I am such an emotional eater (I wonder how many Amens I’ll get on that one). If I am having a good day, I want a cheeseburger. If I am having a bad day, I want a cheeseburger. I love food! In fact, just writing this makes me want to rummage through my snacks.
I have always been pretty athletic. But it is no secret that exercise is no replacement for a poor diet. You can do a million crunches, but if you eat a million cookies—it is counter productive. The past few years, I have struggled to find balance. The balance between eating reasonably and not depriving myself of exactly what I want to eat.
As I have gotten older, I have been forced to do things differently. I have noticed the full order of Outback Cheese Fries and the ‘Love It’ Birthday Cake Remix from Cold Stone, did not seem to melt off the way it did in my 20’s. I had to workout harder and longer—and let’s face it—ain’t nobody got time for that. Literally, life takes over, and time is limited.
About six months ago, I began diligently keeping a food diary. I say “diligently” because I have tried it in the past, but after a few of weeks, I would forget a couple of days…and that was the end of the experiment.
But now, it is a lifestyle. There are countless benefits to keeping a food diary. These simply touch the surface.
- It keeps you honest. How many times have you had a sweet tooth…a hankering for some brownies (specifically the crispy edges), but you forgot that you ate the White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake when you met a friend for lunch? If only you had written it down…
- It takes the guessing game out of it. Have you come home from work without a clue of what you would prepare for dinner? If only you had written it down…
- It can jump start your healthy eating journey. You can’t figure out why you feel sluggish? You can’t get rid of the final 5 lbs? You can’t track down what it is you’re eating that’s causing high cholesterol or diabetic symptoms? If only you had written it down…
If you want to jump on the food diary train, there is no need to get fancy with it. Just get a journal or a binder. You could even keep track in your cell phone notes. When you get a little more involved or interested in tracking even closer, you could advance to various smartphone apps. I love ‘My Fitness Pal.’ It is incredibly easy to use and it breaks down what you’re eating to the letter.
So, here’s a challenge for you. Give it shot. It will take some focus on your part. It will take some time out of your day. But what that diary produces, will make the sweetest pudding.