12 April 12 Keeping Track of More than Calories

Calorie tracking apps like MyNetDiary are designed to make counting calories and recording exercise an easy process, thus encouraging users to log accurately and daily for the best results. In fact, MyNetDiary does a lot more than lets users keep track of calorie intake and exercise, as seen here in this interview on Radio Nutrition with MyNetDiary's consulting Dietitian, Katherine Isacks, MPS, RD. MyNetDiary allows Maximum members to track up to 48 different nutrients, instead of the basic 12 found on Nutrition Facts panels.

However, one of the most important features users can take advantage of with a food journal has to do with something we can't quantify or chart. It's the simple and elegant Notes feature where you can record things like mood, temptation, thoughts and distractions. And if you have yet used Notes, now may be the time.

According to a new study, one's emotional awareness around eating may have a noticeable impact on one's diet. Emotional eating and overeating are too often and closely connected. Perhaps an event, a conversation, an emotion can derail us from our healthy eating plan, and if we didn't take note of it, it can happen again and again without us understanding what's happening.

In the mentioned study, 94 obese women and 56 control participants were asked about parental bonding, eating habits and their emotional awareness. The results showed that obese women exhibited deficits in emotional awareness and used emotional eating to regulate how they feel.

By keeping notes about how you feel when you crave and when you eat foods, or even just "junk foods," you can look back over these at the end of the week to find if there is a "cause and effect" tied to emotion and food. Maybe your portion size grows when feeling stressed or sad. Maybe you grabbed a donut instead of an apple for a snack after a phone call with a family member.

In another study published in Eating Disorders, participants who were able to practice responding to internal appetite signals were able to improve their binge-eating symptoms. One trick to practice this would be to use Notes to rate and record your feeling of hunger on a scale from 1 – 10 before each meal. With the Daily Bottom Line you can see if there's a difference between calorie intake on days you ate meals feeling a level 5 hunger versus a level 7, etc.

The real bottom line, however, is that it's important to take advantage of every tool at your disposal and to be aware of all the influences on your diet and exercise. It is with these tools we can identify patterns, both helpful ones and ones that hurt our goals.

Ryan Newhouse

Ryan Newhouse is the Marketing Director for MyNetDiary and writes for a variety of publications. He wants you to check out MyNetDiary on Instagram!

Have questions or comments about this post? Please feel free to comment on MyNetDiary's Community Forum or Facebook page – We would love to hear from you. And consider visiting our new Pinterest page!

Disclaimer: Please note that we cannot provide personalized advice and that the information provided does not constitute medical advice. If you are seeking medical advice, please visit a medical professional.

Tags:

Eating Disorders/Binge Eating Disorder

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