Sample Image Hands up, who's clean eating plan has gone out the window over the past couple of days/weeks since the festive season began.  Its only been a week but if you're like me you already feel your clothes a little tighter in some areas.  A little extra wine here and there, extra meals out and treats are finally showing on the scales and your clothes. 

The mind's wandering away from the gym, can't be bothered doing your cardio, afterall it is your holiday and you can relax as much as you want right?  Wrong! well sort of.  Yes you should absolutely enjoy time off work and the great weather we've been having but you should also be keeping a reasonable healthy diet so that you don't have to do the hard slog on your cardio when you do go back to work.
One of the things you can do to help keep yourself in 'check' over the holidays is keep a food diary. Knowing that you have to write everything in a diary keeps you honest and tracks everything that you are eating and drinking. The diary is possibly a holiday spoiler for some people but it you're serious about not going overboard in the holidays then its a great idea to start one now.

The Food diary will help you by:  

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Keeping you accountable for all those 'little extras'

Many people eat healthily at mealtimes, but snack badly in between. If you're aiming to maintain your weight over the holidays, just a few extras (eg. a wine or 2 a day, a couple meals out or not eating regularly) can bump the scales upwards.  Writing down everything you eat demonstrates the cost of those 'occasional' nibbles...

Knowing when you can afford to treat yourself
Conversely, keeping track of your food intake over the course of a day or a week gives you the freedom to enjoy a treat once in a while - guilt-free. If you know you've got calories to spare for the day, and no chocolate has passed your lips for six days, you can indulge yourself!

Making you aware of when you're eating
Keeping a food diary highlights patterns, showing if you overeat at particular times. Perhaps you binge late at night, because you've been eating too little all day? Or perhaps you graze constantly? If you don't keep a food diary because you have no hope of remembering everything you eat ... you may need to change your habits.

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Fight 'portion creep'

Those of us who've been dieting or maintaining for a long time often get used to "eyeballing" portions rather than weighing everything out. But if your weight loss has plateaued, or if those pounds are edging back on, keeping a diary means you need to weigh your foods. That "medium" portion of pasta or rice might be bigger than you think...

Seeing your habits changing
It can be motivational to look back on a food diary from a few months or even years ago and see how your nutritional choices have changed. Perhaps you've curbed your chocolate habit, or maybe you now eat proper meals instead of junk-food snacks. And if you're having a bad day, flicking back to a "perfect" week in your diary is encouraging: if you did it once, you can do it again!

Boosting your self-control
Knowing you have to write down everything you eat makes you think twice about that donut, or that second plateful at a buffet. Even if you're the only person who'll see your diary, recording your food intake is a very easy way to improve your self-control.

Making you exercise
You should also keep track of what exercise you do and the duration.  By seeing what you're doing or not doing, it'll motivate you to be active and write in your diary too. 


Writing a food and activity diary doesn't have to be complicated.  You can just use a normal diary and jot in there each day:
- Times you ate
- What you ate and roughly portion size of your food
- Times and duration of your activity
-  Record all your liquids, yes including alcohol!

Once you've written down your first day, you'll want to make all the days ahead a little better.

If you need a diary sheet to fill in, we can send you one. Email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

We don't mean to be 'the grinch' but just want to remind you to stick to your healthy eating habits as we don't want to let a few weeks of holiday spoil all your hardwork you've done in 2010!

We wish you a happy and festive welcome to the New Year!
Lisa, Go Figure
27 December 2010


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