Happy New Year to all my fellow writers, bloggers, readers and healthy folks. I thought it kind of fitting (unlike my trousers- ha!) that this second part has fallen in after the festive period. My intention was to post this much earlier, but work basically destroyed my life in December.
I digress. Part two is all about the bit I’m not so good at controlling – the eating. We’ve already discussed how exercise is a lifelong commitment to stay fit and trim. Monitoring food intake is exactly the same.
Some people are incredibly lucky and subconsciously self-regulate their eating. My partner is one of those annoying people. If he starts to gain weight, he just eats less, but he’s not thinking about it. It just happens for him. I asked him about it once and he had no idea what I was talking about. Needless to say James has never had a weight problem.
For the rest of us mere mortals I cannot stress the importance of food intake. I remember being out on a long run once with some of the chaps from my old running club. We were talking about being piggy eaters, and one response was, “If you run ten miles three times a week you can eat anything you want.”
I laughed so hard I nearly fell over. Apart from the unfathomable logic (to me a ten-miler is fine, but three times a week, every week just to eat and drink??) I pointed out that these gentleman had clearly never seen an Italian eat. I could destroy the calorie deficit of thirty miles in under an hour. Easy. Extremes of anything are not good.
So yes, although exercising helps to burn the calories, keeping track of what you eat is vitally important. It’s easy to over estimate activity and underestimate calorific values, or even the actual items you have consumed. How many times have you ‘forgotten’ about the wee biscuit you had with your tea, or the few chips that were left on the kids plates after dinner?
You know what comes next.
Write. It. Down.
If you do nothing else, write down everything that passes your lips. It has been proven that in going through the physical act of putting pen to paper, it makes us more aware of what we are consuming and in turn we become more mindful before eating something. It can also help to pinpoint ‘danger’ times for mindless eating and shows the pattern to our eating habits – I’m a nightmare between 3 and 6 p.m – meaning you can take steps to avoid mindless overeating.
Just like exercise, make it a habit. Practise it every day until it becomes second nature. The more often you do it, the easier it becomes. It makes you face up to your eating problems and tackle them head-on.
Now that Christmas is over and everything is back to normal, I’m going to take my own good advice and track, track, track. Maybe my trousers will become as fitting as this post?