JumpStart to Better Health

Logging food intake means losing weight

Photo by Diana Polekhina on Unsplash

The morning frost disappears, and I open windows to let in the fresh air of an approaching springtime. I’m reminded that soon I’ll trade my winter wardrobe for a spring one. I look down. There it is.

The COVID baby.

Yes, the excess fat around my waist is real. I’d lost fifteen pounds in 2019 before my daughter’s wedding. Once I started teleworking and my husband was diagnosed with throat cancer, stress eating became my norm. I gained back the 2019 pounds plus five more… for good measure. Or something.

Timing is everything. The prospect of lighter fabrics and bared arms and legs probably impacts most women every spring. Recognizing this trend herself, Kimberley Payne started a JumpStart group —daily email reminders and an encouragement group on Facebook help keep members motivated.

The JumpStart is designed to inspire healthy choices — like exercising more and making better food choices. There’s a spiritual health component too. (I’ve written about that too.)

To lose weight for my daughter’s October 2019 wedding, I followed the ketogenic diet. I love sweets, but let’s face it — they do not love us. Sugar is truly an unhealthy diet component. That year, I thrived on the protein and fats required by the keto diet. I maintained that very restrictive eating regimen for ten months. Honestly, I believed that I’d made a real lifestyle change. I wanted to, I really did. It did not take, so to speak. The holidays came and that was that.

Benefits of a food diary

One thing I did learn while eating keto was the value of maintaining a food log. I used the CarbManager app back then. When I began the Jumpstart, I downloaded the LoseIt! app to my phone. It’s made a difference already, as I’ve lost two pounds. Yay me!

Here are just some benefits of logging your food intake:
-Portion sizes are elusive to our poorly trained brains. Logging makes you think about how much you’re eating.
-Being honest about food intake is essential to good health and weight loss.
-Noting all foods you put in your mouth makes you more aware of snacking behaviors.
-Accountability is a key factor in losing weight. (Think about WW and diet groups/clubs. Accountability matters.)
-Studies show that food diaries are the ultimate weight loss tool.
-An app is able to provide additional health information like the macronutrients in the foods you’re consuming. This information can aid you in creating a well-balanced, healthy meal plan. (See screenshot below)

There’s an app for that!

There are lots of apps out there. I love the latest food diary apps because they contain enormous databases of foods along with brand names. You also get to set your weight loss goals and then, you’re given a daily calorie goal.

Screenshots Graphic by Author.

I log all of my planned meals in the morning. This allows me to see if I will be eating enough (or too much). Logging my main meals upfront gives me permission to add a snack to my daily intake, if there are calories remaining.

The app allows me to log my exercise too. I have the option to include this as an offset to my caloric intake. Meaning, if I go for a two-mile walk, I get permission to eat more food. Some days I need/want to include the extra calories; other days, I don’t. (Sometimes, it means an extra glass of wine, just sayin’!)

I’m frugal so I prefer free apps. I’ve found no need to upgrade my LoseIt! app to the premium version. Along with the JumpStart camraderie, it’s definitely meeting my healthy eating and weight loss goals so far.

Making good choices requires planning

I meal plan every weekend, and there’s only my husband and me here. My grocery shopping trips are greatly reduced as I always have what I need on hand. I also skirt the outer edges of the store for produce and meats. No boxed junk in our house.

I use a weekly planner to keep my writing life and family life sorted out. Now, I include exercise goals. Sometimes I even add a little sneakers sticker to highlight when I’ve walked or will walk! Anything to make it more interesting… and to hold myself accountable.

Hope you’re inspired to set some health goals. The days are getting longer and warmer — get out there!!

I’ll soon be sending out a sneak peek of my debut historical romance set in 1920s New York City. Subscribe to my monthly newsletter today so you don’t miss out.

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