Keeping a food and workout diary can keep you accountable

Published 5:24 pm Tuesday, May 31, 2016

By Corey McMickle

I never had any immediate siblings I could go in the next room and pester for the simple fact that I had nothing else to do.

I’m not fishing for sympathy. We all know what I dodged in that scenario: not having someone tattling on me about everything, being able to watch what cartoons I wanted every Saturday morning, and most importantly, never having to share my video games when there was only one controller. But for those who did have that special kind of sibling, those being sisters, you remember that golden rule you were not to break as long as you lived? No peaking in that diary of hers!

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Now I’m not going to try and convince you to start jotting every detail of your day-to-day down in any form or fashion, for the simple reason that I’ve come to discover that writing is a passion, and if you don’t have it, you’ll never see the need to want to write anything down. However, by now the majority of you letting me borrow your time by looking at my pieces have embodied some sort of passion for a more active or healthy lifestyle, and I want to highlight why adopting a food/exercise diary can keep you in the winner’s circle with your results.

Let’s begin with the basics. What’s so beneficial about simply writing down what I’ve had for breakfast or for a quick snack? Accountability! Having your total calories beaming back at you at the end of the day may be all the motivation you need to start heading in the right direction. Being aware you’re actually consuming 4,000 calories a day isn’t found anywhere else other than in a food diary.

How many times have you glanced at a 200 calorie meal and felt like, “Boy this was pretty good for 200 calories. It’s so low, I can probably have another.”

That is frankly where it ends with most people. If that person would have seen how those three meals they had in one sitting stacked together at the end of the day, it’s possible they’d maybe want to reevaluate that decision.

Restaurants and fast food chains are only showing you the majority of your main courses, not the appetizers and two drinks you had prior to your main course… or that cheesecake you somehow snuck in. All you saw during that meal was how your chicken parmesan was only a few hundred calories.

OK, enough with me telling you how the only way you’ll see your daily calorie intake, what can a fitness diary do for my gym life? Progression!

Now I’m just being honest, and that’s what you’ve always received from me. I’ve only recently been tracking my calories, but tracking my workouts has been something I’ve done since my first week in the gym. Not having to try and remember what my last deadlift or bench press weight was last week has never been an issue, and I’ve constantly been making progression with my weight and strength gains. If you’re constantly trying to recollect your last workout, you’ll never be on track for your goals in the time frame you’re wanting to achieve them in. Take the guess work out of your workouts.

Like any diary, you should cherish this book. It has your progression from who you’ve been to who you are and who you’re going to hopefully be.

It needs to be locked up just as much as it needs to be written in. This may seem more like a silly chance for me to make your new lifestyle more time consuming, but once you see the result, or lack thereof, becoming more and more apparent, maybe you’ll eventually write to me.

Happy Memorial Day Port City.