Weight Loss Tool: Food Journal

Written by Virginia Bola, PsyD

Allrepparttar weight control experts recommend keeping a record of what you eat. Seeing your daily intake in black and white reality can boost your pride in your self-discipline, gently confront you with some less than stellar choices you've made, or cast you into a morass of guilt and depression when you facerepparttar 137382 epicurean debacle that your food intake represents.

A food diary can become so much more useful for your weight wars if you use it as a tool for self-exploration and self-discovery. It allows you to create an oasis of support that anchors you in a world tossed by competing priorities, overwork, incredible dietary temptations, and social pressures that all lead to frustration, inwardly directed anger, diminished self-esteem, and terminal fatigue.

What do we need to do to create such a tool?

1. Buy a good spiral notebook with lots of pages and a hard cover - you're going to keep this for a long time so avoid anything that's going to easily fall apart.

2. Enterrepparttar 137383 date you started your journey: this isrepparttar 137384 baseline against which you will compare your entries forrepparttar 137385 next several months. Underrepparttar 137386 date, enterrepparttar 137387 following information as accurately as you can make it, as of this very moment:

Age Height Weight Measurements Waist Bust Hips Thighs Upper arms Clothing size Type of hairstyle Any daily exercise obtained Today's primary mood Self-Appraisal (find 3 adjectives for each area) General appearance Size and shape Personal characteristics Interpersonal relationships Self-value Family or romantic relationships Level of self-satisfaction

3. Each day, you are going to enter not only what you ate, butrepparttar 137388 thoughts and emotions that accompaniedrepparttar 137389 food. Note: Don't become obsessive - it more productive to keep this daily but if you run out of time and energy now and then, skip it, and get back to it when you can.

4. It is going to take some thought and memory-searching to ferret out what you need so find yourself a quiet spot where you can be alone and quiet. Keep your book there, close at hand, so you can quickly visit when you want to record anything that occurs to you.

5. Start teaching yourself to identifyrepparttar 137390 inner landscape that accompanies your food intake. Focus onrepparttar 137391 moments before you ate: How did you feel atrepparttar 137392 time? Were you (genuinely) hungry - create a 1 to 10 rating scale for yourself, ranging from "not really" up to "starved, faint, light-headed." Were you bored? Were you anxious and trying to calm yourself down? Were you angry and stuffing that anger down your own throat? Were you feeling sorry for yourself? Were you with good friends and just wanted to be part ofrepparttar 137393 group? Were you just not thinking? Were you trying to punish yourself -or someone else? You may find that you ate several times a day forrepparttar 137394 same reason or thatrepparttar 137395 triggers to eat differed throughoutrepparttar 137396 day depending uponrepparttar 137397 circumstances and people involved atrepparttar 137398 time.

Weight Loss: One Day At A Time

Written by Virginia Bola, PsyD

Most of us are aware ofrepparttar AA axiom of "One day at a time." It speaks torepparttar 137381 secret of any long term goal - concentrate on takingrepparttar 137382 right step andrepparttar 137383 journey will take care of itself. Likerepparttar 137384 alcoholic who facesrepparttar 137385 urge to drink at every turn,repparttar 137386 overweight fataholic must also steer a narrow passageway throughrepparttar 137387 shoals of temptation andrepparttar 137388 deadly barrage of food advertisements, ubiquitous drive-throughs, social occasions, and office treats.

While no one would suggest that a recovering alcoholic has it easy,repparttar 137389 plain fact is that controlled eating is more difficult because we can't stop cold turkey, at least not on a permanent basis. We must eat to live (but how many of us live to eat?) else die of starvation.

Sometimes, cold turkey seemsrepparttar 137390 easiest way to go. Talk to anyone who has been on a fast and they will enthusiastically describe how after about three days, they no longer even wanted to eat, felt no hunger, and blissfully enjoyed their new sense of freedom and independence from food.

But even a fasting proponent will admit that, at some time, eating must be restored, preferably in a measured, controlled sequence. Returning to real life can be a jolt! This real world living of ours demands that we make it through each day with as few lapses as possible, demanding an arsenal of weapons to help us fightrepparttar 137391 good fight against our powerful and omnipresent enemy: fat.

Here are some tools to help you get through each day. Mix, match, add others you find, as needed.

1. Consistent Awareness.

Never, ever, (is that strong enough for you?) allow even a seed to pass your lips without being consciously aware of it. You may choose to eat something or you may elect to skip it. The important concept is that you are making a choice and that you control that choice. How many of us pop something into our mouth absentmindedly, almost unaware of what we are doing? How often have you set a second cookie aside and when you reach for it it'' gone? We don'' even remember eating it so we can'' say we enjoyed it. What a waste --of both an innocent cookie andrepparttar 137392 pleasurable taste it provided.

2. Substitute delay for denial.

It is sometimes just too hard to say no. If that'srepparttar 137393 mood you're in, tell yourself you'll wait a little bit and have it later. Chances are that your mood will change, your better self will regainrepparttar 137394 upper hand, and you'll elect not to have it at all. (And if you do eat it, do it with full awareness and identify your emotional state for recording in your journal).

3. Avoid hot button situations.

If your coworkers pork out on mid-afternoon treats, schedule your beak for that time and go for a walk. You'll feel so virtuous and re-energized byrepparttar 137395 fresh air that when you return to your desk, evenrepparttar 137396 remaining scraps will not merit a second glance.

4. Avoid public discussions.

Don't fall intorepparttar 137397 habit of discussing your diet with coworkers. Everyone is on a diet, it seems, and everyone is trying something different. Before you know it,repparttar 137398 pros and cons are being earnestly discussed,repparttar 137399 forbidden and allowed foods debated, andrepparttar 137400 whole crew is totally focused on food - a sure recipe (forgiverepparttar 137401 pun) for disaster! We want you to concentrate on that significant portion ofrepparttar 137402 world that has absolutely nothing to do with eating. Don't think food, don't talk food, don't visualize food, andrepparttar 137403 likelihood of avoiding eating increases dramatically.

5. Drive pastrepparttar 137404 drive-throughs.

No matter their marketing claims, fast food doesn't belong on your diet, any diet. Evenrepparttar 137405 salads are drenched with fatty dressings and perked up with extras. Everything else is fried - food cooked in animal fat that barely has to change its chemical composition to turn into human fat. If you're stranded onrepparttar 137406 road, find a good deli.

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