There is a popular axiom that states, “you can’t manage what you don’t measure.”
Many people who are overweight are unaware of what they actually consume on a daily basis. Starting a food journal is one of the simplest and most effective ways to begin making healthy choices. Start by documenting everything that you have eaten over the past couple of days. Be honest; there is no sense lying to yourself.
A large part of this process is being willing to face the unpleasant realities that we previously ignored. You can do a manual food journal by documenting everything in a notebook or you can use one of the many online food journals or smart phone apps that are out there. I recommend the app because it’s convenient and contains all of the nutritional information, making it very easy to use. The Calorie Counter App by FatSecret.com is a great option, but again there are many to choose from so find one that works best for you. Once you have the app (or a notebook) document each food item and the amount that you eat along with the general time of the day that you ate it (morning, late morning, afternoon, late afternoon, evening, late evening). Don’t forget to include your drinks: soda (pop), juices, beer/wine (unfortunately these contain calories too).
After you have added all of the food items, look at the total calories and nutritional values for each day, if you are doing it the old-fashioned way and using a notebook, you will have to manually look up the nutritional information for each item and do some math; either way the results may surprise you. The most important part of this exercise is becoming aware of what you are putting into your body. Armed with that information, you can begin to make some changes.
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