*Originally posted on The Food Project/No Food limits blog in November 2016*
The easiest way to break bad food habits is to keep a log of what you eat every day. Human beings, especially nowadays, have extremely short memories.
We have our suspicions that it is due to technology – text neck anyone.
But with our lives becoming increasingly busier with working longer hours and trying to stretch between families, friends, hobbies etc., the endlessly balancing of the work-life ‘quality time’ blend, has never been more difficult.
So what about our nutrition? Who really has time to think about that?
The truth is our nutrition is so far down our daily priority list, it is easy to forget. Or perhaps a life change as occurred and you cannot be as diligent with your eating plan as you once were.
If you find yourself in a bad food habit rut, and it happens to us all, don’t disappear, which is always our first reaction – there is a way back.
Normally we get into bad food habits after a life change or a combination of events such as after having a baby, shift work or working long hours in general; bereavement and so on, the list is endless. A very quick trick is to keep a log of what you eat and that way you can adjust it accordingly. Again with everything else happening in life, how are you to remember what you have eaten during the day, if you have eaten at all.
This is also a good point to note, nutrition is about eating correctly for you, but it is also about eating. If you find yourself hardly eating during the day, this is just as bad as having a quick chocolate bar to get through the next few hours, for example.
Keeping a log does help you get back on track and it can help with things like, for example, if a colleague brings cake into the office (or Krispy Kremes – we love Krispy Kremes). Check your book. If you have been good then why not have some cake, if you have had a chocolate croissant for breakfast, then perhaps not. Remember that good nutrition is all about knowing your body and your metabolism as well as your trigger foods. What works for some, may not work for you so this is important to think about. For example, the No Food Limits founder drinks skimmed milk instead of semi-skinned milk otherwise she is looking at an increase in a stone in weight.
Yes we know skimmed is only coloured water, but it was either that or buy a new wardrobe. Um, shoes… anyway…
From a health perspective, while skimmed milk is the healthier option, over time the lack of lactose and calcium could affect your bones, so if you also are a skimmed milk drinker, ensure that you make up for this in other areas, if you cannot drink the tastier milk. High calcium foods include dark leafy greens, cheese, low-fat yogurt, bok choy, fortified tofu, okra, broccoli, green beans, almonds, and fish canned with their bones.
For alternatives to milk, there is rice milk which is said to be the most allergy-friendly of the non-dairy milks, almond milk, soy milk and so on.
For your log book, it can be fun to use something quirky, however we do not recommend using a Lego notebook as your log as it will encourage people to pick it up and read it. This is fine if you are alright with that, but if you prefer to keep your calorie log personal then don’t draw attention to it.
We learnt the hard way.