Food Logging and Weight Loss

UH OptiWeight Blogger Meghann Featherstun, MS, RD, LD

Meghann Featherstun, MS, RD, LD

October 9th, 2012

People who keep a log of the food they eat lose twice as much weight as those who do not. And, people who continue to log their food choices maintain their weight better than those who do not. So, why isn’t everyone food logging? The number one reason people do not stick to food logging is… it is too time consuming. We are here to nip that in the rear! With myfitnesspal, food logging is made very simple. The nutritional stats for any food you could possibly eat are in the database. It instantaneously calculates the calories, fat, protein, fiber, and all the other nutritional parameters found on a nutrition label for your viewing pleasure. It also alerts you to how many calories you have LEFT to eat for the day to meet your weight loss goals. How perfect is that?!

Here are my 5 tips to help you stick to your food logging:

  1. Log foods immediately after you eat them. Let’s be honest. If we do not record immediately, we will forget to record something that we ate. Our log is only as accurate as we are. So, make sure you log frequently!
  2. Use the myfitnesspal app & scan the barcode of the food you ate. It could not be any easier than this! However, let’s keep in mind that most foods with a barcode are also processed foods and we do not want all our foods coming from barcode scannable items. (See #3)
  3. Add commonly eaten produce and lean meats to your ‘My Foods’ list for quicker access and less searching. The ‘My Foods’ tab lets you store commonly eaten items for quicker logging, which is a great idea for your fruits, veggies, and lean meats. Note: you can likely scan the barcode on your whole grain boxes or bags, which are an exception to the processed food with a barcode.
  4. Join our UH OptiWeight Community Group in myfitnesspal. We know that support from family, friends, and coworkers aids in successful weight loss. Send me your myfitnesspal username, and I will send you an invite to join us!
  5. Log your physical activity daily. This adjusts your calorie needs for the day and allows you to eat a little more on days when you are very active. Nothing keeps you coming back to myfitnesspal more than knowing you can eat a little extra and still meet your weight loss goals!

Fun Facts on myfitnesspal:

  • Did you know that all Sodexo’s menu items are loaded into myfitnesspal? They are! Through my diligent research into this, I can tell you that all the foods are in there. Occasionally, you have to drop an adjective (ie. Menu item labeled ‘homestyle meatloaf’ search just ‘meatloaf’) and always make sure you type ‘sodexo’ with your food item search. (ie. Sodexo meatloaf)
  • Did you buy a Fitbit pedometer? You can sync your Fitbit with myfitnesspal. This is especially cool because it will automatically alter your calorie goals for the day depending on your daily activity. (ie. You walked 12000 steps. Myfitnesspal will give you an extra 300 calories to eat for the day.)
  • Did you make a new healthy recipe at home? Myfitnesspal will analyze that recipe for you. Just enter your ingredients, amounts, and serving size and it will calculate the nutrition facts for you and save it in your ‘My Recipes’ tab for future use.

Questions? Comments? Share your thoughts here.

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