Have you ever stepped on the scale and been surprised to see that you weigh more than you thought? Have you ever tried to pull on your favorite skinny jeans and have them not fit after a summer/fall of shorts? Have you ever had this dilemma and thought “but I’ve been eating well and dancing most days of the week?” – How did this happen?
Maybe you’ve been taking in more calories than you’ve been burning. A good way to see what’s been happening is to start keeping a food journal. The concept of a food journal can be daunting to some. It sounds hard to have to record everything, even if it is “just a bite of cake.” But it doesn’t take long to do and there are even cool smartphone apps out there if you never have paper handy.
Doing this journal for a week can help you see what you are eating. This is beneficial from several standpoints. First, it will allow you to see whether you are getting adequate nutrition. Do you eat enough vegetables, or does your diet consist mostly of carbs? Secondly, it will help you see the quantity you take in both in terms of calories and amounts of servings. Are you sedentary? Then you will need take in fewer calories than someone who dances who needs more fuel to be able to exercise.
With Thanksgiving right around the corner, take the time for this next week to keep a food log so you can see where you are. My challenge – continue your journal through the holidays to document where your weaknesses are so that you can be more mindful. Say you have a glass of wine but are trying to lose weight – that’s your dessert for the day. Do you go to a birthday party and eat cake? How many servings of pie did you have on Thanksgiving and Black Friday? Those calories add up. 1 pound is 3,500 calories. If you don’t compensate for your splurges or exercise to negate the extra calories you take in then you’ll end up with more than just a food baby after the holidays passes.
The holidays are often times when people want to indulge. But consider this trick for this year – how about indulge in your company of family and friends. Be mindful of your servings and if you need that leftover pecan pie slice for breakfast then watch what you eat the rest of the day. Try convincing your party to go for a light digestive-promoting walk after the big meal.
And the best part of having kept your food journal is you will have a wonderful record of all your holiday festive fun.