Now introducing FatApp: the delightfully backwards way to food journal that may be the answer you are looking for.
Food journaling sucks. Whipping out your little notebook or phone to log every bite you put into your mouth is depressing. It doesn’t make you think twice about eating that Oreo your kid dropped on the floor, oh no, it just irritates you so you don’t log it down at all, which then makes your journal an inaccurate recording of what you’ve actually eaten which is why you aren’t losing weight.
FatApp is a food journaling app, but instead of recording what you do eat, (ie. lint covered Oreos) you log what you didn’t eat (the 3 you almost stole out of your kid’s lunch box.) Every bite you don’t eat is a success. Every little extra this and added dash of that you pass up is a small victory you can log. At the end of the day, you can look back at all of your achievements and feel pride instead of seeing the stuff you “shouldn’t” have had.
The app isn’t just for skipping dessert when it’s offered, or opting to only drink black coffee until your lunch break, it’s about making small, manageable changes that can really add up. Choose a non-fat latte over full fat? Log about 50 calories saved. Only ate half of a donut? Instead of chastising yourself for eating half a donut, you can pat yourself on the back for not eating the other half.
Some may think that focusing on what you didn’t eat won’t lead to big enough changes to see on the scale, and some may criticize this as providing false accountability (just because you say no to that handful of M&M’s doesn’t erase the fact you had a T-bone steak for dinner) but victory and positivity is always more motivating than failing. Checking your app at the end of the day and seeing all the little 20 calories skipped here, and 50 calories skipped there really is encouraging to log even more little triumphs.
Simply put: you didn’t eat it, so you won’t wear it. Don’t quite understand? Here’s a catchy little jingle that will have you repeating it to yourself all day:
I eat very healthy and very clean, but don’t really pay attention to calorie totals. Weight loss isn’t a goal of mine, so finding places to cut calories isn’t something I strive to do daily- but I obviously know how to do it. I’m a personal trainer. I edit this very nice diet and fitness blog. I listen to people whine endlessly that they are eating right and exercising but just aren’t losing any weight. Weight loss is an equation, so you must be missing something somewhere. By making small changes, and seeing how they add up in front if you, you can really see where you are going wrong. Perfect example: A trip I took with my FatApp to Subway.
Back when I was concerned with my weight, Subway was a fail safe for me; healthy, filling, low calorie and delicious. But over the years, my 6-inch turkey on wheat grew into a foot-long, the condiments that crept on grew a little more fattening (but not much) and, sure, let’s try the new guacamole (a little risk I will tell you not to take.) Now, mind you, the sandwich was still healthy, what with the wheat bread over white, light mayo over the full fat version, and never, ever any other meat than turkey, but with the increased portion size and little extras, it more than doubled in calories.
So I busted out my FatApp and got saving. Foot long? Nah, 6 inch. Save 230 calories. Cheese? Not today. Bank 50 calories. No mayo- not even the light stuff. I’ll stick with just mustard. I even got a little crazy and skipped the chips for apple slices. Over 100 calories banked. What else can skimp on? I can pull the hard butt off the end of bread that no one likes anyway. I could choose diet soda over regular. It became a little challenge to see how many calories I could save.
You can always skim off the top. You can always leave a few bites on your plate. Those are saved calories, so log ‘em. See that 3 to 4 digit number at the end of the day and pat yourself on the back for making healthy decisions. You didn’t eat it, so you won’t wear it.
That song is still in my head…
December 20th, 2011