If there is one thing that every single one of my clients has in common, it’s the struggle with this one thing before we start working together…
That one thing is CONSISTENCY in their diet from day to day.
Naturally, our bodies send us hunger signals that help us to eat the right amount of food for healthy balance.
However, we are emotional beings so we often eat for reasons other than just energy.
That, combined with our how food products have changed over the past hundred years to be more calorie dense and less nutritious, means that we often overeat or under-eat, unintentionally.
And, it’s different day to day.
Our intake is often up and down and all over the place depending on our schedule, our emotions, and our food habits, which makes eating for weight loss pretty difficult.
Not to mention, that it is totally possible to at a super healthy diet, but not see the weight loss that you want😱. I explained why in my last blog post, check it out here.
So, what can you do to bring more consistency, keep yourself mindful of your choices, and level up your accountability with your food choices?
Track your food!
Helps to bring your attention to what you are eating and make mindful choices.
By logging what you are eating everyday, you can’t just mindlessly munch on whatever sounds good or masks your emotions. You have to pause, and write it down which gives yourself the chance to reflect if you are eating out of hunger or for another reason. Simply taking the time to check in with yourself can help you to stay more connected to your body’s hunger cues and give yourself time to respond rationally.
Helps you to notice if your day is heading in the direction of not-so-nourishing.
With how busy we are, sometimes it’s hard to remember what we had for breakfast! But when it’s on paper, you can look back and evaluate on the health-factor of your diet for that day. Are you lacking veggies? Can you balance out your higher carb breakfast with a hit of protein at lunch? Being able to see the whole day in one place will help you to make sure that it is balanced and overall, health-promoting.
Encourages consistency day-to-day.
When it’s all recorded, you can look back and compare your days throughout the week. Notice patterns of high or low days, and work to bring balance and consistency back. Weight loss is easier when our intake is consistent, because our metabolic hormones aren’t fluctuating so much.
Food Tracking Methods:
Start a food journal
Grab a notebook, and use each page to record a day’s worth of what you ate. Old-school pen and paper is fine, especially if you are just starting the mindful diet process, and you are just starting to look more reflectively at your daily intake.
Use a macro-tracking app
When you start to hone in on your body’s calorie needs, you will want to make sure that the consistency is established within a calorie range that is appropriate for your body and your goals. There are several apps available that make this tracking process super easy. I use MyFitnessPal, but others include Lifesum and Lose It!
*A note about tracking apps… because they are a computer program running on an algorithm, they often underestimate the amount of calories that you need to reach your goals. Under eating can cause nearly as many problems, in the long-term, as over eating, so be wary to not set your calorie target too low. I recommend that, as a full grown adult, no one takes their calorie target lower than 1500 cals, ever. If you need more help establishing your appropriate calorie target, shoot me an email, and we can set up a nutrition consultation call*
The whole process of tracking your food is meant to be a mindful exercise to keep yourself consistent and accountable during your weight loss efforts. (NOT something to obsess over or to shackle yourself to)
It encourages changes toward more healthy eating, and those changes add up over time to bring you the results you are looking for!
The biggest obstacle, when you first start tracking, will be to get into the habit of doing it! It takes several repetitions (21, they say) to create a new habit, so keep at it for several weeks, and it will feel like second nature. To take the accountability to another level, grab a calendar of the month, a big red marker, and X off each day that you successfully track your food to that appropriate range. It feels so good to see the whole month crossed off at the end!
Need more help with healthy food choices and getting started? Make sure to grab all of my free resources and join the email list to stay up to date with tons of weekly tips and tricks!
Always here to help you and cheer you on!