It was several years ago that I first did this. I was interested in losing some weight, shaping up, the usual. But I was most interested in seeing what I was putting into my body without really thinking about it.
So when I began, I did not attempt to limit anything that I was eating. I wanted to see what foods, portions and at what times during the day I was eating.
Everyday, in a notebook, I wrote down what I was eating, how much and at what time. I also recorded the calories and fat grams that went along with the foods that I was eating.
After recording my eating habits for a couple of days, I saw where changes could be made to improve my diet. I had three main problems -- portion size, food choices, and a “weak” time of the day for snacking.
If you are not used to measuring out portion sizes, you might be eating more than you think. I was.
For example, dry cereal has a portion size that can vary from ½ cup to 1 cup, depending upon type. That is not much in a bowl.
I considered myself a fairly healthy eater but even with choosing decent foods, I was eating more than I realized. This also made me a more educated label reader.
I was making protein smoothies for meals or snacks, but never read the label on the frozen fruit to know that sugar had been added. As a result, I began buying organic frozen fruit where fruit is the only ingredient. And I stopped being tricked by processed food labeled “low fat” and “fat free.”
Okay, I was not eating as healthy as I thought. When I looked at my list, it was clear. There were changes that could be made.
I had to be ready to make some better choices. I could still have ice cream, just not several nights a week after dinner, which was my dessert habit.
For me, eating can sometimes just be a habit. For example, if I go to the movies, I want popcorn. And if I go there hungry, it is probable that I will eat the entire bag.
So I change the habit. I make sure that I don’t go hungry or order the smallest (and worst-valued) bag and share it with my husband.
Cutting back on sugar is always a challenge for me because I like it.