It’s crazy how people can change in the blink of an eye. Months ago, I wrote about how I logged my food in My Fitness Pal. I’d been using the app for a couple years and while I wasn’t religious about following a calorie plan or goals, I still enjoyed inputting my meals, looking at the data, and keeping track of what I was eating throughout the day. I didn’t think it had that much effect on my daily habits or attitudes towards food. Well, I may have been wrong.
Several months ago, I was scrolling through apps on my phone and realized that I hadn’t opened one in a few weeks: My Fitness Pal app. I had to pause for a second and try to remember when I had just stopped. It was literally overnight. I shrugged my shoulders, went on with my day, and haven’t thought about logging my food since.
That’s weird, though, right? Who goes from logging food most days for 3+ years to never doing it again? Apparently, I do. In the past few months, I’ve made some general observations about how my eating habits have changed and what I’ve noticed the most since I stopped logging my food.
1) My Stress Levels Decreased
I’m not entirely sure which came first, to be honest. Maybe I stopped logging my food because I was too busy having fun at the beach, going on vacations, and enjoying summer. Either way, the thoughts of “I shouldn’t eat that” have nearly vanished. Vanished. I no longer worry about what I “should” or “shouldn’t” be eating because I know I make a strong effort to eat nutritious foods. If I end up eating something not-so-nutritious, it’s because I clearly have a craving for it. Most of the time, though, I CHOOSE to skip dessert, limit processed foods, and not eat to excess.
2) I Eat Less
This one was a surprise. Turns out, when I’m not relying on an app to tell me what/when/how to eat, I just listen to my body instead. I’ve realized I’m not quite as hungry as I used to think I was. Maybe it’s the mental part of constantly thinking about meals and logging, but now that I no longer worry about it, I just eat when I’m hungry and stop when I’m full.
3) My Stomach Is Flatter
Back in the spring, I started to feel…..bigger. I won’t say things like, “I’d gained too much weight” or anything because I know I’m not overweight and I never have been. I didn’t feel super comfortable in my clothes, though, and it was starting to take a toll on me. A few extra pounds can make a huge difference, especially when you’re already stressed about other things in your life, which I had been. Once the stress leveled out and I started thinking less and less about food, I started to feel lighter. My pants are a tad looser in the waist and I no longer have that bloated feeling.
4) I Threw Out My Scale
My scale tells lies. Not actual, numerical lies, I assume those were accurate. I mean it doesn’t tell the truth. It doesn’t tell me how I feel in my own skin and how hungry I am. It doesn’t tell me how much sustenance I need to make it through a tough workout or a long work day. It doesn’t tell me if my clothes feel tight or loose. I only stepped on the scale periodically before, but over the past several months it started literally collecting dust. I tossed it out a couple weeks ago and never looked back.
5) I Started Cooking More
Now that I’m not thinking about things like macro nutrients and calorie counts, I’ve started paying more attention to the fun stuff. How to experiment with new ingredients. How much I still LOVE bread. How much I love portabello mushrooms and want to put them into everything. Food has become a lot more interesting to me now. I can’t wait to dig in more and start becoming a better cook.
Although I’m happy with my current situation and have noticed a lot of great benefits, I don’t regret that I logged my food for so long. I learned a lot about what’s in the meals I eat, how to avoid sugar-heavy foods, what kinds of things to order at restaurants, etc. I also recognize that for those looking to lose weight, keeping a food journal of some kind can be a huge asset to achieving your goals. It’s amazing what can happen, though, when you let go a little. Thoughts of food no longer take up so much room in my day now. And it feels pretty damn good.
Do you own a scale? Why or why not?
How does stress play a role in your eating habits?