Food logs are completely underrated. A lot of weightlifters scoff at the idea of them, for a multitude of reasons. Maybe you think food logs are just for desperate people trying to lose weight, or maybe you think your memory is good enough. Or maybe you just don’t realize how important it can be.
Whatever the reason, I’m telling you that you should definitely start keeping one.
I love my training logs. In fact, I have a stack of them in my closet that I promise you my wife does not appreciate. But they’re such good resources to have, whether I need to look back and see how my body reacted during a training cycle, or if I just need a little reminder of how far I’ve come. Food logs are just as useful, especially combined with a detailed training log.
Food logs should contain the food you ate (duh), quantity consumed, amount of liquid/water intake, and notes on how you felt during training (sluggish, on fire, tired, heavy, light, etc.). So with that, I’ll reveal the top 4 reasons why you should keep this information:
- Helps you find the foods that work best for your body. By keeping accurate notes of what/how much you’ve consumed, and your reactions to it (particularly during training sessions), you can find what foods make you feel sluggish, or better yet, what foods make you feel like an absolute beast in the gym. For example, if you notice an increase in PRs, without any major adjustments to training, take a look at your food log. You will probably be able to trace it back to an increase in protein, or an additional meal during your day.
- Allows you to pinpoint any unexplained weight gains or losses. We’ve all had that “Oh shit” moment when we step on the scale. Whether that number went up or down, you need to figure out why it happened and combat it in the future.
- Eliminates the guesswork of calorie consumption. Food logs keep you honest and remove any over- or under-estimations you’ve made in calorie intake throughout the day. A detailed food log may reveal that you’re just not eating enough of the right foods, and your training is suffering as a result.
- Enables you to detect supplement deficiencies/surpluses. Almost every single weightlifter I know slams down multiple supplements a day. But depending on your diet, you might be taking too few, or even too many. Your log can reveal that you need more protein shakes, or should up the fish oil pills.
As with any log, it is only useful if you’re honest and you review it regularly to find patterns and anomalies. Food logs are another tool to help you achieve greatness. They take only minutes a day, but can help you get to know your body better than you ever thought possible.