So for work this past month, I’ve had to keep a food log, which is something that I honestly haven’t done since I did my low-fat diet experiment a couple of years ago.
The reason I haven’t done one is the same reason I haven’t counted calories for the past year or more….because I don’t need to.
I’m very conscious of what I’m putting into my body and I know that if I eat whole, natural, unprocessed foods, I don’t need to count calories.
For me looking at the nutritional breakdown of what I’ve consumed is interesting, but I also don’t like getting caught up in what I do on a day-to-day basis and I don’t like getting caught up on calories.
For me the overall picture is more important. I know I will have slip ups and bad meals and I don’t want to get caught up on them because I know if I stick to my diet in the long run that is what will matter.
How I FEEL, how my body functions, and how I even look are enough to tell me if I’m on track.
BUT that doesn’t mean that keeping a food log doesn’t have merit or benefit. And I did find it very interesting to look at my macronutrient consumption now that I’ve added in corn tortillas and some rice for carbs instead of only getting carbs from fruits and vegetables.
I think for anyone about to start a new diet, or evening starting a new diet, it can be a great tool. It can get you more in touch with what you are ACTUALLY eating.
I think sometimes we aren’t truly aware of the nutritional value, or calories, of what we put in our mouths. I think sometimes keeping a food log can be eye-opening.
I think it can also force us to be honest with ourselves about our diet.
I hear lots of people say, “Well I was pretty good today. I BASICALLY stuck to my diet.”
But if they were to food log their day, I guarantee most of them wouldn’t be saying it was a good day at all.
Most people don’t realize how quickly that handful of nuts adds up. Most people haven’t really stopped to think about what a handful of potato chips as a snack every day really looks like as part of their diet.
Heck most people have no idea about the nutritional or caloric value of half of the food they eat, especially when they dine out or order in!
So if you are happy with your current diet, I’m not saying you have to start keeping a food log.
But if you want to make a change or have failed to really achieve success in the past, maybe you should think about starting a food log. It may just reveal the flaws in your current diet program.
Here are some great logs you can use online!
SparkPeople – http://www.sparkpeople.com/
Fit Day – fitday.com
MyFitnessPal – http://www.myfitnesspal.com/
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”
– Juliet (Romeo and Juliet)
When people hear the name “Paleo Diet” or “Primal Diet,” they scoff and say, “Oh that is that crazy Caveman diet right?”
BUT if I tell people, “Oh I eat only whole, natural foods and avoid gluten, processed foods and vegetable oils” they nod their head in agreement.
UHM HELLO!?! Basically what I’m doing is eating the exact Primal diet that they scoffed at!! The only difference is…..
I DIDN’T CALL IT PRIMAL!
One word can define how people view a diet, workout program even a way of living!
Once mainstream media deemed the Primal/Paleo diet the “Caveman diet” people began to scoff at it even if they will nod in agreement when you list off all of the principles of the diet.
The same thing is true if you say you eat a “low-carb” diet.
People instantly say, “Oh like Atkins?” or “So you don’t eat fruits and veggies?”
BUT if you say you avoid “unhealthy carbs,” again people nod in agreement. (Of course my definition of unhealthy carbs is most often different from theirs, but still…)
There are just so many things that annoy me with the above situation.
For one, if people did any research, they would know that Atkins has now changed and DOES allow carbs as well as a plan to help you add them back in to an appropriate level after the initial weight loss.
For two, why does low-carb instantly mean to people that you cut out fruits and vegetables!?!
Trust me you can eat low-carb but still eat tons of fruits and vegetables! Honestly, I eat more fruits and vegetables since going “low-carb” than I ever did when I ate lots of carbs and low-fat!
So I could eat 7 cups of broccoli throughout the day and still eat fewer carbs than if I had ONE cup of brown rice!
And personally I think having just two cups of broccoli is better nutritionally than one cup of brown rice (AND fewer carbs!)
And diet isn’t the only place that I see “names” being misconstrued.
Honestly, I believe that the same thing has happened as Crossfit has become more and more popular.
It is so funny the different reactions I get from other trainers when I say “intense circuits” versus “Crossfit-style workouts.”
To me, Crossfit means pushing your limits. Trying new things. Constantly varying up the workout. Lifting heavy things and sprinting often.
It means intense circuits that are never the same and constantly challenge your fitness level.
But that isn’t what it means to most trainers.
To most trainers, Crossfit means injury and Olympic lifts with bad form.
But what in this DEFINITION of what Crossfit TRULY is supposed to be says that?
CrossFit describes its strength and conditioning program as “constantly varied, high intensity, functional movement,”with the stated goal of improving fitness (and therefore general physical preparedness), which it defines as “work capacity across broad time and modal domains.”Workouts are typically short—20 minutes or less—and intense, demanding all-out physical exertion. They combine movements such as sprinting, rowing, jumping rope, climbing rope, weightlifting, and carrying odd objects; they use barbells, dumbbells, gymnastics rings, pull-up bars, kettlebells, medicine balls, and many bodyweight exercises.These elements are mixed in numerous combinations to form prescribed “Workouts of the Day” or “WODs”. Hour-long classes at affiliated gyms, or “boxes,” typically include a warm-up, a skill development segment, the high-intensity WOD, and a period of individual or group stretching. Performance on each WOD is often scored and/or ranked to encourage competition and to track individual progress. Some affiliates offer additional classes, such as Olympic weightlifting, which are not centered around a WOD.
Uhm I swear I’ve heard the exact trainers that condemn Crossfit utter this exact same phrase to describe their strength and conditioning program “constantly varied, high intensity, functional movement,”with the stated goal of improving fitness (and therefore general physical preparedness).”
Am I wrong?
But because a few people practice something in a way that some consider “wrong,” a whole movement gets condemned.
There are always going to be people who do things that you don’t agree with….in any movement or facet of life.
But that doesn’t mean you can just ignore and belittle something without learning more!
How many things have you not tried because of one word associated with them? How many times have you not done the research to find out the principles behind the diet/lifestyle/workout?
Also, can we ever really accept that one word represents an entire movement? Let’s face it…Primal SHOULDN’T mean the exact same thing to ever person. Neither should “low-carb” or “Crossfit”……