Take up food journaling! Eating is a habit and for some individuals a good habit (with good food choices) and others a bad habit (with bad food choices).
- Time of meal/snack/drink
- What you are eating and how much (think portion control with nutritionally dense food rather than calories or points)
- What you are drinking and how much (this includes water, sweet drinks, caffeine, alcohol and soda)
- Amount of exercise
- How you feel at the end of the day emotionally and physically
- How you would like to improve tomorrow
- Amount of restful sleep (continuous sleep; record if you are tossing and turning)
- Accountability- this helps you put that extra cookie down; forcing you to really decide if you need it.
- Unhealthy patterns and habits- many of us eat in front of the TV, force food down while working on the computer, scarf those tortilla chips and salsa over a table with friends without paying attention to what we are doing, EATING.
- Lack of fluids- sometimes we feel hungry when we truly are dehydrated. Pay attention to the amount of caffeine and alcohol you consume; each one of those removes that much water from your body.
- Feelings- this part is so important because so many of us are emotional eaters and don't want to admit it. Journaling will help you see that. Once you do, start creating a "safety net"- things to do (other than reaching for the chocolate bar or burger) when you feel stressed, upset, sad, alone, or even happy!
- Sleep- not getting adequate sleep causes most of us to ingest more sugary carbs or caffeine just to keep those eyes open, make the time (no more- I will sleep when I die). Some of us struggle with sleep because of what we eat before bed- eating too late, too heavy, too many carbohydrates, too much sugar, too much caffeine?
- Nutrition that fits for you- journaling will help you find the eating patterns and habits that work best for your body. Every individual is different externally and internally; some people operate best on a higher complex carbohydrate diet, others higher protein diet. Weigh yourself once week; same time, same scale, same clothing.