There are a lot of diets out there. Keto, Weight Watchers, and more. We are constantly hearing about them and watching commercials offering us information about them. Sometimes it is a bit overwhelming to constantly be learning about how to lose weight. The truth is that no one thing works for everyone. Being in ketosis or doing a no-carb diet may work for some but won’t work for all.

The old hack that we always come back to is simply moderation and a food journal. Counting calories and having to write it down will help you make better choices because you are responsible for recording it. You will also know exactly what you are putting in your mouth because you are keeping tabs on the numbers.

Your food journal should include the following:

What you ate

How much of it that you ate

When you ate it

How many calories and carbohydrates (at least, you could identify other pieces of data on the nutrition of your food) are included

Weekly weigh-in

It may not be easy to start food journaling because it will take some time, but it will offer you helpful information about your habits. You will soon start to realize maybe you eat too much of one thing and not enough of another. Maybe there is not enough color in your diet. Or maybe you need to eat more consistently throughout the day instead of all in one large meal. This is good data because you can start to shift and make healthier choices.

Some helpful information about food journaling that you should remember:

Do not expect to have memorized everything you ate at the end of the day. Try to journal throughout the day so you do not miss anything and think you have more calories left to eat than you really do. This is where we start to eat more than we may need to or want to.

Know the portion sizes and stick to them. Of course, moderation is everything, but eat more of the vegetables and fruits and less of the potatoes! If you need to measure your food to be precise, that is okay. Meal preparation will help you with this! You could even get some really fun containers to use.

Consult with your doctor about how many calories and carbohydrates per day your body needs to be properly fueled but able to lose weight. Depending on your height, weight, and activity level, this will be different for everyone. Please do not assume that it is safe to just cut your diet in half. Make sure you are getting professional guidance so that you are being healthy and fair to your body. Remember, it is the only skin you get to live in.

What I have always loved about food journaling is that it holds me accountable without having to change my life a lot. I can simply be more mindful of my choices and make better ones to lose weight. This is the hack that we always come back to. Maybe it will work for you too!

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