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does logging food and exercise really work?

this is a question that many people starting their weight loss journey have. Would love to hear your experience logging- here on PEERtrainer and elsewhere in other formats like WW or whatever.

thank you,



Tue. Oct 21, 11:54am

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I think logging food is VERY important. I didn't realize how important until I came to PT. Not only does it let me see what I eat but it also helps me plan for meals and what needs to be increased or decreased depending on my weight from week to week. Also, it makes you really think about what you put in your mouth!! Regardless if one keeps a daily log here on PT or on paper or through WW...doesn't matter...I feel everyone trying to lose or maintain need to keep a daily log.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008, 12:04 PM

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Absolutely! I can't emphasise this more. I know that if I'm not logging, I'm gaining. I NEVER gain when I write down - honestly - everything I've eaten and the exercise I did or didn't do. It's easy to lose track of portion sizes or calories if it's not written down in front of me, it helps to keep me honest, too. Here on PT there is the added benefit of sharing successes (Yay, I avoided the slice of cake in the breakroom today!) and the slight pressure of wanting to keep up with your teammates! If I didn't have people looking over my logs, it would be much easier to blow off a work out.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008, 1:02 PM

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Definately. PT gives you someone to brag to when you are doing well, and people to help you get back on track when you are not.

I have found if I am having an off day and I still log all the junk I have had, I am much less likely to continue to eat junk into the night. If I don't log it, then I will spiral into the abyss.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008, 1:08 PM

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Definately. PT gives you someone to brag to when you are doing well, and people to help you get back on track when you are not.

I have found if I am having an off day and I still log all the junk I have had, I am much less likely to continue to eat junk into the night. If I don't log it, then I will spiral into the abyss.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008, 1:08 PM

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Yes, logging my food and exercise is how I lost weight.

Unfortunately, after doing it for three years, it's starting to drive me crazy, so I'm taking a break from it. It's only been a week now that I haven't written down my food and calorie intake. I've also switched from recording my time and type of workout to just giving myself a little star on my calendar on the days I exercise, regardless of whether it's weights, jogging, pilates, or whatever.

I'm hoping that after all these years of logging, the habits are ingrained enough that I'll maintain my weight without actually journaling.

We'll see...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008, 1:09 PM

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yes logging does help... I released alot of wight on my own before coming to PT, but I struggled more. I had noone to hold myself accountable to.. we all know that we dont always hold ourselve accoutable for the choices we make.. its easier when you can see it written out you can look at it and tweak the next week. do something differently.watchh your foods more crefully. execise more or chnge up your routine.

if im releaing weight great.. if not i can look and see why.. am i eating extra servings of meat here or id i have too much bread there.. it helps you see what your doing and what really goes in your mouth.. if you bite it you have to write it.. its there for all to see. and people do read your logs.. I didnt realize how many actually read my logs so.. I know if I eat something wrong I have to put it there in print for everyone to see.. I want to set a example of healthy eating so I try to make healthy choices.

were human we slip and slide, but we can look at our log and say ok yesterday was a good day or not so good day .. tomorrow will be just as good or tomorrow i will get back on track.

yes I think logging and the acountability and support I have found here has been key and will be instrumental to me reaching my goal.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008, 1:34 PM

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If you're the kind of person who can eat without remembering exactly what you had, then yes. Some people can watch tv or work and eat and not even remember finishing the food. I had a coworker who used to always work through lunch and she'd eat the brown bag lunch she brought, plus all the snacks (apples, candy bars, bags of chips, etc) while she was engrossed in a project at her desk. Then she'd look for her lunch (which she already ate) and be amazed that it was gone. This is the kind of person who will benefit greatly from logging every morsel. But this person also needs to be made aware of every bite. That's why it's best to eat at the table with nothing else going on, except maybe conversation with a meal companion.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008, 2:09 PM

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There is no doubt that logging on PT accelerated my weightloss. It gave me the accountability I needed to lose weight. Before starting PT, I would eat as much as I wanted without reflecting on what I was putting into my body. When I forced myself to really think about what I ate and when I ate it, it gave me more control over my success. I remember some days not wanting to go to the gym and thinking "I can't leave my workout section blank!"

Logging becomes addicting and I find myself looking back through my entries to find out what was working and what wasn't when I'd have a bad week. It also gives me an outlet for any sort of personal problems that might be affecting what I'm eating. You start to see both negative and positive patterns. Sometimes I'll look at my log for a day and feel really proud of all the good things I've done for my body in that 24 hours.

Ultimately, I think self-discipline is what helped me lose that 108 lbs (and counting!). PT makes keeping tabs on yourself and your weightloss buddies incredibly easy. It's an entire network of support at your fingertips, and for that I am thankful!


Tuesday, October 21, 2008, 2:31 PM

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Yes, write it down! All of it!

This is the perfect thread for today. I spent the morning ranting about not losing weight when I am 'eating so healthy'. So I went back through my food logs and realized that I had once again slipped into the seduction of eating bread and potatoes. It was all there for me to see in black and white...or cornflower blue. It's so easy to fool ourselves, and journaling your food really helps with staying honest with yourself. Even if you don't write down everything because you are embarrassed by what you consumed, you think about that, and feel badly, and it helps get you back on track to being more honest with yourself. I use to track meticulously for protein, carbs, fats, fiber & sodium (spreadsheet from hell) but now I just use PT for logging in the food. If I am eating enough plants I don't need to count calories, and except for an occasional OCD twinge I don't miss the spreadsheet. So yes, logging my food is super important to me for staying on track nutritionally, planning my daily food, and keeping it honest. I think PT is a great utility for this, and I'm glad to be here :)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008, 2:47 PM

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Yes! Logging all my food is helping me to break the cycle of binge eating. Logging my exercise boosts my self confidence tremendously. Thanks, PT!


Tuesday, October 21, 2008, 2:58 PM

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I have struggled to lose weight for three years. I joined Peer Trainer and made myself a "Fat Book" or food diary and I've lost 23 pounds and I don't feel like quitting. Whenever I have those feelings, I just write down how I'm feeling in my book, and get on with my life, minus the bad binges I used to have.

I think that logging your daily exercise and food is the best way to go. It's a way of keeping us accountable!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008, 3:33 PM

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I say yes...


I never logged food. I hated it and thought that it was a waste of time...

But, I never comitted 100% to it. I started writing down everything that I put in my mouth in January and have lost 22.2 pounds. There were a few non-logging months due to family issues, but when I log, I am conscious of how much I am eating...

try it for a week...then do a calorie count on what you've eaten... you'd be surprised... when I log my "cheat" days, I freak out because I eat like 2600 calories which is nuts cause that's like twice what I eat during the week!!!

good luck!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008, 3:49 PM

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absolutely! i tend to rationalize my bad behavior and say 'oh, it hasn't been that long since i exercised', so being able to look at my log and see that it's been 3 days and not 1 since i hit the gym is a big help, and it makes me accountable to myself. in addition, it makes me accountable to others - knowing that people can look at my log and see if i exercised or what i ate helps me make better decisions.

I don't count points (most of the time) or measure portions, but i do try to write down everything i eat. it also helps me to be able to make sure that i'm getting enough fruits and veggies, and if i got my dairy in, etc., as well as allowing me to be able to see when i'm eating too much of something that i should only have in moderation (like all that candy corn that is currently showing up in my log!).


Tuesday, October 21, 2008, 4:56 PM

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Yes it does

I started my diet back in January; I joined PT somewhere around May or June, but I was logging everything I ate and how much I exercised in a journal, and I feel that it really helped me lose weight because I liked the successful feeling that it gave me every day. When I found PT, I was able to quit "writing" and start typing. It may sound crazy, but I hate to hand-write, I'd much rather type. I can type as fast as my thoughts want to come pouring out, and with a paper journal it's not as easy. Also, I couldn't get positive feedback from that journal. I really love the comraderie here at PT, regardless of how much or little I may actually get from my groups, and I love, love, LOVE the community threads, and I've said it before and I'll say it again, I don't care how crazy the threads get, I get great enjoyment and use out of them.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008, 11:22 PM

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I don't personally find the logging function here at PT to be all that helpful. I use another site just for me -

It gives calorie and nutrient counts for all the food and activity you log, and while some are ludicrous (sexual activity actually subtracts calories from your daily metabolism - must be Sister Mary Frances from Catholic Central HS programmed that part!) most are fairly accurate and the calorie and carb counts are invaluable to trouble-shooting my weight loss progress.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008, 5:21 PM

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Logging is a blessing

I find the logging very helpful in that it prevents a binge. Like an earlier person stated, if I log on some bad behavior mid-day, I'm less likely to spiral out of control for the rest of the day. It takes care of the "well I already blew it" mentality.

PT has REALLY helped me kick my last three allergies. By noticing how ill I feel for three days after logging in milk, I've realized in a "full body" way, that its not worth it. I haven't lost much weight, but I'm not nearly as sick and I did exercise regularly this Summer. I'm still having a hard time transitioning, I think because noone comments on my behavior.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008, 11:26 PM

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Logging in food

I am having big trouble logging my food. It means going on the computer, finding the site 3 or more times a day. If I miss a day, I cannot find the old log. Maybe I am not so experienced on the computer.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009, 6:40 AM

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I make it easy to get to PT. I have it added to my favorites and the page opens immediately to my one of my groups. There was a period where I had to sign in every time but it's shifted back so I don't have to every time. (Think that was more of a system setting...and thanks PT for making it easier!)

Maybe you just need a friend or family member to help you set this up. Anything to make it easier is a blessing.

Some days I plan the whole day and write it in, then I go back if anything changed. This can be a good practice for planning meals in advance.

Good luck. It really is worth doing this.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009, 9:11 AM

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Logging Food

Logging Food (and counting my calories) is definitely what keeps me on track and losing. Personally, if I don't log, I lose track of what I've eaten and I start to gain or I don't lose. If you are truly honest about your food logs (and calorie intake) then you'll lose. While it takes time to log everything, it is definitely a critical part in weight loss. If you're not losing, this enables you to look back and see where you may have gone wrong.

Monday, February 16, 2009, 1:32 AM

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Logging - YES!

For about 6 months, last year, I worked out with a personal trainer once a week and tried to get in another 2 or 3 workouts at home the rest of the week. I wasn't doing anything about what I ate and I wasn't losing.

My trainer gave me a gift of a blank book to use as a food diary at one point and I nearly bit her head off! I felt like everyone was accusing me of eating badly (whether they said so outright or not) and that was why I wasn't losing.

Well, of course, she was right. I was eating mindlessly, mostly junk food, not enough fruits and vegetables and monstrous portion sizes to boot! When I joined Weight Watchers and realized what a portion size really is and how much fruit and vegetables I can eat and how much better I feel doing so, it was a real eye-opener.

Logging what I eat actually makes me feel GOOD, now, since I am eating so much healthier. It's like getting an "A" on a test every day. Having to record everything makes me think ahead to what I am going to eat, make sure I take a lunch box with me wherever I go, plan for outings and it makes me think twice about the junk food - how many points do I have to give up for this bag of chips? and do I really want to do that?

If I don't log, I don't think about what I'm eating and I don't eat healthy or in appropriate amounts. It's that simple.


Monday, February 16, 2009, 1:42 PM

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logging food and exercise

Yes, I think it is extremely important to log food, because it is so easy to forget about a bite of this or that, or an extra one of these or them. Logging exercise just makes me feel accomplished and shows me exactly how hard I work. Neither is working to help me lose pounds right now, but I'm either very determined or am out to prove to myself how much I exercise and that I eat within my calorie budget. Sometimes I get so frustrated that I'm not seeing results, but then I think wow, where would I be if I didn't track all this? I guess I'd be even heavier and gaining even more, scary thought! So, yep I will continue (probably forever!) to track my progress and my intake.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009, 11:00 PM

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I think logging helps alot! I log everything - and try to calcuate the calories too. Sharing successes is helpful, but just seeing my own efforts to eat healthy and exercise regularly is a great benefit. I've lost 10 lb in my first month.

Because of my work schedule and geo location going to a Weight Watcher meeting is virtually impossible - logging w/PT and connecting with a couple groups is working just as well for me. (a long time ago I lost over 30 lb on WW)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009, 2:02 PM

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food logging

I don't think I've been doing this right. I write down what I eat before I eat it and forget to go back and add additional things until the next day, and I'm not writing down quantities yet. I wish I had access to the Weight Watchers Point system as it would help me get to the next step. I'm considering signing up online vs. going to meetings but I fear going to meetings will trip me up somehow, as in if I don't want to go then I won't follow the program either, so that's why this blog is good for me, but I need to get out more too.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009, 2:34 PM

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i dn't think i'd be half as motivated if i didn't! i have an app on my iphone that allows me to do this, and since my phone is with me all the time - it's that much easier! i log everything i put in my mouth!
my motto is: "if you bite it, write it!"

the app comes equipped with a food calculator that tells you the nutritional info. of darn near everything you could eat...and if you don't find it there, you can add it yourself according to your labels on the food item. supercool. the app is called "lose it" for all of you that may have an iphone or ipod touch :)

same goes for the exercise...this iphone app has a whole list of exercises and you just plug in what you did, how long and how strenuous and it plugs in the calories burned as well...nothing feels better than watching those calories come off of your budget for the day :)

Wednesday, March 04, 2009, 4:57 PM

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Logging is life saving for me. Really. First if all i don't feel alone anymore and find some real support. Also often when my emotions or my thoughts go wild, i need to write them down somewhere. I think it helps me let go. Logging is definetly what keeps me focused. I can develop a more positive attitude towards myself and look for solutions when faced with issues. Logging = staying focused = staying committed for me. So thanks for the existence of PT :))

Wednesday, March 11, 2009, 4:33 PM

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Yes, I think logging is a helpful and supportive discipline. I also learn things from reading other people's logs -- about how they eat and exercise and maybe somebody learns or is inspired by me. We're all in different phases, so you can see people ahead of you succeeding and newbies who are still struggling. I am fairly religious about doing it even tho eating the right amount is much easier for me now. I feel proud when I enter my info. I just read something about how people who use athletic, attractive avatars in virtual reality games actually increase their self esteem. I feel logging is part of a new thin, healthy persona.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009, 8:55 PM

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Definitely helps keep track of what I eat. I fall back on my log when I need to understand triggers that lead to emotional eating. It also helps me pay attention to what I am eating- portion size, taste, sensations- in order to record more accurately. And awareness of what I eat and how I feel about it is really the key to building healthier eating habits, learning to say no when I am not hungry, and not feeling guilty about enjoying food when I do eat.

Saturday, April 25, 2009, 9:24 PM

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I use It counts my calories for me and hslps me eyeball food more accurately.

Saturday, April 25, 2009, 9:25 PM

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Does exercize help weight loss?

My experience says it's extemely difficult after the first 8-10 lbs. to move the weight without exercizing to burn the calories.

Monday, April 27, 2009, 2:08 PM

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does logging food and exercise really work?

I think it is an excellent thing to do. I have been to WW before and I always hated the journal you had to fill out. I hate them lying around the house. Here in this website I can write down everything and I can do it without my family knowing what I am doing. I like having something private yet public at the same time. Writing things down helps me to keep in touch with what I am eating. I do try to make a mental note of what I am eating but since my problem is forgetting to eat meals (funny isn't it?), I have to know what kind of adjustments I need to make on a daily basis

Wednesday, March 17, 2010, 11:26 AM

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It's extremely important for me. Everytime I think I can maintain my weightloss or continue losing without writing everything down (whether here or somewhere else), I end up gaining weight. And everytime I start logging again, I see a huge change, not just on the scale but in my motivation.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010, 12:56 PM

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i am SUCH a believer in logging. in fact, i don't even have to believe in it, because i just know that it works. i log daily (ok, fine, when i'm terrible on a saturday or a sunday i'm not that great about logging), and i count my calories along with it. i've lost 12 pounds in about 7 weeks, and i never could have done that without being accountable to my eating habits. now i can see and keep track of my calories, so that i can plan my meals accordingly! i cannot recommend logging highly enough!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010, 2:12 PM

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I love logging. I do it more at another site because it adds the calories up for me. I do swear by it though because it keeps me on track, stares me in the face if I do wrong, and it keeps me honest and I can see why or why not I'm losing or gaining.

Thursday, March 18, 2010, 5:16 PM

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I believe it does. I like to log food and exercise using a calorie counter to show the difference between the two which is the calories eaten - (calories burned + BMR estimate). If I can keep the difference negative I generally will lose weight.

My largest problem when I don't log my food and track my calories!

Friday, March 19, 2010, 10:19 AM

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I agree; logging totally helps, and it helps my PT buddies keep me honest and it helps me keep them honest too. It's a great accountability factor!!

Tuesday, February 08, 2011, 12:04 PM

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I'm a big believer in logging my food! When I'm logging things are generally going well. When I chose not to log, I get off track. I chose to log in my own log book. I like something that I can carry with me and look at anytime(even when I'm not near a computer). I know many people though benefit from logging here on PT. I also have my weight graph which tells me my weight loss trend in my log book. However you chose to log is what you should do. But logging does work! At one time I was logging my food in my notebook, here at PT and I was sending my logs to my sister. I've since just shorten it to my notebook and that is working great!!


Friday, June 24, 2011, 1:26 PM

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YES, YES and YES!!!

YES -The food logging helps to keep me on the thin and narrow and not forget those foods that I'd like to eat but want to forget about the calories. I am now able to compensate in those cases

YES - The exercise logging helps as it makes me more active than without

YES - my PT family help with their inspiration, support & encouragement.

I love PEERtrainer, and my fellow group members. Thank you to you all!

Saturday, June 25, 2011, 8:02 PM

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Yes, it works. If you don't log, it's always a guess. You either eat too little, or too much and you wonder why you don't get results.

Friday, July 07, 2017, 2:36 PM

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