Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Tracking Your Foods: The way to Do It
If you go on a diet one of the very first things that you will become aware of is that it is vital to keep track of what you eat throughout the day. Keeping a food journal helps you identify the foods you are eating as well as the foods you aren't eating. One example is that, after tracking your nutrition for a few days you might realize that you are consuming far too many sugars and unhealthy fats without nearly enough organic nutrients. Writing all of it down will allow you to see precisely which parts of your diet really need to change as well as how much exercise you are going to need to do to make sure that you keep your caloric intake in check.
But what happens if you've been writing every little thing down and still aren't reducing your weight? There is a good way and a lazy approach to track the food you eat. There is more to food journaling than writing an index of what you eat during the day. Other kinds of important information are going to need to be written down as well. Here are some hints that you can employ to help your food tracking be more successful.
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Be as specific as you can while you write down what you eat. You have to do more than merely write down "salad" into your food log. Write down all of the ingredients in the salad and the type of dressing you used. You also need to include the amounts of the foods you consume. "Cereal" is just not very good, but "one cup Shredded Wheat" is. Don't forget that the more of some thing you eat, the more calories you are going to ingest so you need to list out the measurements of what you eat so that you will know just how many calories you take in and will need to burn.
Write down the time you're eating things. This will allow you to figure out just what times of day you feel the most hungry, when you usually reach for snacks and then you can figure out how to deal with those times. You'll notice, for example, that even though you eat lunch at the identical time every day, you also--without fail--start to snack as little as an hour later, every day. This may also enable you to identify the times when you start to eat simply to give yourself something to do. This is important mainly because, once they are recognized, you can find alternative ways to fill those moments than with unhealthy foods.
Record your spirits while you eat. This helps you figure out when you use food to help soothe emotional issues. It will also identify the foods you decide on when you are in certain moods. Lots of us will reach intuitively for unhealthy foods when we feel disappointed or angry and we are more likely to select healthy options when we feel happy or content. When you look closely at how you eat while in your different moods and emotional states, you will be able to keep similar but healthier options around for when you need those snacks--you might also start talking to someone who can help you figure out why you try to cure your moods with food.
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