As the holidays are approaching, you may be feeling overwhelmed or find that you are busier than usual. Feeling this anxiety of overwhelm during this time of year is very common and can sometimes get in the way of us working on our goals and continuing with our healthy habits.
Instead of approaching this season with an all-or-nothing mindset, create some simple and attainable action items for you to follow each week that will help move you toward your overall goals.
Research has shown that logging what you eat is a big key piece in successful weight loss. When keeping a food log or diary, you become more aware of what you’re eating, how much you’re eating and how you feel after each meal. It’s very easy to mindlessly eat or eat out of emotion, but when you pay attention to your food and what you are logging, you are reminded of the extra calories and sugar you may be consuming with that mindless eating. Although this may seem like a daunting task at first to complete during the busy holiday season, it really only takes about 15 minutes per day.
Below are 5 ways you can enhance the benefits of logging your food to be successful and reach your goals this holiday season.
If you are not honest about what you’re eating when you are tracking, the only person you are hurting is yourself. If you are honest when tracking, you are able to see when you may be overindulging and find times where your portions may be bigger than you need. The goal is not to be perfect everyday but rather to see overall trends of your eating habits and food choices in order to implement positive healthy changes where needed.
2.Measure All The Extras
If you are a person who adds cream in your coffee, butter your toast, or mayo on your sandwich be sure to track those as well! Everything does add up so don’t forget your add ons if you want an honest and complete picture of your daily intake. It is best to use measuring cups, spoons, and kitchen scales to see the true portions you are eating.
3.Track How You Feel
An important aspect of tracking your food intake is also seeing where your mood and emotions are throughout the day as you make food choices. In addition to just logging what you eat, you may want to also log where you were, how you felt, your hunger level before and after and perhaps who you were eating with as well. By doing this you will find there are certain situations that increase your stress level and may also cause you to mindlessly eat.
4.Log The Way That Works For You
There are many ways to log your food intake. Different methods work better for different people and the best method you can use is the one you can stick to. You can try logging your food on paper, on your laptop, on your phone notes, or using a specific macronutrient/calorie tracking app. Try out different methods and stick with the one that fits best into your lifestyle and preferences!
The best way to log your food intake is as you go throughout the day or even prior to actually eating the meal you are going to log. You may find that you tell yourself it is easier to log your intake all at once at the end of the day, but this forces you to rely on your memory and perhaps leaves you eating over what you planned to eat for the day. If you log as you go, you can see where you’re at for the day and make the best food choices for later. Pulling out your food log can also help you pause and check-in with yourself prior to eating something you may not truly want.