Keep a food diary for 3 days. Write down every single item that you put into your mouth. The more accurate it is, the more you will learn about your eating pattern. Include all food, water, drinks, added salt, added sugar, candies, gum, condiments, sports drinks, alcohol, and even the “just a taste or nibble”.
On a sheet of paper, make seven columns with the titles, Meal/Snack, Time, Description, Amount, Location, Hunger Level, and Mood.
In the first column, record whether it was a meal or snack (include beverages).
In the second column, record the time you ate.
In the third column, write a brief description of the food (was it broiled, fried, breaded, did it have condiments, etc.)
In the fourth column, record the amount you ate (2 chicken legs, 2 cups potato chips) tip: you may want to invest in an inexpensive food scale to learn portion sizes
In the fifth column, record your location (kitchen table, at desk, in car)
In sixth column, record your hunger lever on a scale of 1-5 (5 = starving)
In the final column, record your mood (happy, angry, bored, anxious)
After you have recorded your diary, decide what your worst habit is.
Do you eat at your desk? Do you skip meals? Maybe you drink to many sodas or snack late at night. Are you an emotional eater? Whatever your worst habit is, that is the one you want to focus on for the rest of the week.
For example, if you normally do not eat breakfast, at least twice within the remainder of the week. Have whole wheat toast w/Natural Peanut Butter, or a Yogurt with berries. If you need a “take along” breakfast, make a smoothie with yogurt, frozen berries, banana, milk of choice – though in a handful of spinach for extra nutrients.
If you would like to continue keeping a food diary, you can find many templates on Pinterest.
Make healthier swaps –
If you drink a soda or other sugary drink every day, begin replacing the soda with an unsweetened beverage, such as unsweetened tea, or water.
If you are eating a lot of fast food, start packing your lunch and snacks.
If you are snacking late at night, choose fruit instead of chips.
If you have to eat at your desk, turn the computer off and focus entirely on your meal.
If you find that, you are eating because you are bored or sad, find a distraction instead – call a friend or take a walk.
If you are eating off your child’s unfinished plate, mix the food together and make it look unappealing.
Next, pick a yellow-orange food to incorporate it into your menu this week. Try something new to you. Add one yellow food to a meal each day. Foods with a yellow hue contain the antioxidant beta-cryptoxanthin, which appears to reduce the risk for some cancers and rheumatoid arthritis.
Such foods are yellow bell peppers, butternut squash, honeydew melon, apricots, tangerines, oranges, papaya or peaches.
Now, MOVE IT!
Begin walking for 30 minutes, five times this week, at a moderate intensity. If you find this difficult, begin with 15 minutes and work up to 30 minutes.
If you are more advanced, add an interval day into your training: example: on a treadmill, run as fast as you can for 30 seconds, then recover at a slower pace for 90 seconds. Repeat 5 times. You can find some other HIIT challenges in the cardio section of the blog.
You can also find daily workouts on our Facebook page Get Fit Naturally
That is week one, focus on finding your worst habit, and changing that one pattern. Try one new food, and begin your exercise program with walking. You are on your way to a healthier lifestyle!
What will be your toughest habit to change?