Published on December 2, 2022
We know for a fact that generating a daily food plan (or, weekly plan) is crucial for healthy and consistent weight loss. As the saying goes, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
You have to know, in advance, what your intentions are for the next day (or more). Based on your schedule, and appointments, you plan accordingly as to what you will eat and what time you will eat. Then, you have to make sure you have stuff packed the night before, ready to grab-and-go in the morning. Being organized is a major component of lifestyle change.
But, what happens when an “urge” or a “trigger” tries to push all the planning and packing efforts aside? What happens when you find yourself struggling to stay focused and committed to your daily goal of having a great eating day and sticking to your plan?
I suggest you commit to maintaining a Daily Diet Diary, a small notebook or pad that stays with you all day for easy access. Commit to it for 30 days, at a minimum.
Date each page (one day at a time, every day for 30 days).
Every time you feel like you want to go off your menu/food plan for the day, write down exactly how you feel at that time. (Hold nothing back. You don’t have to share your private thoughts with anyone. This exercise is for you.)
In other words, before you actually pull into the fast-food drive-through, before you give in to the potato chips in the pantry, and so on . . . write. Even if you know you’re going to give in and go “off”. . . write first.
If you have to step away from a group of people to a private corner . . . write first.
If you have to pull your car over before reaching your hand into your kids’ snack bag where the candy is . . . write first.
You get the point.
Then, at the end of each day, look back at your notes and record how you feel at that moment—either about having given in to those momentary urges earlier on in the day or, and especially, to record how great you feel about having had a perfect day.
At the end of 30 days, you will have collected the data that shows patterns of cause and effect, stimulus and reaction. The experience will be an eye-opening revelation for you. You’ll be able to read back your words from Day 1 (and hear your voice in your head as you do) and recall how badly you felt after an “off” episode . . . but also be empowered by remembering how fabulous you felt at the end of a particular day when you either fought through an urge or had a day that went exactly according to your plan.
The 30-day Daily Diet Diary exercise can be a great learning opportunity and a tool to help you prevent and prepare for potential similar situations.
So, when you have an urge to eat something you know you shouldn’t, feed your diary instead of your face! The pen can be mightier than the fork!