Sunday, November 30, 2014

Tiny Change #11: Food Journal

Ahhh...Thanksgiving. A day (or a weekend) of gorging and relaxing. It's over now. Or is it? As a dear friend said over this past weekend, it's not what you eat on Thanksgiving or Christmas that packs on the pounds: it's what you eat in between those holidays.

But this isn't so much about weight. It's about how you feel going into the last week of classes. So this week's task is to keep a food journal. You can write it into your calendar, use an online journal like this one, or you can use my favorite fitness and food app, My Fitness Pal. The nice thing about the last one is that it calculates the calorie count (and other nutritional information) of everything you eat, including restaurant food.

The key here is to note just how much you're taking in, and how you feel at key points in the day. Do certain foods make you feel especially clear-headed? Gassy? Fuzzy? Tired? Congested? You may have never thought about it before. Now take a week to take note how you feel after a meal, a snack, at the end of the day. You'll probably start to notice a pattern.

You might realize that you're dragging in the middle of the day because you tend to eat cereal or simple carbs in the morning. Then you might realize that by 3pm, you haven't had any protein. If you'll be taking a three hour test at noon, you don't want to go into that test riding a sugar high. You'll never make it through that test with a clear head.

Realize, too, that you need to enter everything you drink, too. Water, sweet tea, Coke, pumpkin latte, beer. Every little bit: drinks count, too. You might be surprised just how many [empty] calories you're drinking each day, and they can add up before you know it.

Your body is YOUR machine. What are you putting into your engine? That's the question this week.

We'll check in later and see how you're doing.

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