Thursday, 10 May 2012

Tip Number 2. Reviewing your food diary.

Well, how did you find your food diary? Ok, boring or interesting? Next have a look through and ask yourself the following questions. It may be easier to write the answers under three columns. What is working well, what isn't working so well and what needs to change. Here is an example from a client.

What is working well.             What isn't working well.                  What needs to change
Good, high fibre breakfasts.    10x chocolate elevensies                                  Healthier elevensies            
Ok lunch.                                               Pkts Crisps x four                                                   Swap lower fat crisps
Some fruit and veg                        Several biscuits whilst cooking                  Carry healthier snacks,fruit
Didn't crave foods                          Cream cakes x2 and 5 glasses wine            Limit alcohol to 2/3 glasses
Drank some water                          Drank high calorie hot chocolate                wine
                                                                                                                                                                       Drink more water
                                                                                                                                                                       More fruit, veggies and dips                                                                                                                      

Of course, all of our eating patterns will be different but but you need to think about where the extra calories are coming from.  Is it the elevensies, snatched snacks whilst busy, bored, angry or  otherwise? Is there a pattern to late afternoon being a low spot when you reach for the chocolate bars?  If we were honest most of us will have an idea where the calories are stacking up. Even with alcohol it may not be the amount but the relaxing effect that sends us heading for the peanuts and chocolate and conveniently forgetting about it!
Next you need to make a plan and make sure you actually buy more of the foods required in column three. This may sound obvious but you'd be surprised at the amount of people who buy the same things every week almost on automatic pilot. Make sure you have healthy snacks to hand. Write down your meals for the week and pick off one item in the last column to change within a week. Consider each aspect of the planned change ie do you need substitute items either healthy snacks or smoothies for drinks. Imagine buying and eating or drinking your substitute. Review your progress on a daily basis.
For the next week, I'd like you to monitor your exercise in a similar fashion. The easiest way is to buy and use a pedometer as this measures the number of steps you take very accurately . Make a note of your activity and the numbers of steps every day for the next week along with your progress towards your planned change.  Remember much of what you are doing is going to be fine. You are simply fine tuning your eating and drinking patterns and developing better habits. Good luck and check in again soon.!

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