There are so many things on my “challenge list” for 2018, that I had trouble deciding which habit to tackle this month. Take a photography class? Learn a new sport? Even de-cluttering closets sounds more exciting than food tracking. But right now, changing my eating habits is what I need most. And my guess is that a lot of you have that same goal on your resolution list.
why food tracking?
You are probably wondering why food tracking instead of losing weight or eating healthy. Simple. Food tracking is do-able. Let me explain. Do I want to eat healthy? Of course. And we all know what that would consist of:
- clean foods over processed ones
- more fruits & veggies
- less sugar & white flour
- smaller portions / no overeating
I could easily post a list of dos and don’ts on my fridge. But then life becomes complicated. Reading labels. Counting calories. Following rules. Setting myself up for failure, maybe?
Do I want to lose weight? Either that or grow 5 inches taller, and I doubt that will happen. So yes. I’m up for shedding a few pounds. But when I think weight loss, I think diet. And the word diet implies a temporary solution. I want better eating habits… for life. It’s not just thin I’m after; it’s healthy.
Food tracking, however, is not only a lot less complicated than trying to adhere to a long list of rules or becoming a slave to scales. Food tracking for 30 days will force you to become more cognizant of your eating habits. And gaining an awareness of your food choices (their caloric & nutritional values) is the first step towards change.
best way to do it
There are lots of food diaries and calorie counting programs available, but I personally have the most success with Weight Watchers Online. First of all, it’s convenient. No paper or pens, just a little button on your phone, so it’s easy to track your meals as you eat them. Secondly (and this is the very cool part), Weight Watchers does the thinking for you. You are given a suggested amount of daily & weekly points. If you use all your points on Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls (you can see what’s on my mind), you’ll soon discover that’s not a good strategy. You see, Weight Watchers calculates the points of food based on a a variety of things – calories, fat, protein & other nutritional elements. For example, fruits & veggies have zero points, so you can have as many as you’d like. All you need to do is remember to record your meals and snacks; as you learn what “eats up” the most points and what food is “free,” you begin to naturally gravitate towards healthier choices. For these reasons, Weight Watchers is my preferred tool, but there are lots of options to check out.
a few good tips
If you are interested in delving deeper into a healthy eating regime, check out Lisa Leake’s 100 Days of Real Food. You can check out her website, too, and even join her 100 day challenge. You can read my reviews on three more books that I’ve found tremendously informative and impactful here.
I also love this simple idea for making sure you drink enough water throughout the day. I fill my Brita water pitcher every morning and try to have it finished by the end of the day.
some kick-ass motivation
Do whatever you need to do to stay motivated! I find saving inspirational quotes on a personal Pinterest board helps me. A few good quotes to get you started…
Want to learn more about the magic of setting 30 day challenges? Read this post.
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