Thursday, February 19, 2009

Keeping track of what you eat

How do we track what we eat? Our old brains calculate, but we miss things. We ignore anything we drink and we give extra credit to what we chew. We eat to survive and have gotten this far evolutionary because our ancestors had excellent appetites. The weak eaters did not survive. Yet in our wealthy, wonderful America food is plentiful and much of it is full of empty calories. These foods, white and sugary and salty and sweet, trigger our appetites but offer little in return and are best avoided. Generally processed and full of cheap fats, they line the inner aisle of any grocery store and they are easy to eat.
Yet even if we avoid processed foods we often still eat too much. How do we control ourselves? One very successful way is to set goals and track intake by recording in a food journal. Self monitoring allows us to compare actual behaviors to ideal behaviors. We are very motivated to live up to our ideal behaviors particulary if someone is checking on our progress. That is why I love small group work and support groups offer. So set your goals, track your progress and share your progress with someone else. It works.

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