Start a Food Diary in the New Year!

Using a workout and food diary and a food scale are two tools that can help you achieve your body-shape goals. The start of the New Year is the perfect time to pick up good, healthy living habits.  Start your food diary and track what you’re taking into your body and your exercise routines.

A workout and food diary helps you honestly understand how consistently you are working out, and with what level of effort.  Using a heart rate monitor will help you gauge and record your calorie burn during whatever exercise program you choose.  I often use it to challenge myself during a particular class to measure when I burn more calories.  I then mark what the type of exercise I performed and how I was feeling if that applies.  I can also use my diary for seeing my strength progress over a period of months.

The food diary allows me to keep a private accounting of the calories I accrue.  I’m not using this to be obsessive, but for many people who partake in designer coffees, bags of chips from a vending machine or bread and butter in a restaurant, it can help you identify areas  that can be trimmed down, therefore trimming down your waist line as well.  To be certain, all calories are not created equal.  100 calories from French fries does not equal in nutrition the same literal calories from whole foods.  Using the diary is just a tool to help encourage you to use your calories to your best advantage to bring you energy and strength.

The food scale is a tool that will help you calculate how many ounces certain foods are.  Many Americans have a skewed understanding of the weight of food.   If the average woman is recommended to eat 3-4 ounces of protein at lunch and dinner, many eat double that if they eat standard restaurant portions.  Using the scale helps you to visually understand at home, so that you can eat appropriate portions in restaurant, and take the remaining amount home to be used at a later time.

Body shape changes are accomplished with exercise and appropriate eating habits.  By utilizing different tools, you can feel that you are giving your best effort toward your goal.

Here’s a free food journal printout to get you started on tracking your food and exercise!

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