I recently had someone ask me if you’re required or encouraged to keep a food journal while on the Medifast diet. If so, she wanted to know the best way to go about setting one up and what benefit she might get from one. In the following article, I’ll tell you if I use such a tool and why I’ve chosen the path I’m on.
The Value Of A Food Journal. Why Do People Use Them?: The idea behind this process is that if you record everything you eat and when, you will get a very reliable idea of how much you are eating, what you are actually eating, and why. Many people find that they are actually eating more than they thought and are eating much more of the wrong types of foods (fats, sugars, carbs and processed foods,) and not enough of the good kinds of foods (high quality of protein, vegetables and lots of liquids.)
People will also sometimes record the calorie, carb, protein, sugar and salt content of the foods so that at the end of the day, they know how much of each of these they are actually taking in. People often are surprised at how many calories and sugars they are actually consuming and find that they have underestimated their actual intake.
Another thing this tool can tell you is when you are more prone to over eat. Some people will notice that they are eating more when they are bored or upset. I’ve even had people tell me that they noticed that they were eating because of their schedule but not necessarily because they were hungry.
This whole process is supposed to help you see your patterns, habits, and emotions. By evaluating the information that you record, you should hopefully to be able to see how and when you are making the right and the wrong decisions about food.
Is There Any Value To Using A Food Journal On Medifast?: I have to be honest. I don’t use one. This doesn’t mean that keeping one wouldn’t be valuable. But the reason that I don’t is that I very much like the simplicity of this diet. I know that all I have to do is chose and eat five of the prepackaged meals and then make one “lean and green” meal. The directions for this meal are pretty clear so I really don’t have to guess or record anything. And at this point in the process, I have a lot of lean and green recipes that I rotate so I don’t see the need to make more work for myself by having to keep track of all of this.
This diet is just not that complicated and I don’t see a reason to make it harder than it is. Medifast has designed the plan so that the meals pretty much have the same calorie to carb to protein ratio and this is generally true no matter what you chose. So it really doesn’t make sense to me to record all of these meals when they are pretty much going to have the same numbers anyway.
I suppose if you are someone who likes the control aspect of recording things, it certainly wouldn’t hurt anything to record your lean and green meals just to make sure that you are including lean meats and low carbohydrate vegetables. This might give you more of a clear picture of what you are doing when you make your own meals.
This is only my opinion, but I think if I were going to make a list or keep a journal, I would probably focus on my movement and exercise. This is one thing that I do change up so it would be interesting to see if the week’s activities had any relationship to the number of pounds lost.
But because the Medifast meals are all so similar in terms of nutrition and you’re pretty much supposed to stick with these foods (except for once per day,) I don’t see much value in recording because that would seem repetitive to me. Plus I believe if I was going to keep a record, I’d just put the information on the notes section of my cell phone so I wouldn’t have to lug the journal around with me. But, if you think that keeping a food or mood journal would help you while you’re on Medifast, I’m all for doing whatever you think will make your experience a better one for you.
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