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Things That Only People Who Keep A Food Journal Would Understand

Things That Only People Who Keep A Food Journal Would Understand

What was the last fad of diet you tried? Have you been keeping a food journal in order to best document your weight loss journey? Nowadays we don’t need to go to the health, or the ‘self-help’, sector in a bookstore to find the manuals we need in order to assist our dietary needs. We can just download an app, log in, tap or scan a barcode, and the machine does it all for us. Sounds easy, right? Maybe not so much. Weight loss and health plans are a commitment. And sometimes when we have developed unhealthy habits throughout our lives, we need to really apply to the job at hand in order to learn (or re-learn) how to get the results we need, and stay on track. It doesn’t always go to plan however! Here are 8 things that only people who keep a food journal will understand.

You Aimed Too High Too Quickly

You were starving and ended up overindulging because the calorie amount you began with was too small and you realized what you were eating is probably what you should be consuming only as breakfast or lunch.

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Calories Begin To Morph Before Your Very Eyes!

You start looking at everything as a calorie, noting that the “small things” you snack on can take up a lot of your daily calorie quota! This can be a good thing though, as you begin to eat only the things that are necessary to your diet.

The ‘Calorie Counter’ Takes A New Form

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    You start dreading the calorie counter, or certain foods. Trying to weigh everything can get a little tedious. But, if you start to play the guessing game, if you get lazy or self-assured over time, and think you ‘know’ the calorie intake, you can end up with a haphazard journal. You can end up having your time and efforts wasted if it isn’t documented right, and you look at where your results should be compared with where they actually are.

    Some Meals Can Lose A Little Love

    In order to adhere to the food journals correct amount of calories and to enjoy a satisfying dinner, the rest of your meals can start to look a bit forlorn … (picture half an apple and a weak black coffee for breakfast. Only 33 calories! Hello, pasta for dinner!)

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    Snacks That (Also) Leave A Lot To The Imagination

    You might try to snack on things like cucumber and celery because they are low cal, but you can end up just full of water, hungry, and a little over–alkaline’d. We are endlessly surprised by how many calories are in carbohydrates, or simple things we would normally consume! Some foods are a delightful surprise, though. Like natural yoghurt – low calorie and high calcium!

    Live And Let Log

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      You spend a huge part of your day “logging” in your food journal instead of just living! You also can form a phobia of your log book if you are not careful. As it is constantly telling you things that relate to your weight and your goals and your relation to your weight and your goals, the all-consuming nature of it can be scary, not to mention, it can feel a little judgmental! (Particularly those apps that send you personal messages on your weight loss journey. Back off!)

      It Can Be Hard To Measure At The Local Dining Table

      Eating out becomes a confusing mess of immeasurable calories. You may even go missing from the dinner table in an attempt to burn off the accidental scoop of fried ice cream that made its way onto your plate and blew out your whole regime. (However, you may become super excited when you go out to eat dinner and the calories are printed next to the meals on the menu.)

      Misplaced Ideas On Calories…

      You have an X amount of calories left for the day so you use them all up on quarter of a cheesecake, instead of making healthy rational choices for your body and what it needs. In a food journal’s defense though, it can be just as encouraging as it can be discouraging. When you play by the rules, weight loss simply is a game of mathematics! Do the time, commit to the formula – and you will see the results.

      Featured photo credit: Picjumbo via picjumbo.com

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      Last Updated on November 11, 2019

      How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

      How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

      Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

      To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

      Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

      1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

      Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

      Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

      To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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      2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

      Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

      If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

      Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

      3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

      Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

      Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

      4. Feed Your Brain

      Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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      This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

      Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

      Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

      5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

      According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

      Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

      Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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      6. Write it Down

      If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

      It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

      You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

      7. Listen to Music

      Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

      8. Visual Concepts

      In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

      Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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      Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

      9. Teach Someone Else

      Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

      Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

      10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

      Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

      So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

      Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

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      Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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