Where better to start the first blog than at the beginning…
When our bodies are made up from the food we eat it seems senseless not to choose wisely what we eat on a daily basis. Good nutrition can go a long way to healing, promoting health, boosting vitality, increasing energy levels and improving body composition, plus benefitting exercise performance. Additionally, eating engages all of our senses - smell, sight, taste, touch; food is there to be enjoyed, used as a healthy reward and for social pleasures.
Each and every one of us is unique, with our own preferences for food and lifestyles. Food is one of those factors in life that we can control. There is plenty of information out in the ether on WHAT to eat and WHEN to eat but little information on HOW to improve and change what we eat for the better and at the same time understand WHY you need to make those changes.
For any nutrition plan to be effective and stick, first you need to take responsibility for what goes into your mouth; becoming aware and mindful of what you are eating will help to identify what is going well and what can be improved.
Self-awareness empowers you to change!
How to become aware?
Start by mentally keeping note of what you are eating, and ask yourself questions such as:
- What exactly are you eating and drinking?
- Why are you eating?
- What time is it?
- Is it a meal or snack?
- Are you hungry? How much have you eaten? Are you full?
- Are you thirsty?
- Engage your senses: what does the food smell like? Taste like? What is the texture?
- Do you chew your food well? (16-20 times is how often it is suggested to chew each mouthful).
- What are you doing whilst eating? e.g. watching TV, reading, sitting at your desk, on the train, during training, after exercise
- Are there any triggers to your eating? Hunger? Emotional? Social? Certain foods?
- Has what you have eaten around exercise benefited? Or hindered?
- How are your energy levels during the day? Do they vary?
Remember these can be positive comments!
- Do the above for one week.
- Then keep a daily food diary for one week.
- Keep a note of all of the above, include the food/drink item eaten, time and quantity, and note any feelings around eating.
- Include your schedule of work, training, exercise timings, duration
During this week don’t change anything, berate yourself for the not so good days or cheat yourself on what you write down. The task is simply to become aware of the whats and whys.
This is the start to recognising where changes and better choices can be made to your eating habits.
After one week of keeping a food diary read through it and highlight any points that you are doing well in your eating habits. Then highlight a few points that could improve your eating habits.
Think about where you can ADD MORE and EAT MORE nutritious foods that will serve you well for your day.
Check back here once you have kept your food diaries and please leave a comment below about what you have discovered.