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Tracking Your Foods: The Way To Do It

By Annie Mendoza

When you first start your diet one of several things you will learn right away is that maintaining a food journal is very helpful. Keeping a food record helps you identify the foods you are eating as well as the foods you are not eating. For example, when you keep a food log for a few days you might notice that even though you eat lots of fruit, you almost never eat any vegetables. When you write every little thing down you are able to see which parts of your diet must change as well as have an easier time figuring out what kind and how long of a workout you need to do to shrink your waist line and burn the most calories.

But what if you've been writing every little thing down and still aren't losing weight? You can observe your meals the correct way or the incorrect way. A food journal isn't just a list of the things you've eaten during the day. You must record other crucial pieces of information as well. Here are a few of the points you need to do to be more successful at food tracking.

Be as specific as possible while you write down what you consume. It is not adequate to list "salad" in your food log. The correct way to do it is always to record all of the ingredients in the salad as well as the kind of dressing that is used. You should also include the number of the foods you eat. "Cereal" is not beneficial, but "one cup Shredded Wheat" will be. Remember the more you consume of something the more calories you eat so it is important that you list quantities so that you know exactly how much of everything you're eating and how many calories you need to burn.

Record the time of morning that you eat items. This helps you figure out when you feel the most hungry, when you are susceptible to snack and what you can do about it. After several days you'll note that while you might be eating lunch at the same time every day, you are still hungry an hour later. This will even help you identify the occasions when you start to eat simply to give yourself something to do. This is important simply because, once they are identified, you can find various other ways to fill those moments than with unhealthy foods.

What sort of mood are you in when you eat? Write it down! This really helps to explain to you whether or not you turn to food as a reaction to emotional issues. It also helps you see clearly which foods you have a tendency to choose if you are in certain moods. Many individuals will reach for junk foods when we are worried, angry or depressed and will be more likely to choose healthier options when we are happy or content. When you pay attention to how you eat while in your different moods and psychological states, you will be able to keep similar but healthier options around for when you need those snacks--you might also start talking to someone who can help you figure out why you try to cure your moods with food.

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