Day 5--Logging Your Meals

You better watch yourself. If you continue to do so well, you'll be promoted at the end of the week to Lieutenant Astronaut. And, then it will be time for lift-off. You and your fellow space settlers are getting close to leaving Earth for your training camp on the Moon.


INTRODUCTION

This week we'll be shining the spotlight on the sub-conscious Assistant part of the brain. She's kind of a secretive gal. She takes care of most of our eating, but she doesn't really let us know what she's up to.

To find out what she's up to and to keep tabs on her, we're going to start logging our food. I know, I know. Not another food journal, but this one is different.

It will be easy to do and work with your sub-conscious. It's photo based, so you actually log your meal before you eat it. Here’s why you’ll like it:

  • It helps you to be pro-active rather than reactive since you're paying attention before your meal.

  • Also, because is photo based, it takes a lot less time to do.

  • Pictures are worth a 1000 words, so you'll also get a lot better info about what the Assistant is putting into your mouth.


Start logging your meals and snacks by taking pictures of them. If you need to, set 3-4 alarms on your phone (breakfast, lunch, and dinner--snacks optional) to remind yourself to take photos and log your meals and snacks. Set the alarms for a few minutes before you typically eat your meals. You won't need these alarms forever--just until logging your meals is second nature for you. 

If logging your meals seems a lot, then you can implement it in stages.

Day 1--Set alarms on your phone and log one meal on the app

Day 2--Start logging your meals

Day 3--Continue logging your meals and snacks 

Day 4--Continue logging your meals and snacks, and log BLTs (bites, licks, and tastes) if needed.

All good astronauts keep logs, and you're no different.

There may be a lot of inner grumbling going on right now.

Why?

Your Assistant is mad. Remember she's like a teenager. So she just found out that you're going to start using an internet monitoring service to see what she is up to. Her days of Phantom Eating are over.

The idea behind food logging is to start paying attention to what the Assistant is doing when no one is watching. It's not about counting calories, but becoming mindful. It's about learning to eat on purpose, instead of accidental eating.

If you want an overview of how to do this in the app, check out the video at the end of the lesson (coming soon).

LESSON

YOU CAN WATCH IT HERE:

OR YOU CAN READ IT HERE:

Food Logging Habit

Today we're going to talk about your new habit—logging your meals. You should see a video down below that's going to take you through all the steps of how to do that (coming soon).

Why Self-Monitoring Works

So probably every weight loss program you’ve been on has had you do some kind of food journal or food diary—maybe use an app to enter all the food that you eat.

And. the reason why they do that is that self monitoring works. It actually works, and it helps people to lose weight. The reason why this is—and this is where it gets interesting—the reason why it works is because the Assistant (part of your brain) is in charge of your meals pretty much from day-to-day.

Everything's on habit mode. We stop noticing what we're eating. And, because she likes pleasure, she'll eat too much or things that aren't going to help us reach our health goals. 

Put a Spotlight On

By doing a food journal or logging our meals, we start paying attention again. We put a spotlight on what we're doing— on The Assistant—and see what we're actually putting into our mouth.

So it's not about having the food police look at what we're doing. I am not the food police here.

What we're doing is we're just starting to pay attention. And what we're going to do in the future is:

  • Plan—We're going to plan our meals on purpose.

  • Assess—Then, we're going to see if we actually did what we meant to do.

  • Adjust—And, we're just going to get better and better at it.

Logging meals is going to help us do that.

Photo Logging

Now the way I do it is a little bit different than what you've probably done before. We're not going to use an app where we put in how much food weighs before the meal. That can take up to 10 minutes to enter per meal. 

And the other thing—that takes The Boss (part of your brain). It takes some work and some thinking. And, who has time for that? People don't keep up with that.

We're actually going to take a picture before we eat. And the reason why that's so helpful is:

  1. First of all, we're paying attention to before we eat, not after.

  2. The second thing is I will help you to make a, what I call a meal template, which is a visual system to decide how to eat and to set up your meals. Well, taking a picture is a visual system and logging it that way is visual. So, they're all going to work together to help you to do this automatically.

  3. Third, it will save you time without having to take a bunch of time to weigh things and measure things and count calories or count macros. This is all going to be very quick and it's going to be on that habit part of your brain.

food logging is For You

I just want to remind you that this is for you.

You don't have to worry about impressing me.

I'm not the food police.

You don't get a trophy for having the best plate out there.

Again, we're learning to pay attention to what we're eating, eat our meals on purpose, and then tweak and learn from anything for the future.

Your Assignment

So, go ahead and start logging your meals. And, if you need help to figure out how to add things to your food log, then go ahead and look at the video down below .


FAQs About Logging Meals

Everyone has questions when it comes to logging their meals and snacks, and I bet you’re no exception. I’m going to answer the most frequently asked questions below, but don’t hesitate to ask me anything that I don’t cover. If logging every meal seems overwhelming to you, just let me know. We’ll develop a modified meal logging schedule to help you feel successful and to do what feels right for you.


LESSON

YOU CAN WATCH IT HERE:

OR YOU CAN READ IT HERE:

Frequently Asked Questions

You may have some questions about logging your meals now that you've got some practice under your belt. So, today let’s talk about the most FAQs (frequently asked questions) that I get about logging your food.


How Long Do I Have to Do This?

The first question that people ask me is— Am I going to have to do this forever?

And, the answer is NO.

You don't have to do it forever. But, we're going to do it as long as you need to to put your eating on autopilot— where you don't need to go back and check it all the time. So you can talk to your coach about when that would be for you.

But for now, just keep doing it.

What If I Don’t Eat it All?

Another question that I get is—What if I don't eat my whole meal?

Well, that's okay. You've already taken a picture of it. Just in the notes below the picture write—I left a few bites .

Or, I left half of my plate. I wasn't as hungry as I thought I'd be.

That's fine.

What if I Ate More?

Now what if you go and get seconds?

Well, again, you would just put a note down there in the note section saying— Oh, I got another serving of this (because we don't always remember to take that picture).

And what happens if you're in an awkward place?

Like you're out to eat, or you're at a work meeting where you don't want to whip out your phone. Again, just write down what you had in the notes.

We're just trying to pay attention and get in that habit of paying attention to our meal before we eat it.

What Do I Do if I Forgot to Take a Picture?

Now what happens if you forgot?

Like I said, just put it in the notes section as to a good guess of what you had to eat.

How Do I Log Beverages?

Now another question I get is about beverages. Do I have to log every drink of water and every black coffee? 

What to do about that? Now if it has no calories like water, black coffee, or diet soda, you don't have to log it.

Except…

if that's one of your goals. If you want to get more water, then we're going to want to log it and take a picture of it. If you're trying to cut down on your caffeine intake, maybe you take pictures of that diet soda or that black coffee.

But any beverage with calories, you’ll want to take a picture of it.

And then if you're trying to work on that and trying to increase or decrease those beverages, you’ll want a picture of them.

What Do I Do if I Take a Little Taste?

Another question that I get is—What do I do about all those BLTs?

We're not talking sandwiches here. BLTS stand for— bites, licks and tastes.

If you occasionally take a little spoonful of spaghetti sauce when you're making dinner, you don't need to log it. 

But if bites, licks and tastes are something that you need to work on to get to your health goals, then we want to start logging them. We’ll want to take a picture of every single bite, lick and taste that you do.

I know for me, bites, licks and tastes are something that I've had to work on. Just knowing that I'm going to have to log them keeps me from doing it.

So bites, licks, and tastes— those BLTs— talk to your coach if this is something that you want to (or need to do). You can add it as habit that you do every time you take a BLT, because you know what? Once you start taking those pictures and you have to log the BLTs, you're going to stop doing it (because The Assistant is lazy).

Your Assignment

All right. If you have any more questions about logging your meals, be sure to ask me. And, we'll come up with a plan for you.