Alright, you have decided that improving your health is one of your major goals for 2012! Many of you may be thinking, “I don’t know what to do exactly, guess I will just eat better”. But what is better? Where do I start? If you missed yesterdays article, 10 Questions That Can Change Your Health!, start there and then comeback. I know I covered this last year around this same time, but this is so important.
Great!!! You are thinking in the right direction.
Let me give you a hand working it out. I start all my nutrition consults out by supplying a food log sheet. How can you understand how you are eating wrong until you have it down in writing. I am supplying a basic food log of the type I use (see download link at the end of this article). You need to write down everything you eat or drink for the next five days. Don’t forget to include how much water, yes water is a form of food. And don’t hide those snacks, put them down too.
Here is some advice. Don’t fake your list. You can only help yourself if you are truthful with yourself. Most of the holiday wildness should be passed, so your food log will give a real indication of your eating habits. If you are starting on this lifestyle change with your partner get them to fill out a food log of their own. They may have different eating habits that you might not have been completely aware of.
You maybe surprised to see what you are eating.
Once you have the food log filled out, you maybe surprised to see what you are eating on a daily basis. I consider the food log one of the most powerful and exciting tools I use daily with people. Why? Because the food log is like a written contract of your intent to make a change. When you fill out another food log in a month you will see the changes you have made and the progress. View your follow up food logs as an addendum to your contract. You are changing it for the better.
Let’s talk some about what you are looking for on that food log. First, you will know what your are really eating or drinking. Often I hear that people didn’t realize they got that many coffee drinks or quick snacks each week. The food log will help you to see trends – good and bad. It gives you a starting point. You will also need to identify the sugars, fats, carbs, etc.. Are they the correct food types? What can you change first?
Will you ever drink or eat that fun food item you liked again?
Remember what I said yesterday about not being able to change everything at once. With that in mind pick 2 to 3 things to change on your food log. An example would be – say you notice that coffee drink we mentioned showing up too much on the log, let’s say 4 times a week. Cut it in half, only have 2 a week. Drink good water as a replacement. After a week, or when you feel in control at that level, cut it down by half again. Then again wait till you are fully in control and stop completely. Now let’s talk about life in a real manner.
Will you ever drink or eat that fun food item you liked again? WELL, yes and no. If it is actually more harmful than good, like say a Twinkie then you may want to never eat it again after stopping. Other foods may not be as directly non-nutritious like say that coffee drink. So having one as a special treat with friends every so often can be fun. But this should be maybe like once or twice a month or less. You have to choose depending on the control you have established, maybe you never have that item again as it is just too addictive.
You will have real measurable progress toward your goal.
You will find that by working your food logs like I have described it will not be long till you have changed many items out for the better. But again, go slow and be sure you are in control before changing something else. That way you will have real measurable progress toward your goal.
To help you on your way we at Cooking God’s Way will be providing you with some more tools that you can use. Some tools we have already provided are the articles on healthy eating. Do start reading them to better arm yourself in the battle. Keep up with the articles this week and send a link to a friend that you know wants to make a change. Don’t forget to sign up with the email list to stay current on what is published on Cooking God’s Way. (Sign-up is at the top of the column to the right.)
DOWNLOAD: Cooking God’s Way – Food Log Worksheet