We’re well into spring and heading quickly towards summer. Spring is a great time to reassess your diet, which is something I discussed in my first post in this series. Today we’re at Step 2, which encourages you to actually measure what you’re eating. It’s easier than you think, and well worth the effort.
I will admit that I feel rather Freudian, given my first strategy for healthy eating and/or weight loss begins with self (dietary) analysis. But let’s start from the top (or the bottom, depending on how you look at it): Assess Your Diet. Today’s tip may sound boring, but it’s a fundamental part of creating lasting dietary change. Think of it as a dietary GPS, which begins with programming your current locations as the first critical step before you map out where you are going. The simple fact is that however you are looking to alter your diet, it makes sense to first understand fully what and how you are actually eating. Then, you can see where you need to direct your efforts to make the dietary adjustments needed to enjoy better health and a healthier weight.
It’s Elementary, My Dear Readers
If you don’t get excited about analyzing your own behavior or measuring things, like some of us science geeks, then picture yourself as Sherlock Holmes, trying to investigate what’s going wrong in your diet in the quest to solve the mystery of why you are overweight, why you’re not in the shape you want to be, and/or whatever other health issue you are having that may be diet related. It’s like writing your very own dietary detective story. Sure, it’s only moderately interesting, but you’re still the star.
I’m using the analogy of a mystery here because, like many of the choices we make in our lives, we don’t always have a handle on what exactly we are doing, let alone why. This can also be true about what and how we eat, which is why assessing our diet is so critical. Indeed, if you’ve ever met with a nutrition professional to examine your diet, one of the first things you do is record what you’re eating. This information can then be used to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your diet and your food preferences, which will better inform a potential treatment plan that is most suitable for your dietary tastes and styles. While I can’t provide individually tailored advice in this forum, I promise you will find this exercise useful and informative, and possibly even fun.
So. Measure my diet? How do I do that, you query? Good question, thanks for asking. Here’s the rest of the article and the how-to.
Dr. P. K. Newby is a nutrition scientist and educator at Boston University and food and health writer at Play a Good Knife and Fork: Cooking and Eating the P.K.Way. Become a fan on Facebook, follow her on Twitter, or see healthy food porn with links to her articles on Pinterest.