Caryn’s New Year’s Diet

Sneakers on a Pier3 copyI’m starting off the new year with a  diet.   I want to set myself up for success, so I will not make this an all or nothing plan.  I will start with 30 days and if I have a slip up so be it.  Yoni Freedhoff says slip ups happen so I will accept that it will happen and move on. After 30 days I will assess my progress and decide what the next step is.

My diet is about social media.  I don’t think I consume it in a healthy way.  I spend an excessive amount of time on social media.  Since I did not have it growing up, it is a novelty that I cannot get enough of, kind of like junk food for some people.

I long for those days of simplicity with paper and productivity.  I remember fondly writing little notes in class and passing them to my BFF known then as my best friend.  I remember hours of phone conversations instead of endless digital chats.  When I wanted to learn something new, I would get a book on the subject or read an article in a journal.  Now I just scroll through my Facebook feed and click on the many links to learn about stuff I don’t really need to know.

One of the problems has become too much information.  I can’t take it all in. Too much of anything is unhealthy.  Too much food, even good food, is not healthy.  Eat less, is the message top nutrition scientists have been saying for years.  I am going to implement this same advice for social media consumption.

My high school buddy Dr. Tanny is also dieting.  He proposed the idea and it was just the impetus I was looking for to stop the insanity of Facebooking. Partnering up with someone who has the same goals is motivating and fun.  Exercising with someone helps with accountability and reduces the chance of missing  a workout.

We will see how far we get and what positive experiences stem from this approach to reducing the consumption of social media.  Dr. Tanny will wean himself off slowly by ranting on twitter. I will relax on Pinterest for now.

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Do you want to lose weight? Here’s an idea that will help!

Are you struggling with
weight loss?  Have you tried keeping a
food journal?  Studies show that keeping
a food diary is an effective way to help reduce unwanted pounds.  In fact, journaling is a great way to manage
other issues such as stress and even 
your money.  I liken keeping a
food diary to keeping a money diary.  To
get a hold of my own finances I applied the concept of keeping a food diary to
myself.  Instead of writing down what I
eat I write down what I spend.  This
activity gave me insight into what my clients deal with when journaling.  I needed to learn how to better manage my
money and I figured it would work for me. 
It is a bit of a pain but it really works. 

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When you write down what you
are eating or spending exactly as it is, you get the big picture.  You can't cheat and you can't lie to the
paper.  You finally become accountable to
yourself for your habits.  Using this
technique I was able to cut back on my spending.  I saw how much money I was wasting at coffee
houses and was quite surprised.  I
stopped that pretty quickly and other frivolous expenditures as well.  Hopefully, your food diary will give you the
same insight and help you decrease your portion sizes and even reduce your
intake of questionable foods.

When keeping a food journal
it is essential to write down what you eat and the amounts.  It's also a good idea to log the way the food
is prepared (grilled chicken, poached egg, fried liver).  When visiting a dietitian, bringing a food
journal like this to your appointment will really help.  It is great when clients keep detailed
records of what they eat.  It allows me
to see what the problem areas are but more importantly it gives me an idea of
what they like to eat.  I love teaching
people how to eat healthy using foods they actually enjoy.  Can you imagine discussing the benefits of
oatmeal only to find out the client has a huge aversion to this food.  It can be a turn off to them.  If I have a food diary in front of me and see
that the client regularly eats breakfast (yaaa!) and it is a plain white bagel
then I might suggest a whole grain bagel or toast to start with, rather than
the oatmeal.   

Another benefit to keeping a
food diary is that it makes it easier to track calories.  It's a good idea to get to know what's in
your food including the calories.  Dr.
Freedhoff recently wrote an interesting blog about how to calorie count and why
it is beneficial.  For some people
knowing the caloric amount of their daily intake is significant.  If you know exactly what your physical output
is along with the caloric intake then it facilitates figuring out how many
calories you need to consume in order to lose weight.  However, there are many factors that can make
these calculations inaccurate.  I have
found that focusing on food choices and portion sizes to be very effective but
I have also had success with clients who calorie count.  It really depends on the person. 

Give the food diary a chance
and let me know if it works for you!