Habit Challenge 1: Record What You Eat Why?
There is a lot of value in the actual act of recording what you eat. It’s a behaviour that truly takes seconds to minutes a day to do, but each and every time you pull out your app or diary, you remind yourself of your healthy living desires and strategies. It’s through regular and conscious effects and reminders that new habits are formed, and any behaviour that helps you to keep your goals and intentions at the forefront of your busy mind is a good one. The point of this habit is awareness, not change. What I don’t like about food logging is when it becomes punitive or judgmental. Food diaries aren’t there to tell you what you are or aren’t allowed. A food diary is simply a source of information to help inform your decisions, as well as an incredibly powerful habit-building tool. So this is NOT a calorie counting habit. (Although it does demonstrate calorie intake; this is not the purpose of this challenge).
Recording what you eat isn’t meant to replace your dietary strategy; it’s there to supplement it. Whether you’ve been intermittently fasting, following a Paleo or low-carb plan, or even just doing your own thing, food logging, regardless of its imperfections, oversights, and shortcomings, may be just the thing you need to figure out why you might be stuck. STEP 1: Personalise it
Think about how you can personalise this habit? Choose how often you feel comfortable writing down what you eat. Is it for just one meal a day or two a day; maybe just the snacks? Or do you feel happy writing down everything you eat in all meals? Any amount will do.
STEP 2: Choose how to record it
Now choose how you’ll write down what you eat. On a paper journal, in a progress log, on a food logging app.
STEP 3: Make it Achievable
Think in terms of "how can I make this habit easy?" The first step is to scale the habit to something you are 90-100% confident you can do for 6 days of the week. You might want to track specific meals (just breakfasts, lunches, or dinners), or decide that journaling on paper is easier than an app for you. Have one day off per week from completing the habit. This is very important: whatever you pick, it should only take you one to two minutes to complete each day.
STEP 4: Attach the journaling to another regular daily task
Look for an event you can use as a reminder to write down what you eat: after your morning coffee, getting to work, after your workout, getting home from work, when an alarm goes off on your phone, whatever you want. Just pick a pre-existing habit to use as your reminder.
It’s science – you can’t outrun the law of physics. If you consistently eat more calories that you burn, you’ll tend to gain weight. Some people may gain incredibly quickly, some incredibly slowly, but due to the conservation of energy, if you happen to consume more energy than your body burns, you will dutifully store some of that energy for the future. There’s no more readily available source of energy information than calories. Sure there might be flaws in calorie counting, yet currently it is our most accurate number to track energy in our food. Knowing what you’re currently eating (and when) leads to better results. Studies have shown those who use a food diary lose twice as much weight as those not tracking. From my own coaching experience, those clients who log the most, achieve the best results. Just a coincidence? Surely not.
Food logging as part of my Balanced Life Programme isn’t used to replace a good dietary strategy, it’s there to support it. Nor is this a habit that you must keep doing forever. This will help you form new and sustainable healthy eating choices that will eventually become your new habits. It is being used here in habit formation, to help you create more awareness of your current dietary habits. So that over the coming months you’ll know how to personalise the habits you want to work on, to change your behaviours. You’ll know the areas you need to improve the most. You’re laying the foundations to incredible results. Keep up the great work.
For more information and advice on healthy habit formation, or to buy expertly designed recipe cards to help support fat loss, hormone balance and healthy eating for training, head to https://www.breezesportstherapy.com/healthy-meal-planners-recipe-cards-
For full details of BST BALANCED LIFE Training & Diet Programmes or to sign up for the initial launch reduced price offer, head to https://www.breezesportstherapy.com/online-fitness-programmes
This is the first in a series of habit challenges. Each week I will update the blog
page with a new healthy habit challenge to keep you on track to success.