In Part 1 of The Write Way to Weight Loss we learned how a baseline food journal can help you to keep track of a “typical” week of food choices and exercise. In the second half, you will learn the importance of setting priorities to ensure your success in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Set your priorities based on your goals.
Now that you have set up a baseline food journal, you can determine your priorities for what you want to work on. Do you make healthy food choices when you eat alone, but go overboard when you are with friends? Does your weekday routine keep you focused on making healthy choices, but the weekend weakens your willpower? Do you choose fast food over healthy real food and taste? Here are some important things to consider:
- What motivation do you have for eating? Are you eating for emotional reasons or are you truly hungry?
- Are your meals well-balanced and are the servings an appropriate size? If not, then make changes.
- What are your eating intervals? Do you skip breakfast then overindulge for lunch or dinner? Eating smaller portions more often during the day will keep your energy level high and will prevent you from overeating.
Compare your eating habits to healthy habits recommended by experts such as: obtaining 25 grams of fiber per day, curbing your fat intake to 35 percent of your calorie intake, and eating fewer calories than your body burns daily. Then continue to track what is important to you even if it involves elaborate detail or simple information.
You may notice that keeping a food journal may make you uncomfortable because it forces you to look at what you ate during the day—a chocolate shake for lunch, popcorn with extra butter, or a heaping helping of mash potatoes that we regretted as soon as we inhaled it. No pain, no gain. Seeing all the foods you’ve eaten in black-and-white, may cause you pain, but pain may incite the changes you need to make healthy eating a way of life. Using a food journal consistently, can be the catalyst for that change.