People write diaries for so many reasons; to remember where they traveled, what they did, and who they fell in love with. Well now I have a new reason for you to pick up your pen. The first thing to do in order to manage your emotions and control your weight, is to start a Diary.
This is a place where you can write down all you thoughts, whether negative or positive, and to reflect on them. When you put your thoughts into writing, you let your feelings out instead of keeping them inside. Writing down how you feel in response to a particular situation will help you know yourself better and help you deal with your emotions next time a similar experience comes along.
This is also a great way to pay attention to your feelings and emotions that you may associate with certain food or overeating. In the food diary you will write down “What I ate today” and then ask yourself that simple question “Why did I eat it?” It will help you identify if you are an emotional eater or not.
What I ate today
The reason for writing down each food item is to keep you accountable for what you ate throughout the day. If you don’t keep track of what you ate (even small things like snacks, fruit, and beverages), the calories may easily add up without your noticing.
Be careful! Sometimes seemingly harmless things like dried and regular fruit, nuts, juices, and other drinks may actually be caloric monsters, and if consumed in large quantities can put you over your required daily caloric count.
For example, you may think drinking a glass of juice with every meal doesn’t count, but in fact a lot of juices have added sugars and can count over 100 calories per glass. Even natural juices contain sugar, so be careful how many of those you drink a day. With the exception of toothpaste, keep track of everything that passes your lips, so that you can look back over it to see where you can make adjustments.
And be honest! Resist the temptation to write down “Two carrot sticks” when indeed, you gulped down two carrot cake slices (with extra cream frosting) while nobody was looking during that boring reception you were forced to attend.
Why did I eat it?
Writing down your comments, or why you decided to eat a certain food is crucial. This is where you identify whether you are eating for emotional reasons, or because you are really hungry. It will also reveal how you felt before and after the meal (full or still hungry) in order to make adjustments, and whether or not you were craving a certain food due to emotional/physical factors.
Did you crave something sweet or starchy right before your period? Did you feel you deserved that bag of chips because you had a stressful day? Being in touch with your feelings when it comes to eating is the key to successful weight control.
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