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 The Low Carb Luxury Online Magazine   GeniSoy’s Low Carb Crunch Bars
    August 2004    Page 1       > About LCL Magazine     > Cover Page      > Inside Cover    Feature Pages:   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11  12  13  14     

Feature Articles
 Keeping a Food Diary
 Cooking With Rhubarb
 Notes From The Field
 Shop Since You've Dropped
 Here's What's New!
 I Have a Metabolism?
 Jonny Bowden Weighs In
 Flawless Summer Skin!
 Dining at 14,000 Feet
 Makeup Tips: Part Two
 Open Letter from CarbSmart
 Not Losing Weight?
 The Sugar Alcohol Question
 Make Your Summer Spicy!




          Keeping a Food Diary by Debbie Judd, RN

Debbie Judd is a nurse for Drs. Michael and Mary Dan Eades authors of Protein Power. Debbie writes for Body Trends, as well as with the Eades answering literally hundreds of emails, phone calls and letters regarding the Protein Power plan.


Whether it's changing the way you eat for optimal health and/or weight, adding or engaging in more exercise, or giving up old habits of any nature — your odds of success increase four times if you'll commit your goals to writing and keep a careful record of your progress. Studies have shown that when you're trying to make a lifestyle change — journaling is recommended for that very specific reason-success! Researchers at the National Weight Control Registry reviewed the records of over 2,000 people who successfully kept their weight loss goal for more than 5 years. What was the common thread amongst the dieters? During their weight loss period, they all kept a meticulous food journal of everything they ate at each meal, all snacks, and everything they drank throughout the day. They also weighed in only once a week.

Changing eating patterns is not easy — it's a discipline that you have to stay with — all day and every day. A food journal book will help you maintain that discipline and allow you to review and analyze your results as you proceed down your path to success.

How to use a Food Journal

Assessment: Review your current eating habits including how, when and what you typically eat. Remember to include the good habits too. It's not a bad idea to document your clothes sizes and your measurements. The scale doesn't always "tell the truth" and you may be loosing inches but the scale isn't budging.

Next summarize what it is you want to change. Be realistic with what it is you really want. Intense desire is an important motivator so be honest with yourself about what commitments you are willing to make. The more specific the goals you set, the better the chance of hitting the target. Do you want to start eating breakfast everyday, do you want to eat only at the table and not in the car or on the run, and do you want to stop snacking in between meals, drink more water? These are all potential goals to commit to.

Gather pictures of yourself and hang on your mirror, next to pictures of someone you would like to look like. Keep your journal with you — everywhere you go. Record everything that you eat and drink as it actually occurs or any other goals you have committed to. Not what you intended to eat or do.

Make your entries after finishing each meal or snack and not at the end of the day. With busy lives and distracted minds we often forget what we ate just 4 hours ago — especially the little piece of candy that you snuck from the candy jar as you were walking by. Just the act of writing everything down will make you think twice about eating it and in a sense you become your own "food police." A food count book to carry with your journal is helpful for finding calculations you're not sure about. A small carry case, bag or a purse that fits your journal and food count book will facilitate keeping these items with you at all times.

Plan your meals if possible. A meal planner worksheet such as the one here, will teach you to prepare and plan to expect what you are going to eat. Spontaneous, mindless eating without a focus on what appropriate portion sizes should be or what our requirements of protein, carbohydrate and fat grams are, sets us up for excessive consumption of calories beyond what is even imaginable. Distractions can alter our plans, so this may not be possible, but disciplining yourself to follow through with your commitment — to eat what you have planned, solidifies good habit changes. Ideally, plan your meals when not hungry or when feeling satiated — like after a meal.

Whenever you can schedule it, sit down and make a meal planner sheet for each day. Some individuals find it easier to plan their meals for the week on their day off. This enables you to create a shopping list based on your meal plans. No need to buy "junk" food if it isn't on your shopping list.

Analyze and record your results. At the end of each day, calculate your intake in calories and grams. This method allows you to see any "danger spots" throughout your day and make appropriate changes. Write down comments regarding physical and mental symptoms that may be indicators of poor diet choices. Cravings, hungry all the time, mental fogginess, low physical energy may be symptoms related to dietary intake, or the lack of proper nutrients. Record your weight once a week as well as your measurements. Choose the same day and time each week. When reviewing each days dietary intake, your will see if your daily goals match up to your weekly weight loss goals. If not, then make the necessary adjustments for the next week. This way, you should be able to see consistent results and you won't go in the "wrong direction" for too long a period before realizing adjustments need to be made. Review your goals and commitments each day. Focus on your progress each week, not perfection.

You will be as successful as your level of commitment. Your journal is a success tool. Use it daily!

                                                           Debbie Judd, RN

Copyright © August 2004  Debbie Judd, RN and Low Carb Luxury


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