Monday, 17 April 2017

Live in Balance: A to Z Challenge - N is for...

Nutrition
plate of sushi
My favourite food 💜
It is one of the more popular journals that many people start off with, a diet journal. You are supposed to note everything that you eat and drink during the day to spot where you are going wrong or to count the calories of your diet.
It can be successful to help you recognise where you are cheating if you are following a specific diet regime.
While this probably worked for many people, it didn't work for me. It was a disappointment when I realised that just making a list of what I consumed, wasn't helping me at all. I needed to figure out what I did wrong, but not just what I ate, but my behaviour and emotions, at the time.
You may already know that diets fail because they are temporary. As soon as you return to your 'normal' way of eating, you often regain the weight lost, and in many cases more than where you started from.
So if a diet journal wasn't the answer, how could keeping a food journal actually be of some benefit?
Food vs Feelings
When we write in our journals we note our feelings and thoughts, so why should those be excluded when we keep a food journal? Is our food behaviour not often linked to our emotional states?
Linzé Brandon, Live in Balance, Goals 2017, online journal, #atozchallengeDo you eat when you are sad? Or bored? Or lonely? Or depressed? Or happy?
Instead of just writing down a list of all the food and drink you consumed during the day, also note the circumstances when you did. Also, note the way you felt before and after eating or drinking.
Did you eat because you were hungry, or should you rather have had a glass of water? We often confuse thirst with hunger, and then eating something won't help if you are getting dehydrated.
By making these notes I realised that I was getting headaches more often than usual. I drank more water and the headaches went away, until I actually had a real headache, then drinking water alone didn't solve the pain without a painkiller.
I am not going to tell you how I adjusted my lifestyle when it comes to food because it works for me. It addresses my issues in terms of food and my physical and emotional needs.
You need to resolve this for yourself. Keep a food journal for two or three weeks, and note your feelings and other circumstances at the same time.
Fix your own food issues
Only after the allocated time is past, do you go back and analyse what you have written. If you eat when you are depressed, you might need to consult someone who is way smarter than I am about these things. Or a dietician, or perhaps a friend can help.
If you are bored, get a hobby. They are not just fun, but creative activities will also help you in your journey to happiness, and you might lose a few pounds in the process.
Food is closely linked to our emotional state of mind, and we need to make sure that our health is always a primary concern, even if you are satisfied with your body weight.
Whatever you find and decide, make sure it is the best, most healthy solution for you. Keep noting your progress in your journal - living a healthy life is a lifetime journey after all.