Thursday, February 16, 2012

How to Keep a Food Diary

Cultivating good eating habits is no easy task. It requires practice and long term commitment to the mission. Nonetheless, using a food diary can help you take the guess work out of the process, thus making the change towarda better eating regime easy and simple. The main functions of a food diary are keeping track and meal planning.

Once you start keeping track of every calorie you put into  your mouth, you’ll become your own detective. You’ll know for sure what’s working for you and what’s not. Most of our bad eating habits are unconscious, a food diary can help you shed light on your pitfalls and bring them into consciousness so you’ll know exactly how to deal with them. You’ll no longer be left I the dark. You just need to be honest with yourself. And when cheating, you’re only cheating yourself and compromising your own efforts.

To get the most out of a food diary, you need to use it when planning for your calorie intake as well. By writing everything down, you’ll have a clear image on what you need to get by. You’ll know exactly what type of foods you need at a specific time of the day. No guess work. No momentum. Just make sure to throw in a healthy mix of the good carbs (complex carbs), lean protein, fats, and lots of water to keep your body well hydrated throughout the day.

Weight Loss Tips: Meal Skipping

When it comes to losing weight, one of the worse things you could do is meal skipping. Not only will you be depriving yourself form valuable nutrients, you’ll also slow down your metabolism levels (thus burn less calories per minute), and force your body to enter into starvation mode(meaning it holds on the fat in spite of you effort to burn it off).

 The consequences are dire. If you opt for this approach, expect hitting weight loss plateaus (or even weight gain), extreme fatigue, discomfort, pain and eventually a painful burnout.

As result, make sure to eat your meals if even if you’re looking to shed the extra pounds. Aim for 4-5 small meals per day. Don’t go more than 4 hour without a healthy calorie intake.
 Your diet should be comprised of all of the 3 main components of healthy and nutritious eating; Complex carbs for energy, lean protein for recovery and building muscles, and the good fats. Make sure to eat 2-3 prior to exercise and immediately afterwards to replenish your energy tanks and accelerate the recovery process.

Check your Pulse For Progress and/or Overtraining

One of the best tools to assess how your body (especially the cardiovascular system) is handling the training load is by regularly checking the heart rate.

 For starters, you can easily spot overtraining with just a regular heart checkup. For instance, if your heart rate is spikier—6 to 12 beats per minute—then its normal pace, then the chances of overtraining are imminent. In this case, you ought to cut back on your exercise length and intensity or taking a couple days of recovery. Resume the training when your heart rate is back to its normal pace.

One the other hand, any drop in your regular heart rate is a sign of progress. See, as the training progresses forward, your cardiovascular system gets stronger so your heart becomes more efficient at pumping blood to your body and working muscle, thus it’ll need less beats to do the same the task as before. Thus embrace any heart rate drop and welcome; it’s a cheer sign that you’re heading into the right direction.