Evidence and Food Police

21 Aug

If there is one thing I have learned in the last few months, it is that food is 80% of weight loss. I didn’t believe it at first. In fact, I resisted it. Why does it matter what you are eating as long as you are under your daily calorie goal? Well, it matters…big time. I didn’t go from zero to sixty overnight. It took me about a month to get in to “clean” eating. You can do it too.

 

Here’s the secret, you have to go slow to go fast. Do not attempt to change everything you eat overnight. That’s a pretty overwhelming step and you are setting yourself up to fail. It is unrealistic to take a lifetime of habit and think you can flip a switch and be done. Like everything else, you have to do something different to get something different. Just as important, you need accountability (what I call “food police”). Here’s how to work on your eating…one step at a time.

 

For the first week, write down everything you eat and what time of day. Try to guess on your serving sizes. That’s it. Are you already thinking “I can’t write stuff down, I’m just too busy…” Guess what? You have to do something different to get something different. No excuses. Write it down!

 

The second week your goal is to start adding up calories. There are a million resources to help you do this. My favorite happens to be the app for Loseit.com (if you want to “friend” me there, my user name is grumpyspice). Again, your goal here is accurate recording and calculating calories. This is to help you become aware of what you are eating. There are no judgments or critiques, just observation.

 

As you begin week 3, I am guessing you will be a little surprised at what you eat. Maybe you eat more than you thought, or you realize you are only eating twice a day. You may be able to begin to see a pattern; that you’re most tempting time is midafternoon or early evening. Again, this is not about judgments, it’s about observation. “But Anne, writing stuff down is so hard…I don’t remember to all the time and….”  BLAH, BLAH, BLAH! Choose to do something different. Write it down!

 

Start week 4 by deciding on 1 thing you will change in your eating. This could be anything: meeting your daily calorie intake, eating 3 vegetables, cutting your meals in half, having a protein for breakfast, incorporating a healthy snack during your tempting hour, eliminating a processed food, drinking 64 oz of water, and on and on. The choice is yours. Pick one thing and do it. Be ready to check in with your food police and show the “evidence” of your success. At a minimum, your evidence will be your food record. You may also be able to report other “evidence” like weight loss, a change in your energy level, or a feeling of accomplishment.

 

Week 5 is where the food police comes in. Find somebody to hold you accountable to your goal. I don’t care who it is, but this person needs to be clear on their role. They will be checking to see if you met YOUR goal and if you did not, they will ask you why and what are you going to do differently to meet that goal. Then you will report to them next week on how you did with your plan to meet the goal. That’s it. There is no advice, no suggestions, no judgment. This is not about your food police person. This is about you. If you think you can swing it, you can even be your own food police. For me, when I started I knew I needed to be accountable to someone. In fact, there were several occasions where I chose not to eat something because I would have to relive the moment with my food police. Instead, I found some other way to deal with what I was dealing with.

 

Each week add on 1 small change. You may find that some changes take two weeks to stick and that is okay. Keep moving forward. The goal here is to build on success after success…going slow to go fast. And again, I cannot emphasize enough, the focus is on YOUR goal. This is about you. Your friend, doctor, nutritionist, personal trainer, co-worker, whoever may have advice and a goal for you. Take these under advisement (especially from your doctor) and use them to determine YOUR weekly goal. At the end of the day, this is your life, your choice, and your journey. To get something different, you need to do something different. Start by building the evidence for your “something different”.

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3 Responses to “Evidence and Food Police”

  1. t marie August 29, 2012 at 4:16 am #

    Great, practical advice to help someone get started.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Assemble your team « Do Something Different to Get Something Different - September 13, 2012

    […] Food police: somebody to hold you accountable to your eating goals. Read more about that here. […]

  2. 2X4 moments « Do Something Different to Get Something Different - January 31, 2013

    […] Okay, so we are now aware of the need for change and the discomfort it will bring…is that enough? Almost. A 2X4 moment for me was being aware of what I was doing throughout the day. The best example is what I was eating. In my head I wasn’t eating that much. I wasn’t really sure, but I made a good guess that eating wasn’t the problem. That was until I started writing down what I ate and calculating calories. Suddenly I have evidence to show that I wasn’t eating the way I thought I was. Having a food/activity journal helped me be aware of what I was doing because I had to write it down and look at it. No more mindless eating. No more “expensive” calories choices. See “Evidence and Food Police” […]

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