In my experience of training people for weight loss, I have found that the majority of these people I have trained, seen or spoke to generally do eat a good range of healthy foods. Considering 'you don't know what you don't know', I understand why these people feel so confused about why they're not losing weight - because they genuinely believe they eat healthy foods. Many of these people I've spoken to don't eat takeout food, don't eat junk food, don't eat lollies or other sweets. They have serves of vegetables, fruits and meats. No wonder weight loss can be confusing!
I frequently speak a lot about what's appropriate and what's healthy. What I do see with people who eat 'healthy' but struggle to lose weight, is that the healthy food they are eating is eaten at times which are not appropriate, or eating larger quantities than what's appropriate, justified by the thought that because it's healthy, having more is okay or even good for you. These people just don't know what they don't know and haven't been taught how to eat for them and for their goals.
This introduces why I believe completing a daily food diary, in particular a food diary via Vision Virtual Training (VVT), is so valuable. I recognise that food diaries are inconvenient and in occasional circumstances, they are not for everyone, but let's look at some pros and common cons.
- It takes time to complete each day. (VVT has shortcuts to complete your food diary much faster)
- To complete it properly, that means I have to weigh my food. (No, it doesn't. Completing a food diary to achieve even part of its effectiveness is still better than not completing one at all. H)
- What if you're not very good with computers and technology? (You also have the option of completing a food diary in a book we give our members)
- Accountability that your Trainer has the ability to then see exactly what you're eating and provide the coaching and suggestions of what can be improved or changed.
- Brings consciousness to your eating patterns.
- Teaches you about portion sizes and macronutrients
The conversation I have with my clients about food diaries is to use them not just for the purpose of losing weight, but also to self-educate. It's a tool that enables a person to understand how much of a heathy food to be having. For example, I've had a client who was eating nuts as a morning tea because she was told they contain 'good fats' which are healthy - and this is true. However, when we really looked at her quantities via her VVT, we found that her serving size of 50g nuts was nearly half her recommended fat intake. Generally, a lot of the practices people have with food are very innocent decisions that have led their intended results astray. Now this wasn't the only thing she changed to help her reach her weight loss goal, but it was one of a number things that she really only made a small change to. She would have had no idea about the portion size and fat content of the nuts unless she was to use the food diary.
Additionally, when you decide to write the food you've eaten down (or even better, when you decide to plan what food you will eat), this brings much more consciousness to what you are putting in your mouth. That consciousness provides both accountability to yourself and accountability to your trainer to eat how your body requires according to your goal.
Finally, the highest intention from a food diary is to be a tool for you to learn how to eat best for you. Our bodies require a certain amount of carbs, protein and fat intake and no one is the same, so a simple "food plan" isn't going to be able to be a cookie cutter fit. Tracking your macros allows you to learn how to become more educated on what types of foods and how much is best for you. Ultimately, we don't want our clients having to follow diets or food plans for the rest of their life. As Vision Trainers, our intention is that you use the food diary only as a tool to later on not need it any more.
*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.