Tuesday 26 March 2013

Week 13 Nutrition Habit: 24 Hour Food Log

Wow, 2013 is flying by and we are already 1/4 of the way through the year! Therefore in week 13 of the 52 Weeks to Better Nutrition and a New You series, it is time to check up on how you are doing with a critically important activity - the 24 Hour Food Log.

The Power of the 24 Hour Food Log
When I do nutrition coaching, one of the ways I gain information on a client or athlete is to have them do a 24 food log. For 24 hours, I get them to log everything that goes into their mouths. As a nutrition coach, this gives me a snap-shot as to where they are at and what we need to focus on. However, it also serves a very valuable lesson for you as you do the food log - it gets you thinking about what is going in your mouth. Learning to be consciously thinking about what you eat and how it relates to your goals is critical for success. Yet another powerful benefit of this activity is that it provides you with a level of accountability. No one wants to see, "1 box of Oreo cookies" on their food log. 

This Week's Assignment
Get something to record with. This can be your phone or tablet if you are technologically inclined or a simple note pad and pen if you are old-school like me. Next, look at your weekly schedule and pick a day that is a typical day for you. Then, for 24 hours, carry around your recording device and record everything that goes into your mouth (including liquids) with your best estimate of the amount. I cannot over emphasize this enough: you need to do the recording as you are consuming the item - not later in the day! Another critical part of this activity is to try to eat as normally, don't try to be some sort of nutrition superstar and eat nothing but raw broccoli and boiled chicken breasts - that won't tell you anything.

Is this normal for you?

After completing your food log, I want you to look through it and place a check-mark beside everything you ate that will help you get to your training goals. I also what you place and "X" beside everything you ate that will hinder you from reaching your goals.

This Week's Habit
The whole theme of these series is the development of new eating habits. After reflecting on your 24-hour food log, find something from the previous habits in this series (see the links below for reminders) that you are not consistently applying or need to still do better at and make that your habit for this week. 

All the best as you continue to gradually (but permanently) move towards a new you in 2013!

Here are the links to the previous 2013 weekly habits in case you missed them:

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