Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Food Journals Bring Awareness

Being aware of what you are eating now is key to being able to make small changes.

If you haven't already done this, get yourself a small notebook and do this exercise. Write down everything you eat and drink throughout the day. I mean everything. Every piece of gum and glass of water, too.

The goal is to bring a level of awareness to what you are putting in your mouth.

You won't have to write this journal forever. Commit to it for a two week period. Some people get so much out of this process they choose to continue it. For now, you don't have to decide that--just commit to two weeks.

This will give it enough time to cover a lot of unexpected events and emotions. I also suggest you write why you ate--it doesn't have to be a long explanation, a simple "lunch with friends", or "co-worker's birthday", or "felt depressed" will suffice. Especially write if there were physical or emotional triggers that caused you to eat.

This journaling period is not intended to restrict your eating. The point, again, is to bring to your consciousness what you really are eating and drinking. I remember the first time I did this I was SHOCKED to see just how many Oreo cookies I ate. I thought for sure someone else was eating most of the cookies. Nope, it was me.

By including the water you drink, you can also become aware of that habit and so you will know if you would be better off drinking more water in the future (most of us would be) or if you are already good at this habit.

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