Monday, January 24, 2011

Food diary and structured eating - weight loss tools

Tracking food
Around the weight loss/health and fitness blog arena, many people blog their food daily, others keep food diaries elsewhere, while others actually have blogs where they not only blog what they ate, but also post pictures of everything they ate and even give out recipes to their favourites! Which by the way I think rocks and have always wished I could emulate.

Been there, but can't stay long
For a little bit last year I was on sparkpeople and it felt great to be able to visualize in numbers exactly what I was eating. I could tell roughly the amount of calories I was taking in and see the breakdown according to nutrients, etc. I've also kept a 'hard copy' food diary from time to time. But, all in all, I never last too long on it, or if I last a couple of weeks I have some meals, some whole days here and there skipped.
Going back and thinking about it, it is because I do not have a structured way of eating, if I may call it that. There are times when I cook ahead for the whole week, and that makes it easy to have some order or control over what I'm eating. The rest of the time I'm picking at different things and just making a whole mess such that at the end of the day it's difficult to even start writing down what I've eaten. Writing things down before eating them would be awfully hard, but possibly it may be a tool to make me think more about what I'm eating before I eat. Except I probably wouldn't even remember to do it all the time! So, fo rme food diarizing in any way is close to impossible long term.

So, how to I introduce more structure into my eating?
I really want less picking at any and every thing and changing my mind about what to eat at the last minute, which means I end up eating something I 'shouldn't' eat. I'm very experimental - I mean I like to experiment. I like to try new recipes and new foods all the time, which makes it hard to keep eating the same things all the time. But I've been trying to lose weight for a long time. I think it's about time I made some serious change and introduce some serious structure in the way I eat to see any progress.Here's what I'm thinking:
  • I'm going to work out what I want to eat that I feel I can't absolutely go without for long
  • Then I'm going to assess how I can make myself a weekly menu out of those items, taking into account their nutritional content
  • Then I'm going to follow that menu week after week
  • Review and change if necessary, but change only if necessary
This means I'm going to have to put aside my experimental ways for a bit; stop trying new things and only go with what works. I know many people have lost weight thay way, and really it doesn't take rock science to tell that consistency works a charm when it comes to weight loss.

So, my immediate future is going to include a lot of fresh juice, until I feel it's time to evaluate and make changes. I will be eating real food too!

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