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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 January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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