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4 New Ways to Log How You Eat
Do I have to quote the many studies that show that people using food logs lose more weight and keep it off more than those who don't? You're a Calorie Count member, so you know the power a food log can have in helping you start and maintain healthy eating habits. It's straightforward to log everything you eat, every meal, every day, but after you've got it down to a science, you may want to try something different. Don't give up the food log entirely, instead try a different approach. To get a new perspective on how you eat, try logging new ways.
Loving Left Overs
If you're a member of the clean plate club, and considering quitting, keep track of your left overs. As you learn to stop eating when you're full, log what you consciously decide to leave behind. You can take a before-and-after picture of your plate, note it with a check in an existing food log, or create a separate list of leftovers on your fridge. The point is to make you more mindful of when you're full while you're eating, and remind you that leftovers can save you time and money on subsequent meals. Over time you logging your leftovers will lead to portion control. Though it may have seen foreign to clean plate clubber such as yourself, you may start to ask your server to box half of your meal before it makes it to the table.
Celebrate Portion Control
After you've mastered mindfully leaving more than you need behind, start keeping tabs on your portions. Learning portion control is important in making sure your weight loss is maintained. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends half of your plate be fruits and vegetables. Whether you eat at home or away, compare what you are served with the right portion. Keep Calorie Count's Picturing Portions Chart on hand to be sure you're eating the right portions of each food group. Determine how many servings of each food group you should have a day, and list that number at each meal. Replace the excessive portions with fresh fruit and vegetables if you're not satisfied after your meal. Overtime you'll train your eyes and your stomach to recognize super-sized portions and eventually cut back.
Triumph Over Cravings
Don't ignore discretionary calories. Those daily small indulgences are a part of any healthy diet. You can't deprive yourself forever, so consider what you'll crave, and write down how you do. When you give in, but have less than the 100 to 300 calories you're allowed, that's a triumph. If you get past the 10 minutes most cravings last and let it go, that's another win for you. Even when you overdo it, take note. As you get better at balancing the frequency and amount of discretionary calories you allow yourself, curbing your cravings will get easier.
Exchanges for Healthier Food
A turkey burger instead of beef, club soda with fresh lemon as opposed to lemonade, salad or soup instead of fries. As you make better choices at meal time, track those healthy exchanges. Add up how many calories, fat grams, or carbs you save when you do. On the bright side, count how much more fiber, potassium, or protein you add. It can be cumbersome to do this at every meal, but try to consciously think about exchanges at least two to three times a week and put it in black and white. After months of tracking healthy exchanges, you'll find it easy in any food situation to find the healthiest options.
List some alternative ways you keep track of what your meals?