I’m trying something new this week, taking photos of everything I eat (when I remember) and recording it here for me and everyone to see. It’s going to take a while for this to become a habit. At lunchtime both yesterday and today, I was cleaning up my plates before realizing I had failed to snap a photo first.
I’m curious about whether this activity changes my behavior and how it effects my weekly weigh-ins. Time will tell.
We all know that keeping a food diary is a very powerful weight loss tool when you do it. Here’s a recent article from USA Today confirming that women who keep a food diary are more likely to lose weight than those who don’t. It’s what Carrie Underwood does to stay slim. That’s why tracking your food and activity is one of the key components of the Weight Watchers Program.
The plain truth is that without some way of keeping track, most of us have serious “food amnesia” are terrible at estimating how many calories we’ve eaten. According the the incredibly informative and life changing book, Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think, “On average, normal weight people think they’ve eaten 20 percent less than they actually did and obese people typically underestimate how much they eat by 30 to 40 percent.”
It’s not that we are intentionally trying to kid ourselves. The researchers in the book explain that it’s how our brains work. “When estimating almost anything – such as weight, height, brightness, loudness, sweetness, and son on – we consistently underestimate things as they get larger. For instance, we’ll be fairly accurate at estimating the weight of a 2-pound rock but will grossly underestimate the weight of an 80-pound truck.”
And it’s the same with food. The smaller the meal, the more accurate people are at estimating the calorie level. The larger the meal, the less accurate.
So one of the keys is to really “see” what you are eating, all of it. That’s where keeping a food diary with photos come in. Pictures speak so much louder than words!
So, here’s my attempt at My Food Diary Day 1: 7/18/12
I always wake up thirsty (this is Phoenix) and begin the day with 1 to 2 big glasses of water. Within 15 minutes I feel myself perk up, like a plant in the rain after a drought.
Before I walk, I usually have half a banana (0PPV) with 1 – 2 teaspoons almond butter or peanut butter (2 PPV). Today it was almond butter. Have you tried Justin’s Maple Almond Butter? It’s delicious!
When I open the pantry to get Francie’s food, I sometimes also grab a small handful of nuts (3 PPV). I love nuts and eat them almost everyday. They are high in PointsPlus but full of healthy fats and protein so I think they’re worth it. And they really satisfy my hunger.
After getting back from our walk Francie has a a big drink of water and then rests…
While I usually make myself a cup of decaf. I used to be a coffee snob, but these days I’m totally happy with Nescafe decaf. It’s inexpensive and satisfies me. (0 PPV) (Judge me if you will. As Wayne Dyer says, “What you think of me is none of my business.”)
After getting showered and dressed it was time to head out to sub a Mom, Dad & Me Weight Watchers Meeting. I usually eat more for breakfast, but today felt satisfied. I’m trying to work on only eating when I’m really hungry, not because “It’s time.”
After the meeting I did a few errands and then dropped into my favorite coffee shop for an iced tea (0 PPV). I still wasn’t hungry, probably due to the adrenaline rush I get from leading meetings, coupled with the intense triple digit heat…
When I got home. I made a plate of leftovers for lunch. A bed of greens (0 PPV), dressed with a teaspoon of olive oil (1PPV) and balsamic vinegar. I topped it with a small scoop of leftover chicken salad (4 PPV) and pasta with broccoli, sausage and tomatoes I had in the fridge. (4 PPV). Oops, I failed to snap a picture, before devouring it!
Then I set to work making a half batch of these skinny broccoli cheese muffins…
I’ve never made broccoli muffins before so had to try one (5 PPV). Will definitely make them again to enjoy with salads and soups!
Spent the next several hours at the computer and before I knew it, Rod was home and ready for a cocktail. He made me a very light “Skinny Gin & Soda with a Splash of Tonic and Lime (4 PPV). It’s my favorite summer cocktail at the moment…
We visited for a while and got a little more work done and then called it a day. I already had the potatoes peeled and peas ready to boil for our dinner, so all I had to do was brush the salmon with mustard and sprinkle it with chopped herbs before grilling it for about 8 minutes. (The recipe is in this week’s Weight Watcher’s Weekly.)
This was definitely a less than 30 minute meal that we both enjoyed immensely – 4 ounces wild grilled salmon (6 PPV), 1/2 cup mashed potatoes (4 PPV), 1/2 cup peas (1 PPV). It looks really generous because I arrange it on a salad plate, one of my favorite tricks for being satisfied with less…
The Day in Review:
Activity: 45 minutes walking with Francie (3 PPV)
Water: 10+ glasses
Fruits & Vegetables: 5
Whole Grains: No
Low Fat/NonFat Dairy: 1
Lean Protein: 2
Healthy Oils: 2
Total Daily PPV: 34
If you liked this article about my daily food diary, check out these links:
- Turning Slip-Ups Into Success and Getting Back on Track
- 6 Strategies to Eat What You Love and Stay on Your Weight Loss Plan
- 6 Reasons to Love Exercise
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