“Track your food!? Really? That’s you’re brilliant tip?” …perhaps you were expecting some miracle supplement, creative diet or at least a suggestion of what to eat for breakfast. Telling you what to eat will only get you so far. My tips, my advice, and my approach with all my clients is focusing on the behaviors, emotions, habits, and mindset. Change the behaviors and the weight takes care of itself. At the end of the day, I’m not blowing anyone’s mind with telling them what’s healthy and what’s not. You know that ordering a salad with grilled chicken is better than the bacon cheese burger. This blog series is going to be more about what actions and behaviors will result in the outcomes you want (weight loss that last). I will teach you which specific actions if repeated over time will result in you naturally choosing the salad over the burger and feeling good about it!
So yes, my first tip is to track your food. ALL of it! The good the bad, and everything in between. Don’t just track what you eat when you’re “good” and eating healthy- that’s the easy part. Track it when you’re indulging and feeling guilty too. In fact, it’s more important to track the unhealthy choices. Late night pizza? Track it! Donuts for breakfast? Track it! Grabbing a Hershey kiss in the office? Track it! Yes it’s an extra step but it’s not forever and I promise it’ll be worth it.
I have every single one of my clients start tracking their food. The first thing I say to them – “I don’t care if you eat ice cream for every meal, track it and I’ll be happy!” And I mean it, because I know how powerful it can be and how quickly it can start to help. Some of the feedback I’ve received from my clients after just one week of food tracking..
“It instantly made me think about what I was eating.”
“Wow I didn’t realize I go so long without eating something!”
“During the week I’m actually pretty healthy but it’s the weekends that kill me.”
“I knew I had to track it so instead of my usual 2-3 slices of pizza I ate 1 with a side salad and it was actually just as satisfying.”
“I didn’t realize that I constantly snack at my desk- honestly I’m not even hungry.”
Why is this action so powerful? Because tracking your food makes your food choices real. It forces you to face the reality of your choices and makes you mindful of what you’re putting in your mouth. It’ll start to make you question, do I really need this? Am I really hungry? Is there something else? Is it worth it? Sometimes the extra piece of pizza will be worth it, or going in on a piece of cheese cake out to dinner will be worth it. But tracking your food will make all those choices conscious ones and you’ll quickly start to feel when the splurge is really worth it and when it’s not. In the beginning I don’t even encourage my clients to make changes if they don’t want to- all I want them to do is make sure everything they eat is a conscious decision.
Step 1 track what you eat and be mindful
Step 2 start to understand when it’s worth it and when it’s not
Step 3 take responsibility, put yourself in the driver’s seat and start making the choices that make you feel good.
It might not happen right away but once you do start to make those choices you’ll be so proud that you did. That positive proud feeling that you’ll experience (and you know what I’m talking about) will reinforce those healthy choices to make the same choices again in the future- and that is a recipe for success.
So my first tip to you on how to REALLY lose weight by REALLY changing your lifestyle is track your food! EVERY. LITTLE. BITE. Remember, it’s not forever but commit to do it and do it honestly. Pen and paper, mobile app, whatever works for you, just do it!
Let me know if you have any questions and stay tuned for tip #2!