Friday, February 25, 2011

Change It Up Challenge #3 - Food Log

I have learned from sad experience that diets do not work for me. Well, actually they do...for the week or so that I can handle being on them. Then I counter all the good effects it might have had the next week when I go the opposite direction and stuff my face with all the sugar in sight. Once I stayed on a strict diet for almost four whole weeks and lost about 11 pounds. Problem was that the diet made me so cranky that I gained back about 7 within a week or two. So diets and I, due to our history, just aren't on the best of terms.

But something had to be done. My doctor told me I needed to shed ten pounds all the way back in August, and I've only permanently shed about 4 (thank you Biggest Loser Competion!). So, instead of trying the usual diet-for-a-week then binge-for-the-next-two (or five), I decided to try a different tactic: writing down everything I eat. I tried this all the way back in high school, when I was trying to improve my dancing ability for musical. It seemed to work pretty well, too. But that was also, of course, before I bought all my own food and made all of my own meals. And before I lived with roommates who like to make cookies and brownies every other day.

So I started the food log this week. At first, I didn't count any calories or try to modify my diet at all--I figured the sheer fact that I had to write down every bite that went through my lips might encourage me to allow fewer things through them. And it worked, kinda. Instead of eating the 10 pieces of chocolate offered to me during my first class, I only ate one or two. And I refrained from eating ice cream at least three times throughout the week. So I felt pretty good about things, until I actually COUNTED the calories that I'd eaten two of the days. Both days had a pretty high calorie count, despite my lowered chocolate intake. And I realized that I literally eat cheese at almost every meal. So I've got some things I probably could work on.

On the bright side, I was pleasantly surprised at how many fruits and vegetables I ate---all three days I got at least the recommended 5 servings, and some days I even got up to 9. Plus, I definitely was pretty good on the calcium intake (although I've always been pretty good at that).

Change It Up #3, Successful? Yes. It prevented me from eating as much as I did the week before and made me more aware of what I was putting in my system. Will I stick with it? I don't know. I think I could do it for the next little while, but I'm not sure I'd want to make it a permanent habit. A better idea would just be to use the information from it to make overall diet changes that I could actually stick with. So we'll see how long I can keep it up.

2 comments:

  1. I do that too. I wrote down every calorie that I ate before my surgery in an effort to help me loose weight. After my surgery, I don't count calories in case I crave something I need to heal, but I try and take what I learned from that and just stay more aware of what I am eating. I think it is working pretty well.

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  2. keep it up!! it's SO hard. but it really makes you look at everything you eat and even everything you're doing in general every day, and it's a reality check for sure!! good luck!

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