Monday, May 23, 2005

Food

I'm really mad at myself. I've been eating like a pig lately. I'm going to make a conscious effort to start eating healthfully. Here are some tips I'm going to follow that I thought might be useful for other people wanting to get on the right track.
1. Keep a food journal. You can see how much you eat and what you eat. Be honest. Also, take notes of when you're eating, how hungry you were, and what you felt like. This can help you pinpoint whether you're eating b/c you're hungry or bored or depressed.
2. Use calories like a budget. You have a fixed amount you can use each day. Spend them wisely. Instead of eating chips or cookies, try to eat something satisfying and nutritious to meet your daily requirements.
3. Exercise. This will help keep everything in check. This is like putting money in the bank.
4. Eat 5-6 small meals a day. You shouldn't feel hungry. Don't starve yourself. You're more likely to overeat and make bad decisions when you're ravenous. Also, if you consisently deny yourself calories, your body goes into "starvation mode" and your metabolism slows, slowing weight loss.
5. Make small, consistent changes--slowly. There is no such word as "diet." You have to eat right every day the rest of your life. So make them bearable. 1 week, replace soda with water. After that gets easier, try eating whole grain bread instead of white and so on.
6. Before you eat, make sure you're hungry. Evaluate your hunger on a scale of 1 to 10. If you're 6 or above, eat something. Otherwise, you might just be bored. Not sure? Try taking a walk or knitting or doing another activity for 20 minutes. If you're still thinking of food afterwards, have a snack.
7. Leave room in your calorie budget for your favorite foods. There is no such thing as a forbidden or bad food. This will only intensify your craving for it, leading to a binge later on down the road. If you love chocolate, dole out 2-3 mini Hershey bars (the kind you get on Halloween) and enjoy.
8. Eat slowly. It takes 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain that your full. Your less likely to overeat if you savor your food. On the same note, don't overeat. Listen to your body. Stop eating when your full, not stuffed.
9. Get lots of sleep and try to de-stress every day with something enjoyable, like Yoga, meditation, a bath, or a quiet walk, even if it's only for 10 minutes.
10. If you have a bad day, don't despair. 1 pound is 3500 excess calories so it's probably impossible that you can do enough damage in 1 day to affect your weight. The next day, re-evaluate and start fresh. Maybe you can cut back a little or exercise a little more the next few days to burn off the excess. Everyone has a bad day. It's okay.

3 comments:

Kevin said...

this is great stuff!

i went crazy this past weekend myself. i went out of town and had a mcdonald's burger and fries friday night and a wendy's burger and fries as well as two candy bars sunday...it was crazy and way out of the norm for me.

it is getting to be crunch time for my florida trip (little over three weeks away)...i decided after this past weekend's caloric massacre that i am buckling down. (i actually lost 1.7% of my body fat last month, and i want to lose another 1% by florida.)

i was actually planning on doing a health related entry today (i have been thinking it through since this morning...probably about my buckling down), is it alright for me to reference this blog entry, or copy and paste it (giving you credit of course) in my entry for today?

do you always keep a food journal? i have heard people suggest that before, but i am always on the go, and dont think to take the time to write down what i ate. i usually track the calories/fat grams in my head through the day.

Rachel said...

I keep a food journal sometimes. When I feel like I've been eating really unhealthily. However, I kind of have a body image disorder so I try not to b/c I become a little OCD about it, and it's not good for me.

amyreinink said...

"I'm really mad at myself. I've been eating like a pig lately." Man, who hasn't felt like this? I love your common-sense approach, especially your reminder that a single day or weekend of pigging out is unlikely to affect your weight. It really is the cumulative good decisions we make — it sounds like you're setting yourself up for many good decisions in the future!