Almost everyone at some point in their life goes on a diet; but what is a diet? Many people would tell you a diet is nothing less than a self-induced form of torture, to create an image that most of us cannot maintain over the long run. Instead of thinking of dieting as an end result, what if we think about it as a multi-facet tool to help us achieve one aspect of our overall goals. How we approach tracking or handling our diet is as important as the foods we eat. There are many ways to track how much and what you eat. Here are some my favorites.
Track whatever is important to you. Not just what you eat, but when you ate or how you felt before you ate.
Keep track of all the foods/calories you avoided (rewards list).
Most importantly measure your food; how many ounces or cups. You would be surprised on how many people incorrectly estimate how much food they ate. It’s not only what you ate, but how much. Bottom line is still calories in / calories out.
Write down only the foods you over ate.
Track all the foods you avoided. You can add up all the pounds you saved yourself!
Write down the foods you are about to eat BEFORE you eat.
If you have time to eat it, you have time to write it down.
Observational and Personal techniques
Match yourself with the slowest eater at the table. You will find that they put their utensil down during the meal, and they are more interested in the conversation than the meal itself, and they eat slower.
Make sure you put your fork or spoon down while you are eating. If you noticed that the utensil has never left you hand during a meal you probably at too fast or too much.
Tighten your belt one or two notches or wear an outfit that is a little tight on you. I promise you that you will not want to overeat if you do this.
Drink water before and during your meals. This will fill you up.
Brush your teeth immediately after dinner. This will help stop you from snacking afterwards.
Never skip breakfast. You don’t have to be a big breakfast eater, but if you eat just a piece of fruit and some yogurt or one serving of oatmeal, this sets your system up for the rest of the day. If you skip breakfast you will start eating too much at a meal and then starving yourself. This is not the way to be successful.
Take a picture of your food before you eat. At the end of the day review your pictures of the meals that you ate for the day. This video diary is a great way to get an overview of how much you are eating.