A nibble of this, a bite of that. Just a small glass of wine, or a dash of eggnog. What’s the big deal, it’s the holidays after all! Well, a lot, especially if you are trying to lose weight. I might sound bah humbug, but reread this again in January. You’ll want this advice when you are resolving to lose the holiday pounds.
Write It Down
Its called tracking, and it could be the most important component to losing weight. Tracking your food has been shown to be a solid predictor of permanant weight loss. What is tracking? Tracking doesn’t just mean estimating what you have eaten and scribbling it down. Tracking means doing some detective work on you. Recording not only what you ate, but how much, what time of day, where you ate, with whom, how you were feeling at the time, what else you were doing while eating, and whatever insights might come up that you feel are important. You can also track your successes and things that work for you, such as strategies you used at the company holiday party so you wouldn’t try one of everything at the buffet table. Why is tracking your food the key to weight loss? Tracking is especially important because:
Tracking your food helps build awareness and highlights patterns and habits we have. This might not be comfortable at times. We don’t always want to admit to ourselves our daily pumpkin latte habit.
Tracking your food makes you understand portions and what they are worth calorically. We then can make adjustments in the amount of food or exercise we need.
When we are ready to start a plan to lose weight, or even get healthier, we need to be accountable for the food we choose to eat. It’s called taking responsibility and it can be very empowering. Writing it down helps with this.
How To Track
These days, there are a lot of options to tracking your food. You can easily track:
- Online – there are many websites that offer free tracking
- On Your Phone – lots of easy to use apps to choose from, such as Lose It! or MyNetDiary
- With an old fashioned pen and paper – I am a big fan of putting pen to paper. Writing also gives you the ability to write more detail down. Splurge on a nice journal and share your deepest thoughts with no one but you.
After the holidays are done and you are back to a more normal routine, try tracking for just a few days. I would love to know how it works out for you. Did you have successes? Obstacles? Comment below and let me know how you do.