Day 9: Self-Monitoring (Tracking Your Food and Exercise)
TODAY'S SHIFT FROM FAT TO THIN THINKING:
Knowledge is power and I am enjoying learning about myself and my relationship with food on a deeper level by tracking.
Welcome to Your Thin Thinking Practice Day 9
Up until now, if you have been tracking your food and exercise, you haven’t just been “counting calories” but really learning about yourself and your relationship to food by:
- Learning what kinds of foods in what amounts keep you within your calorie budget.
- Observing which eating habits work for you--and which ones don’t!
- Seeing how exercise impacts your bottom line—(pun kind of intended).
I hope that you have enjoyed tracking and getting clear about your calorie budget and behaviors and not looking at it as a just a chore. This is what a new client who was super resistant to tracking when she first started shifting just emailed me:
“Rita, I actually am very much enjoying being accountable for what I consume - and the app is easy (unlike last time I counted where I had to manually add things up myself). But, what a shock it was to see that I was consuming way more calories than I thought I was! No wonder the scale was at a stand-still. I like to be able to see the protein—carb breakdown. The days I eat enough protein, I don’t get hungry or think about food, but it’s interesting to see the days I eat less protein and my carbohydrates are higher. I am hungrier and thinking about food more. I am learning so much and loving being my own Inner Scientist!”
I know it can be a challenge for some people to be so conscious about their eating and exercise behaviors. But the reward is to be in tune and to really learn about yourself in such a loving way that you perhaps haven’t before--to problem solve the sticky areas, to pay attention, to SHIFT!!! For many, this can be a liberating new step they take in the direction of mastery and the time spent tracking their food is outweighed by the time they spent being anxious about wondering about if they were gaining or losing weight—not knowing.
Today’s coaching: When You Bite It, Write It! (below) gives you some different methods and tips to help you find your own style.
I urge you to keep tracking and keep learning. Your thin thinking is deepening with this important skill.
Today's Shift From Fat To Thin Thinking: Knowledge is power and I am enjoying learning about myself and my relationship with food on a deeper level by tracking.
I'd like to recommend a kitric scale (click here to take a look). It will give you the calories in whatever food you are weighing--more accurate and saving time.
Rita’s Coaching: When You Bite it—Write it!
Apprentice, I would like to remind you how tracking your food and exercise helps your thin thinking:
- We all wildly underestimate the amounts of food we eat and tracking gets us clear. We are no longer living with our head in the sand.
- Tracking keeps us interacting with food in a conscious way and allows us to learn from what we observe works and doesn’t work for us.
- It calms us down on an unconscious level because our brain craves details, facts, and clear boundaries. When it has them, it can problem solve way more effectively than when we are “guestimating” the amount of calories we are eating.
There are many ways and styles of tracking your food so if one isn’t working, find another. There is no tracking rule book—just the fact that you are keeping clear records for yourself is important.
Here are some different styles clients have come up with over the years:
- Old school: Tracking food after you have eaten it—exercise too.
- Ahead of time: Writing (or inputting) your food down ahead of your day and then making adjustments to your records as needed. This is a great method for busy people.
- Half and half: Many people eat the same meals daily up until dinner time. Breakfast is the same every day. Lunch is also about the same—as well as the additional snacks, if they eat them. By using this style, you have your set meals that you literally check off pre-5 o’clock knowing you have used a certain amount of your calorie budget up until 5 pm.
For example—Mary’s calorie budget for weight release is 1300 a day. She eats meals and snacks that add up to about 800 calories before 5 pm. She knows every day that she has about a 500 calorie budget to play with for dinner. That way, on a day to day basis she only needs to really think dinner through and record those calories. This system only really works if you stay consistent with the amounts you are eating before 5 pm.
To do with your app: Input your meals up until 5 pm before the day begins and then input your dinner in the evening.
To do with your journal: Record your food up until 5 pm ahead of time and check it off as you go. Record your dinner or evening food after eating it.
Mastery Tip: What works for me is planning my food the night before or at least in the morning before the day gets started. It does something in my brain that tends to keep me on course more. Plus, it also just gives me that extra time to reflect and set myself up for success. I tested not doing it for a couple of weeks and did not stay on course as easily. I no longer see it as a chore because it is really a very loving act. When my food works--my life works!
- When you bite it—write it! Write what you ate down right away—we tend to forget after 15 minutes.
- Write down the time you ate, too. It helps you and your coaches see how you are spreading out the calories
- If you’re not sure of the calories, write the food and the amount down, and go back and check a resource or ask someone.
- Write your calorie goal at the top of your to do list for the day as a visual reminder.