sauce which means sodium and water weight gain on the scale tomorrow. I can look at my weight and my food going back over months (I also weight daily) and explain pretty much every increase, with most of them being sushi days :)
  • paperpuddingpaperpudding Posts: 3,398Member Member Posts: 3,398Member Member
    Not surprisingly most people are going to say logging is better - you are asking the question on a forum connected to a logging site, after all

    Bit like being on a cycling forum and asking if cycling is better than horse riding.

    Or a cooking forum and asking if home made meals are better than frozen boxed ones.

    But anyway, interesting to read people's reasons for logging :)
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