TO EAT OR NOT TO EAT? Confessions from a group trainer on the north side of Brisbane.
Due to flu I recently stopped exercising for 3 weeks and began comfort eating. Unfortunately it was an easy habit to fall back in to. The net result was a gain of nearly 3 kilos in weight over the last 6 weeks. Why am I admitting to this? Because we’re all human – no matter what your profession or life mantra might be.
So this week I made a pact with myself to (a) clean out the fridge/freezer of anything that might be considered processed food, (b) take stock of items in the pantry and either donate items to the local food bank or throw them out, and (c) start keeping a food diary again.
Why a food diary? I’ve done this before. It’s a great way to track what you are eating and when with often surprising results. For example, because I use an old fashioned diary (you remember those – the paper and pen thing) which I keep on my kitchen bench, I make it a habit of writing what I’m about to eat before I eat it. I personally think a pen and paper solution is better than any app or device, as it forces you to slow down and think, then if you leave it open at a place you visit regularly (usually the kitchen for me) you can’t ignore or hide from it.
Additionally for me it forces me to think about what I’m putting in my mouth before I do it using the “write before you eat” method. My thoughts during this process are:
- Am I actually hungry?
- Am I thirsty? (a lot of people mistake thirst for hunger)
- Am I eating because I want to, not because I need to? (ie: seeing food as fuel not comfort)
- If I am hungry, what will keep me satisfied for the longest period of time?
- Am I going to use the energy from whatever I am choosing to eat today?
The basic premises for all weight matters is: energy out must equal or be greater than energy in.
Keeping a food diary, drinking plenty of water (bodyweight x .033 is the calculation of how many litres per day you should be drinking) mentally logging the fact that I’m eating because I’m restless or bored, and choosing foods that satisfy my hunger (ie: whole unprocessed foods) but not eating until I’m full, is the only way I’ve found to kick my bad habits to the kerb and get back on track.
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