It’s a brand new year. Are you doing the “new year, new me” thing? I’m not. I’ve got a pretty good lifestyle for supporting a stable weight. I exercise 40-60 minutes 5-6 days a week, and I follow my normal eating templates. One thing that did get a little out of control over the holidays this time was festive eating. I felt a bit out of control sometimes, and as a result my body felt bad. It’s an immediate feedback loop – when I eat too much or too poorly, right away I feel logy, tired, overstuffed, and nauseated.
So I’ve decided to make a change now that the holidays are over. I want to start feeling in control again and stop feeling regrets and bloated. Dropping a few pounds wouldn’t hurt me either. I’m only making one change, but its the most powerful tool I have in my arsenal. If you, too, want to see some changes, tighten up your habits, or drop a few pounds, but you don’t want to drastically overhaul your entire life, I commend it to you as well. Instead of going on a crash diet, signing up at a gym / exercising furiously for a few weeks, or starving yourself, I have only one recommendation:
Start journaling your food intake.
That’s it. Recordkeeping/journaling is the most powerful way I know to change your habits. The first thing you need if you want to make a change is to know what you’re already doing. What are you eating now? How will you know what to change if you don’t know what you’re doing? The second thing journaling will do is a neat psychological trick – if you have to write down everything you eat, you may adjust what you eat to make your records look better. It’s a little hard to have to write down 600 calories worth of cupcake if you know you’re trying to improve your health.
So that’s my New Year’s program and suggestion: Write down what you eat at the time that you eat it (no “saving up” and writing it all down at the end of the day – that’s cheating and it won’t work), and an approximate calorie count. Every day. After a few days, you’ll have a good idea what you’re eating and where you might substitute some fruits and veggies or other healthier options, but first just start with the journaling. That’s not much to ask, right?
If you aren’t sure on the calories, there are tons of websites where you can look up nutrition info. Use an app, use a pen and paper, whatever works for you, but give it a try. It’s the best tool I know. I’m doing it too, because I know it works.