It starts innocently enough. All of a sudden it's mid-day, your stomach starts growling and you're thinking about something you can grab quickly that will tie you over until dinner. Or, let's not forget about that little mid-night snack you crave before bed time.
As a cheese-a-holic, my mind immediately turns to that package of PepperJack cheese I keep in my refrigerator. Note to self: I really need to get rid of that darn cheese.
Those thin slices of cheese are awfully deceiving. Devoured in an instant they can blow a solid eating day to smithereens.
And thus is the story of how I gained 5 pounds post shoulder surgery. Now 5 pounds may seem fairly insignificant to some of you reading this, but it's a large fluctuation for me. I went in to shoulder surgery a little heavier than my ideal weight of 124, and ended up recently as high as 132 lbs.
While I expected muscle loss due to my physical limitations, I was fairly careful about what I was eating. That is, except for the few slices of cheese that managed to creep in to my daily diet.
Two weeks ago I decided to crack the whip and turn back to food journaling . It has turned out to be my saving grace. I cannot reiterate enough just how imperative food journaling is to maintaining/losing weight. If you don't know why your body is reacting the way it is, chances are you'll be able to figure it out if you keep a strict journal.
For me, it became clear very fast that cheese was wreaking havoc on my diet. Take a look at how a few "harmless" pieces of cheese can impact a days nutrition intake The "No Cheese" summary represents what I actually consumed this past Thursday. Every time I craved a piece of cheese I logged it in to my food journal, saw what it would do to my day, and was able to make the decision to just say NO.
Now, in looking at this chart I could have clearly made the decision to also just treat myself to one piece of cheese. However, being that I'm highly focused on losing those last few pounds I decided to not tempt fate (one piece can lead to another, and then another). Three weeks from now, I will most likely be in a position whereas I can start working a serving of cheese per day back in to my diet.
My trigger food is cheese. For you it may be chocolate, chips or cake. ALL of these foods have a place in our diet. All you need to do is empower yourself with information to know when and how to work them in to your weekly food intake.
Remember, that handful a day of M&Ms is going to add up whether or not you account for it. Keep yourself informed and empower yourself to make the best decisions to meet your weight loss goals.