Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Should you use a food journal?

Hi to the best women's networking group in Southwest Florida!

I've started writing down everything I eat...again. There are times I do this and times I don't. What I have found is when I do take the time to jot down what I eat, I definitely make better choices. I find myself doing it when the jeans won't button or I start developing the muffin-top and dressing to hide it.

Something very interesting happened at lunch today. I had a small amount of lean green beef, about a cup of broccoli and a few bites of my husband's salad. He eats his salad with full-fat ranch dressing and croutons, etc. That may not sound like much, but remember I eat six small meals a day. Well, I snitched about 5 croutons and would dip them into his dressing. When it came time to record what I had for lunch, a funny thing happened, I literally had to force myself to write down the croutons and the dressing. What was up with that? No one sees my food journal but me, why did I feel so guilty about writing that down? I really felt an internal struggle to put on paper the fact that I went against what I had planned for myself that day. Now, a few croutons and little full-fat dressing isn't anything to stress about, but when you start tallying it up at the end of the day, how many times did we eat that extra 100 calories? That is where the problem lies. Even 100 calories too much a day would account for many, many unwanted pounds by the end of the year. Is this where people say, "I just give up"! No, education is the key, the more you keep the journal and are honest about what goes in there, you can see trends and places where you can cut back fairly painlessly and meet your health goals and yes, even fit into your skinny jeans!

So, whether you are a "stay-at-home" mom, training women in business or out in the women's networking circuit, why don't you try and keep a little food journal to review at the end of the week and see if you can find places where you may have been able to make better food choices. Feel free to call me for any help!

Lynda Waldron, Certified Health Coach