Maureen Fraîche

Mixing Business and Pleasure in the Kitchen

Archive for the category “Food Journaling”

Down the hatch…

Have you ever tried keeping a food journal?  Though it can be a pain, tracking your food intake is an extremely helpful tool whenever you’re trying to change the way you eat.  Not convinced?  Here are just a few reasons why jotting down your daily fare can help you reach your goals.

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The Calorie Budget

Your weight is a balance between the calories you eat and the calories you burn, yes?  (Here’s a previous post on the topic, if you’re interested.)  So let’s talk a bit more about how to put a calorie plan into action.

First, you must figure out just how many calories you need.  The easiest way to do this (outside of indirect calorimetry), is to use a research-validated equation, such as the Mifflin-St. Jeor equation which accurately predicts resting energy expenditure within 10%.  Here is a handy link that allows you to enter your personal information; the site then inputs that info into the Mifflin-St. Jeor equation and does all the number crunching for you.  A more labor intensive approach would be to carefully measure and record your food intake for a couple weeks, using an online food journal like SparkPeople.  Assuming your weight has been stable, you can use the calorie information from this food journaling to determine your average intake and–voila!–discover how many calories you need on a daily basis for weight maintenance.

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Taking Inventory

Let’s say you want to make some changes to the way you eat.  Perhaps your doctor is threatening meds for that unchecked cholesterol.  Or you’ve finally resolved to deal with that leftover baby weight.  Maybe you’d like to actually finish that race you signed up for.  Whatever the reason, changing your eating habits can be both challenging and overwhelming.  How do you even begin to tackle such a feat–especially if it really involves some lifestyle overhaul?

You’ve got to start with where you’re standing…and how did you get here?  Your eating habits are very much intertwined with every other aspect of your life, including your upbringing.  Nothing occurs in a void.  While you could definitely print off some meal plan and dive right in, odds have it you won’t last long and worse, you’ll almost assuredly regain every pound you lost and then some.  So instead of adopting some temporary means to a temporary end, why not do a little prep work and change for good?

Where is your starting line?

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