It’s a new month...a new start for some and new goals for others!
This last week I’ve been encouraging clients to track their food using the app “My Fitness Pal”. This app is incredibly simple to use and once you’ve logged a few things you soon get the hang of it.
I know I bang on about your nutrition being super important to your goals BUT I’m going to harp on some more. You are what you eat and if you are sabotaging your goals by eating incorrectly you’ll never get to where you want to be.
Here are some good reasons to track your daily foods…
Just knowing that you are going to have to write down everything that you put in your mouth is a fantastic deterrent for overindulging. You are much less likely to continuously snack, or sneak that extra helping at a meal. A food journal acts as your form of culinary confession, making sure that you are aware each time you choose to eat something.
At the end of each day review everything that you have recorded in your food journal. This will keep you will keep you aware of what you are eating on a daily basis, and ensure that you are getting the right balance of nutrients in your diet. It can also make you aware of patterns in your eating that you may not have noticed before. This is especially true if you are also recording how you are feeling before and after you eat.
Using a food journal to be aware of yourself is a fantastic way to take note of potential emotional motivations for the food choices that you make throughout the day. After several days of recording what and when you eat, as well as how you are feeling during the process, you may start to notice patterns of the types of food that you choose at certain stressful points of the day, or when you are dealing with particular emotions. Knowing these things can help you to confront these tendencies so that you can make wiser choices the next time you face a similar situation.
If your perceptions really match reality
My clients frequently make comments like, “I eat tons of fruits and vegetables” or “I don’t drink that much,” but when they begin to track, they realize just how far off their perceptions are from reality. It’s essentially human nature—we like to recall our successes and perhaps even exaggerate them. But telling yourself nutritional white lies can hold you back from reaching your goals, or even cause you to abandon them altogether. The point of a food journal isn’t to judge or police yourself, or even to grade yourself; it’s to learn about yourself, which is the first step toward adopting healthy changes that stick!
How your dining companion's affect your habits
You may be shocked to learn just how much more you eat when dining with your husband for example compared to dining solo or with friends. Are you two “partners in crime” who enjoy indulging in things like ice cream together, splitting huge pizzas and eat similar portions, even though his needs are far greater than yours?
So guys, if you don’t get on with apps...log your food with a pen and paper. Be strict and leave nothing out. We all dodge the truth when it comes to controlled eating. You’re only cheating yourself.