Someone once told me that if you can do something consistently for three weeks, it becomes habit. I’m not sure if that’s real or not, but seemed like trying to accomplish change over 20 days sounded reasonable. Now, that I’ve identified what are my main goals for weight loss/fitness improvement I will try to tackle each of these over the course of roughly 20 days. With seven goals to focus on, in about 6 months I hope to have developed some more healthy habits.

Goal: use a food diary to track eating habits

Why I want to do this: be more aware about what I’m eating/not eating so I can improve nutrition habits


Progress

  • Day 1: I won’t spend too much time on my selection of a food diary to use, but feel free to look at my review of the LoseIt app. I’ve tried a variety of approaches to track my eating habits. For me, LoseIt is the one I like the best. I think the key to faithfully using a food diary over the long run will be ease of use. If it takes me longer than a minute or two to enter my meal information, I’ll be less likely to keep tracking my meals. Day 1 is almost done and meals and exercise are logged. 1 down, 19 to go. Yay healthy!
  • Day 2: still tracking…not much more to say. The tricky part will be over the next few days. I’m traveling for work and it always seems a little more difficult to stay on top of things on the road.
  • Day 3-5: Back from travels and still managed to stay on top of entering my meals in the LoseIt app. What am I learning? Even though I thought I was holding relatively consistent on calories consumed I’ve been over my daily allotment by about 500cal / day!! Wowza! Also learned I’m not eating enough protein.
    • QUICK TIP! I’ve figured out if I set myself a reminder for mid morning and like 730pm, I’m able to quickly add in things from the day. Having those two times planned seem to make it more automatic. With the weekend here, we’ll see if this persists.
  • Days 6-8: Still on it!  The food diary continues to be helpful in showing me patterns.  I’m really anxious to implement some other changes but want to reinforce this habit first.  Up to now, I’ve made a conscious choice not to really change my eating patterns so I could get a good view of my nutrition.  Let’s see how things go through day 14.
  • Days 7-12: I earned badges!  LoseIt is offering “badges” (not really sure what they are for), for consistent usage.  I guess that’s a good thing…in terms of total motivation, eh.
  • Days 13-20: Well, we’re at the end and the last week proved a bit more challenging with holidays and travel.  I missed logging on three consecutive days, I’m sad to report. BUT, have gotten back on it.

Outcome

I was able to use a food diary to log my meals (and exercise) for 17/20 days or about 85% of the time.  In my mind, that’s sufficient for now.  The primary motivation for using LoseIt was to gain a better awareness of my current eating habits and I’ve accomplished that.  Some major or immediate areas to address are to increase protein consumption, drink more fluids and quit eating/cut back on stupid empty calories.  It is the holiday season and cookies and sweets abound, but here’s where it’s time to reign some of that self control in and look to the food log when necessary.  It’s ok to indulge once in awhile…once it starts becoming routine though….look out!

I plan to continue using my LoseIt app to track meals and exercise and will try to aim for 85% compliance.  With one goal under my belt, it’s time to move into 2011 cruising towards accomplishing my next goal…water consumption.

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One Response to Twenty days to change: using a food diary

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