To log or not to log?



  • Lounmoun
    Lounmoun Posts: 8,427 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.

  • lemonychild
    lemonychild Posts: 654 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
  • heiliskrimsli
    heiliskrimsli Posts: 735 Member
    I log everything that has calories. I don't bother with zero calorie things like water, unsweetened iced tea, or calorie free soda.
  • livingleanlivingclean
    livingleanlivingclean Posts: 11,755 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.
  • CoachJen71
    CoachJen71 Posts: 1,200 Member
    I log, and am trying to learn to be less anxiety-ridden obsessive at the same time.


    Down 140lbs: My story.
  • Tacklewasher
    Tacklewasher Posts: 7,122 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 :)
  • paperpudding
    paperpudding Posts: 7,753 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 :)
  • trigden1991
    trigden1991 Posts: 4,659 Member
    Whatever works best for you and allows you to make consistent progress. Flexible dieting is more sustainable in my opinion although I have followed a few 12 week plans before.
  • bizgirl26
    bizgirl26 Posts: 1,808 Member
    In the past when I have stopped logging weight crept back on . What I have done is create meals within my logging that I eat a lot of so that I can just select the meal rather than add things one thing at a time. This helps save time
  • pizzafruit
    pizzafruit Posts: 315 Member
    When I don't log, I eat like it's my last meal - mindless eating. Then I'm embarrassed because I can't remember everything l ate or how much. I know that's why I continue to struggle with weight loss. Logging everything and being accurate is what's best for me.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,082 Member
    When I was losing weight, I logged...I have been more or less in maintenance for 4 years and haven't logged in that time. I generally put on about 10 Lbs over the winter and take it off in the spring and I do that on my own by just cutting out some snacks and whatnot and my time in the saddle increases...I don't have any particular eating plan.
  • clicketykeys
    clicketykeys Posts: 5,741 Member
    I'm obviously way in the minority here, but I don't log and I've been losing consistently since the winter holidays ended, with a hiccup for the trifecta of my birthday/ spring break/ easter. Logging accurately would take a fair amount of time, because in addition to entering the info on mfp, i would have to measure and weigh stuff, and I don't.

    However, I did weigh and log when I started out, and that gave me some idea of what four ounces of spinach looks like. I also read labels and I'm good at having small amounts. Serving size is 3 cookies? Ok. I don't need all 3. Bonus? Now I have more cookies left for later!

    And while I don't use my food scale much right now, I do use my scale scale. So if I'm not seeing a change, generally it means I'm eating more than I need to be, or I've changed something else and need to watch the trend carefully (like I stopped losing a bit when I picked up exercise again).
  • BlueberryJoghurt
    BlueberryJoghurt Posts: 67 Member
    I dont log (anymore)

    Logging helped a lot and in a way Im still mentally logging and basically just putting random stuff in here for an easier comparison when it comes to macros.

    Logging helps a great deal to learn the caloric worth of food and their macros, which doesnt mean nutrition a lot of times. But it teaches you to be accurate and honest with yourself and the scale.

    Its a personal preference really but definitely a great way to get used to keeping track of your day and mindfull eating Imo.
  • fitoverfortymom
    fitoverfortymom Posts: 3,453 Member
    I'm a logger, for now, and suspect I will be for a while. I'm 25lbs away from goal and have kind of mentally decided that I want to log at maintenance for at least a year after that to keep myself in check. I've worked to build some good habits, but I also know myself well enough to know it could slip out of control easily.

    Logging keeps me accountable, and accountability keeps me successful.
  • bethanyka
    bethanyka Posts: 167 Member
    I agree that if you are new to this, logging is very necessary.
    My dad said he wanted to lose weight and had no concept of calories. I told him to write down every single thing he ate for one day, and we figured out the cals. Let's just say he was amazed!
    After a while, and if you eat a lot of the same foods, it becomes second nature and you can pretty much do it in your head!
  • TxTiffani
    TxTiffani Posts: 766 Member
    Logging for the win! I've done every diet plan during my adult life (low carb, vegetarian, meal replacement shakes, Keto, vegan, gluten free...) all without counting calories and all failed to give any real or lasting results:( They all also left me feeling deprived from things I wanted. Now that I track my calories and stay within my limit I can make room for any of the foods I want. It does take an extra step of weigh/track, but I actually find that I can stress less because if I know I'm tracking accurately the weight loss will continue:)