Many who begin the Ketogenic LCHF way of eating find that in the beginning they need to use a food logging app. It is a helpful tool to keep you on track and it aids in the learning process of how to do the Ketogenic diet correctly especially when the main goal is to reverse high blood sugar and insulin resistance.
It may be helpful to weigh your protein portion sizes in the beginning so that you learn what 3 ounces of chicken or a 3 ounce hamburger looks like. As a general rule, meat that is 3 oz raw will be about 2 ¼ to 2 ½ ounces ounce cooked and a lot depends on the amount of fat in the meat. The more fat, the more it will shrink. Keep this in mind as you log cooked foods too!
In the past few years I have often offered my help for those who have struggled to understand why the diet doesn’t seem to be working as well as they had hoped. I find that in many cases the ratios of fat to protein to carbs is off and a few simple changes make a huge difference for many people.
In helping others I have also seen a lot of food diaries from various food tracking apps like FitDay or My Fitness Pal. I have noticed that many of these food logs are not really what the person is actually eating and a lot of things are missing or short cuts are made for time sake. It leaves a lot of questions about whether or not the food portions and ratios are correct.
The question on how to log foods seems to come up regularly in my groups so I thought that a bit of a tutorial might be helpful. I will provide some sample daily food logs to show that it makes a difference when you take short cuts in logging your food items and meals.
Tips for logging your food items:
1. If you eat something often like a ham & cheese omelet and you always make it the same way then use the recipes tab. Create your recipe and then save it. You can quickly enter it.
2. Enter all of your ingredients separately rather than pick an item that seems close to what you have eaten. For example, don’t pick ground beef patty-1 patty from the list. What does this tell you? Is it a 3 oz patty? 1/3 pound? Does it have fillers? If you are making it yourself at home you need to know the portion size so look for something like ground beef patty, homemade and make sure that you can enter ounces or grams. Don’t pick “scrambled eggs”. The carb count may include milk when you didn’t use any. Choose the actual items you used.
3. Don't pick restaurant items unless that is what you are actually eating. If you made a BLT salad from scratch don’t pick “Applebees BLT Salad”. You have no idea what they put in it!
4. Don’t skip items due to time constraints. It is okay to skip a spice or a sprinkle of lemon juice but don’t skip added items like sauces, condiments or fats. Yes this takes time but you may not see your total carb count or fat content.
5. Pick the right portion sizes. You can be easily led astray here! If you ate ½ of an avocado make sure that is what you enter. You may have to change it to 0.5 of 1 Avocado.
6. If you ate at Subway and bought a sub but ate it without the bread you can’t just enter “6 inch Subway Turkey & bacon Sub”. This is going to completely ruin your food diary and there is no way that you will know what your true carb count is for the day. Try to calculate how much meat, lettuce, condiments etc. were on the sub and enter them separately as best you can.
I have made up two sets of examples here. In each set of examples the first one shows how to log correctly and the second one shows the incorrect logging of food. I hope these examples are helpful.
I do hope that this is helpful. I have had many requests for this type of help. Thanks for reading! Your comments are welcome!