Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Write Stuff

You've heard it before, haven't you? When you're trying to lose weight, keep a food journal. Did you dismiss it, thinking you could keep track "in your head" of all you ate for the day? Sure, you can remember what you've eaten in a day, so why write?
There are a few reasons why keeping a food journal is a great tool in your weight loss "tool kit".
1. You may NOT remember all you ate for the day. Did you record that little bite of cookie, or that can of pop? The candy dish on the table- did you get that piece written down? Which brings us to #
2. It may keep you from BLTs- bites, licks, and tastes. Knowing you have to "report" to your journal may give you second thoughts about that piece of candy or bite of cookie... Nothing is wrong with a little treat - even daily, but write it down and figure it into your day.
3. Writing down your daily intake lets you see WHAT you are eating as a whole- that helps you determine what you NEED. If you had oatmeal and toast with milk for breakfast and a ham sandwich with chips and drink for lunch you can quickly see that you haven't had any fruits or veggies and maybe you've had enough grains for the day. Knowing we need at least 5 fruits and veggies would throw all those servings into dinner.
4. Keeping a journal lets you see what works for your body. Are you protein-based or carb-based? Which one gives you more energy? Which one satisfies and lasts for you? Should you start the day with carbs or protein? By writing down your menu you can look at your week and see that your mornings were sluggish and maybe that's because you had cereal. Try more protein the next few days and see if it sustains your energy level longer.
5. May help with variety. See how many days you've had chicken this week??? You definitely need variety in your diet. Chicken isn't as high in protein or iron as beef. Beef doesn't have Omega Fatty 3's like fish. You can look at your journal and see where you may be lacking a well-rounded diet.
Can YOU think of MORE reasons a journal is a good idea? Can you think of any reason it's NOT a good idea? Then give it a try! You don't even need a formal journal. Take a cheap spiral notebook and keep it in the kitchen where you can write. Make it small so you can take it to work and write your lunch in.
Journaling is a great tool to help you have success in your healthy life~ good luck!

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