As you mill around yet another groaning buffet table at yet another holiday party, are you thinking about eating that piece of fudge, biting into another cocktail wienie, or perhaps imbibing some holiday spirits? Consider this: the simple act of writing it down will help you think twice before acting, something that may be especially helpful this time of year.
With this feasting, festive holiday season, it is the perfect time to find a pen and pad and start logging your food and drink. The process both increases your awareness of what you're eating and causes a delay between impulse and action. This combination often helps you to eat less junk. It also helps to write down why you want to eat and to assess your true level of hunger. Most of us don't make the connection between how we are feeling and why we are eating. Also, many social situations and customary cues compel us to eat on command without considering whether our bodies actually crave nourishment. When you determine what feelings and situations trigger you to eat, you will begin to understand why you are doing it. You might find substitute behaviors once you assess your triggers over a short period of time.
If you only have a problem with eating during a certain time period, such as while you're at work, you may choose to log only during that time. Once you've decided when to log, mark your calendar for a set number of days to keep your log. For example, you might want to log throughout the month of January.
A very valuable tool you can use (I use it frequently) is: http://www.nutritiondata.com/ . This site provides complete nutrient profiles of thousands of foods and beverages. You might choose to keep track of calories, fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. This site also tells you the vitamin and mineral content of foods. Especially useful is the ability to adjust the portion sizes for quick and convenient calculations.
Also, be sure to make a note when you decide NOT to eat or drink something! You'll soon realize how much you were eating unconsciously, and why. Soon you will find that logging what you eat and drink is one of the most powerful tools available to help you avoid the holiday bulge, along with keeping up with your Arc Trainer and strength workouts of course!
Have a happy and healthy holiday!
Fitness enthusiast and guest blogger