This post is dedicated to my cousins. I saw them at my sister’s wedding and they had lots of questions for me and this topic is one that came up. Below is a picture of me, my sister, mom, aunt and cousins from a Christmas long ago!
How many times have you heard someone say “I don’t eat that bad” when they are talking about trying to lose weight? I hear it all the time and there was a time when I was saying the exact same thing. Chances are you probably are eating that bad and you don’t realize it. So what’s the best way to figure it out? Start a food journal.
I started keeping a food journal when I first started on my clean eating journey (which is why I have 3 journals in the picture, I’m close to needing a new one!). Wondering what I write? I record each meal I have throughout the day (include times when starting out), serving sizes and my workout (ex: chest & biceps and 30 min cardio). This is a great way to actually see what you are eating. You can see if you are eating enough proteins, too many carbs, too much fruit, too little food or too much food. You want to try and stick to a protein, carb, veggies and fruit for each meal. An example is you may just eat cereal with milk and a glass of orange just for breakfast. You may notice that about an hour after that you are starving and eating again. This can be a result of not having any protein with your breakfast. A good fix would be to change it to non-fat greek yogurt with granola (look at the box and stick to the serving size) and fruit on top. You now have a complete meal consisting of a protein, carb and fruit.
Tracking serving sizes and the times you eat can tell a lot. So many of us eat convenience foods and we grab a box of this or a bag of that and before we know it the whole thing is gone. Start paying attention to serving sizes and you will be surprised at what it actually is verses what we consume. If you are only eating 3 meals a day and not having a morning and afternoon snack you will probably consume more than you should at meal time because you are so hungry. Adding 2 snacks in keeps your metabolism running at a regular rate and prevents bingeing. You may find that you are constantly eating all day and realize that you need to cut it to 3 meals and 2 snacks. Believe it or not eating too little can give the same results as eating too much. If you are only eating twice a day your body is in starvation mode and is holding onto everything you put in.
At the end of the day all of our bodies run differently but the common denominator is we all should be eating clean, healthy, unprocessed food 5-6 times per day. Keeping a food journal can open your eyes to your eating habits and let you see where you need to make changes. The key is keeping yourself honest… write down everything you eat! Even that handful of cheese snacks that you had while getting your kids snacks together!
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