This week I want to write about a subject that my lovely wife, Kristi suggested. Food journaling. I know it’s not exactly the sexiest subject, unlike my wife, but it’s important. The bottom line is this: if your goal has a body composition aspect to it (meaning you want to lose or gain weight) every study and every bit of anecdotal evidence I’ve seen says you have a much better chance of hitting your goal if you keep a food journal. Why? Because if you keep an accurate food journal (notice I said accurate) you allow yourself to really see what you’re eating. There have also been many studies which show that people who want to lose weight think they’re taking in many fewer calories than they are and the reverse is true for people who want to gain weight. Many times I’ve had clients tell me that they eat healthy only to find out different once they keep a journal for a week. You see, with many things in life doing something right 80% of the time is pretty good. In baseball it’ll get you into the Hall of Fame. With eating it’ll get you right where you don’t want to be. Here’s an example, let’s say it’s Tuesday. On Sunday and Monday you ate well, but on Tuesday afternoon you have a bit of a craving and you make some cookies. Before you know it you’ve had six or seven and now you’re not hungry for dinner. Wednesday and Thursday are pretty good and by the time Friday night rolls around you’re tired and you’ve forgotten about the cookies from three and a half days ago. You go out to the Cheesecake Factory and of course you can’t eat the entire burger and fries after all that delicious bread (and you’ve got to leave some room for desert, too) so you take some home and have it for lunch on Saturday. Now, out of 21 meals this week you’ve done pretty well on about 15 of them. Sounds good until you look at your journal and realize that it’s not. Another thing is that knowing that you’re going to write everything down can make you think twice about some of the things you might eat on a whim and then forget about. The afternoon chocolate bar, the extra piece of bread late at night. It adds up and makes a huge difference. For many people those small things might be the biggest thing holding them back but they just don’t realize what they’re doing. If you need any help with your journal or any advice on what to do, just drop me a line. Also, check out my video blog to see some easy ways to use your phone, computer, or just a pen and paper to keep your journal, and don’t forget to consult your doctor before beginning any exercise program.
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