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5 Amazing Things That Would Happen When You Log Every Food You Eat

5 Amazing Things That Would Happen When You Log Every Food You Eat

You may have a to-do list or to-buy list, like most of us do. But how many of us would record the food we eat? What we eat affects us every second, as they provide the necessary nutrients, or if you eat unhealthy food they can be harming your bodies…so how can we know if we’re eating right?

By keeping a food diary, you will be surprised and amazed by the difference simply recording what you eat can make to your overall health and well-being.

Sherrie Delinsky, PhD, a staff psychologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, says: “food diaries can unveil patterns of overeating. They can also reveal and identify triggers to avoid, such as not eating enough throughout the day and then overeating at night, or overeating when drinking alcohol.”

Benefits you will see when you log your food

1. You will cut down on calories

By paying attention to your calorie intake you can better control the amount of calories you are eating. Your awareness will lead to an ability to limit and restrict your daily calorie intake. Experts say that the simple act of keeping a food diary can encourage you to eat fewer calories and thus lose weight. 

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2. You will snack less

By looking at how many snacks you have during the day you can cut down on unnecessary calories. Snacks can add up and can greatly contribute to your calorie intake. You may find that your meals are proportional but that you are snacking too much. By cutting down on snacks you can gain a trimmer waist line.

3. You will see the difference between weekends and weekdays

Another thing you will see is the difference between what you eat on the weekdays and what you consume on the weekend. As you generally have less time during the week you may find that you are eating more takeaway or quick meals with a high fat content. By noticing how you may cut corners on weekdays you can, for example, make an extra effort to cook during the weekend so you have pre-prepared healthy meals ready to eat during the week.

4. You will listen to your mood

By logging your food diary, you will discover your emotional connection with your food. See if your good eating days correspond with a positive mood. Also look to see if you feel good after you eat healthier meals. You may find that your mood is bad when you overeat and indulge. By being more aware of your mood you can prevent overeating and thus reduce your calorie intake.

5. You will feel more comfortable and healthier

By highlighting any food intolerances or allergies you may have you can get rid of unnecessary discomfort and things that are potentially bad for you. By paying attention to what foods make you feel bloated or give you indigestion you can eliminate these foods and feel much better. Some symptoms could be more serious like a rash or nausea. If you experience these kind of reactions to certain foods consult with your doctor.

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How to keep a food diary

What to include?

In your diary you will need to keep a record of the date, time, place, item eaten and quantity consumed. You may like to write by hand; if this is the case you can purchase a blank notebook or a daily diary. If you prefer to use electronic media there are many online tracking devices and apps available.

Be specific

When you keep your diary remember to record everything you eat and drink. The more specific and accurate you are the more benefits you are likely to gain from keeping your diary. You should include all meals, drinks and snacks that you eat throughout the day. It is worthwhile being very specific and including what ingredients are in the meals you eat. For example, if you eat a pasta bolognaise include the pasta and the meat and the tomatoes. Also, do not forget to include you daily water intake, as keeping a record of this will let you know if you have drunken too much or too little water.

Keep track of quantities

It is important to pay attention to how much of a given food you are eating. You may be eating healthy foods but the serving sizes could be too large. It can be useful to purchase a food scale or measuring cup to make sure your quantities are appropriate.

Pay attention to your mood

You may be keeping a food diary in order to lose weight or you could be trying to isolate a food allergy. In both these cases your mood plays an important role. Before and after you eat you can make a note of how you feel.

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It takes approximately 20 minutes for you to feel full and satisfied after a meal so it is best to wait 10-20 minutes before you write down how you feel.

If you make notes about your mood before you eat you may notice that, for example, you eat more when you are feeling stressed or low.

Seek out patterns and regularities in the food you eat

After a while you may see the emergence of some patterns in your eating habits. These patterns may be related to your feeling before and after a meal. It could be that you are eating similar foods at lunch time; for example, a sandwich. You may also notice that you overeat when you are feeling very hungry.

Additional tips

You may want to record the nutritional benefits of your food. This can help you gain insight into what nutrients you are getting and what you might be lacking. This way you can add certain foods to your diet to make up for the gap in your nutrient intake.

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Your physical activity has an effect on how many calories you should be consuming. Making note of what physical activities you are taking part in will help you to know what sorts of food you should be eating.

Summation

By sticking to the routine of keeping a food diary and following some of these suggestions you can make a change to the way you are eating. You may find that by recording your food intake you feel motivated to embark on a better healthier eating path and this will lead to a slimmer waist line and a greater sense of energy and comfort.

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Rebecca Beris

Rebecca is a wellness and lifestyle writer at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on September 10, 2019

7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

Most of your reality is not a given. It is shaped by your expectations, beliefs and thoughts you have formed about it. A big chunk of these beliefs and expectations are encoded into habits you integrate in your daily life.

Yes, some of these habits are formed unconsciously and can be counter-productive or limiting but conversely, you can consciously form positive habits that will transform and empower your life significantly.

This is a powerful point of departure that more and more people are becoming aware of. The most common trait of highly successful people is the recognition of the power they have in co-creating their reality through changing the way they think, believe or expect their reality to be.

One of the most effective ways of changing our belief patterns is through practising and maintaining daily rituals. Ancient traditions had clearly understood the power of rituals in reinforcing habits and changing the way we see and create our reality a long, long time ago.

Once again, if you look into the life history of any highly successful individual, you will find some form of ritual in their daily routine. Some of these rituals may seem banal or eccentric but don’t be deceived by appearances. Rituals are one of the most effective self-empowering tools freely available at the practitioner’s disposal – that is, you!

Below are some the easiest yet life-changing morning rituals you can do every day. Of course, you can have your own afternoon or bed-time rituals but morning rituals are extremely effective in empowering your day since they help you charge yourself before it all starts.

1. Gratitude

Feeling gratitude and appreciation for those little signs and moments of joy happening in your life is probably one of the most overlooked or underestimated rituals. It is a perfect morning ritual to start your day on a very positive key.

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The real power of gratitude is that it makes you pick out and focus on what is working in your life – what is in tune with your being as a whole. It is selectively positive. It reinforces happiness and positivity by shedding light on those awesome things, small or big, that grace your everyday living.

Quite often, we just pick out the pain points, the problems, the bottle necks, whatever it is that is not working in our life and causing friction, anxiety and unhappiness. This is like constantly rewriting the script of your life with a negative or tragic overtone. Your subconscious mind follows faithfully that script you write whether it is a negative or positive one.

So feeling gratitude is undoubtedly an immensely empowering ritual. Start your day by being thankful for those positive things that happened the previous day or throughout the week. It could be something really petty and small. It doesn’t matter. You might be grateful for an unexpected visit from an old friend, a beautiful encounter with a kind stranger, a new opportunity or whatever it is that shines your way. Do it every morning and see what happens during the day.

Gratitude-Quotes

    2. Writing Down Your Most Important Tasks

    This is a very practical ritual. Start your day by identifying and writing down from one to three of the most important tasks you need to complete during that day. These tasks are ones which support important long term goals that are aligned to your purpose, passion or general direction in life.

    For example, if writing a book or building an online community are important long term goals which are aligned to your personal growth, then an important task for the day might be finishing off a particular page or two of the book or coming up with fresh content ideas for the online community.

    What is important with this ritual is that you identify these tasks and complete them as early in the day as possible. Of course, you will have other tasks apart from the ones you will write down but, these are tasks which can be tackled later or batched up and carried out in one go.

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    Writing down your most important tasks in the morning helps you focus your day and life according to what is essential. It helps you prioritize and manage your time better. As a result, you simplify your life by applying your focus and energy on what really counts for your overall life progress.

    3. Affirm Your Goals in Writing or Drawing

    This is similar to the previous idea but different in its application and purpose. Writing down your most important tasks of the day is a way to have a concrete structure of action to follow. Affirming your goals, on the other hand, is a very powerful way of crystallizing your vision and goals in life into your everyday mental space.

    Writing down or doodling your goals on a piece of paper helps you externalize those goals by giving them form. In return, they are reflected back in your subconscious mind and thus, reinforcing them and integrating them more wholly.

    An example of this would be writing down “I am achieving greater success in my career” or “I am becoming healthier and stronger through my exercise.” Notice the present tense being used as a way to tell yourself you are in the process already. Remember the life script we subconsciously follow? You are basically modifying the script to be applied now in the present.

    Drawing or doodling can be equally, or even more, effective  (if you are more of a visual person) as it summarizes a graphical representation of your goals. For example, if your goal is to build a new house or live in another country, you can draw the house or draw things that symbolise the country you want to live in.

    write down goals

      4. Practice Qi Gong Exercises

      According to Chinese philosophy, Qi (pronounced ‘Chee’) means the life force or energy inherent in all things;[1] and Qi Gong is the practice to cultivate and circulate that energy in your body. This may sound esoteric or complicated but actually, Qi Gong is really a set of simple exercises aimed at increasing your health and vitality.

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      There are numerous forms and practices available for free through the online media. As a morning ritual, I recommend following these simple exercises by Qi Gong master Lee Holden:

      5. Drink Hot Water with Lemon

      Simply add a slice of lemon in a glass of hot water and drink one every morning. This is a very simple ritual I follow faithfully every morning.

      Apart from being a good source of vitamin C and a great way of flushing out toxins in the morning, it balances and maintains the PH levels in the body, reduces pain and inflammation in joints and knees and helps nourishing brain and nerve cells. Here are some more benefits of drinking hot water with lemon.

      6. Rise Earlier

      The practical advantages of waking up early are obvious.

      For example, you gain more time for doing exercise such as walking, cycling or Qi Gong as suggested above. You gain more time to be with yourself to reflect, meditate or, more importantly, carry out the other morning rituals.

      So rising early can be seen as a foundation for all the other morning rituals. Many, like myself, find that they are more productive in the early hours of the day.

      Also, various studies have shown that there are many other benefits from waking up an hour or two earlier in the morning. Sleeping early and waking up early helps the body attune with the earth’s circadian rhythms thus, promoting more restorative sleep. Other curious results from such studies show, for instance, that early risers tend to be more optimistic and can anticipate and solve problems more efficiently than the norm.[2]

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      7. Listen to Uplifting Music

      Uplifting music can have a direct impact on our mood, especially in the morning. It charges us emotionally and tunes us into a more positive outlook of the day ahead.

      Most people wake up to music or listen to music as they commute to work. Very often, however, they tune in to a radio or randomly pick a playlist from their device. Being more selective and conscious of the music you listen to in the morning can have a great impact on your day and life in general.

      It’s funny how we try to choose music according to our mood. For example if you are feeling down or disappointed by something, you are more prone to listen to music that reflects that mood – for instance blues, sad songs or downtempo music. This has the effect of reinforcing that mood. What you need to do is the exact opposite and retune your mood by listening to music that beats to a different tune than that mood.

      Try to listen to more uplifting music in the morning even if, or especially if, your mood does not dictate so.

      More About Energetic Habits & Rituals

      Featured photo credit: Carli Jeen via unsplash.com

      Reference

      [1] Live Science: What Is Qi Gong
      [2] Harvard Business Review: Defend Your Research: The Early Bird Really Does Get the Worm

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