Healthy that is....
But what exactly does "healthy" mean?
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, healthy means "free from disease or pain," "showing physical, mental, or emotional well-being" and "beneficial to one's physical, mental, or emotional state."
Do you REALLY eat healthy?
I know many times I think I am eating healthy, but when I start logging my food for a couple weeks, I notice that I have slacked. I got caught-up in my old ways of eating too much sugar, not enough protein, not enough vegetables, etc. See, I have the same problem as most people and have to continually remind myself to eat healthy as well.
So how can you REALLY know if you are eating healthy?
I recommend logging your daily food and drink intake for at least 2 weeks to really get a good look into how you eat on a regular basis. You'll most likely be surprised with what you find out. For example:
- How often do you eat vegetables, lean protein, sugar, processed foods, etc.?
- How often do you drink alcohol?
- What is deficient in your nutrition?
- Do you tend to eat smaller or larger portion sizes?
- Are you eating only when hungry or are you emotionally eating as well?
- How much water do you drink each day?
- How do ingredients make you feel 30 minutes to 48 hours after consumption?
- And so on...
By putting pen to paper you are actively recording in your brain and keeping your nutrition at the top of your mind. You'll start noticing what you reach for in the refrigerator when it's time you eat versus mindlessly choosing and consuming.
To help make these two weeks of food logging easier for you, keep a pen and paper/notebook with you at all times. Record your intake including food item, quantity, and notes on how you feel or the situation you were in at the time. This is important as snacks are typically consumed unpredictably and, as a result, is impossible to record accurately unless your food log is nearby.
Try to record as precisely as possible every single item that you consume including water, vitamins, condiments, etc. Use a small food scale if you have one, or use standard measuring devices (ex: measuring cups and measuring spoons) to record the quantities consumed as accurately as possible. If you don't eat all of an item as planned, measure what's left and record the difference.
Also record combinations of food separately (ex: 100% lean ground beef, brioche bun, and condiments) and include brand names of food items, or list the contents of homemade items, whenever possible. For packaged items, use labels to determine quantities and ingredients.
Now I admit, this will still feel cumbersome over the 2-week period, but the knowledge you will gain from this experience is ten-fold and well worth the effort. Like I said before, you will most likely be surprised with what you find out. And best of all, you don't need to count calories!
So choose your pen and paper/notebook of preference, determine a start date for logging (ex: Monday, February 12th), and when you are done I would love to hear what you found out. What nutrition habits were you surprised by and what are your plans to adjust them based upon your goals?
Ready, set, go! You got this!
Yours In Fitness, Heather Binns