Last Saturday, I was a presenter at Healthy Living Seminars, and shared on how to make a Smart Start to Lean Eating. I shared 3 strategies to making the changes needed. These strategies are easy to implement and have tremendous impact on your success. Here is what I shared:
Smart Start to Lean Eating. Your 3 Step Process:
1. Figure Out Where You Are At Right Now.
2. Find Out Where You Want to Be.
3. Close the Gap – What are the changes you need to make to make the shift.
Today I will focus on #1. The first step in in figuring out where you are right now is learning how to use a food journal correctly. While there are a lot of apps and online programs to help you do that, most often they cause you to focus mainly on your caloric intake rather than your current behaviors. That is not to say that your caloric intake isn’t important, but in the beginning, we want to start learning what behaviors you have that got you where you are now.
Maybe you are an emotional or stress eater? Do you “taste” the food constantly as you cook and then end up full when the family sits down to eat? Do you pick at the leftovers on your children’s plates? Perhaps certain people you hang out with cause you to eat poorly or make bad decisions. Do you eat at your desk at work? In your car? Standing at the kitchen counter? All of these are behaviors that are not healthy.
Most food journals have a note section. You can use this to your advantage to identify behaviors you need to change. You need to start keeping more details in there regarding each meal. If you are diligent in recording your notes in your journal, you will begin to see certain patterns that may not be healthy.
Here’s a list of questions to ask yourself after each meal to help get you started:
What did you have?
Where were you?
How was it prepared?
Who prepared it?
Who were you with?
How did you feel?
How many calories did the food contain? (Most apps will calculate this for you.)
I challenge you to start using the food journal as a behavior tracker. Start with today. Write down every meal you ate today and answer the list of questions above. Tomorrow, I will take you through a meal and what you should be looking for.