When I’ve gone to the large warehouse discount stores, I’m always amazed at the long lines of people waiting to get a free sample of brownies, cookies or some other new food item. Some of these lines have people waiting 20 minutes for a mere bite of a brownie??!! Every bite counts! Clearly, the idea that “it doesn’t matter because it’s free” is a real concept, and one that many dieters live by. It’s just a bite, right? How bad could it be? Right? Eating just a few bites or a taste here or there can add up to over 100 calories which translates into extra pounds over time. Plus, this taste or bite, what does it trigger? Do you tend to eat more from those tastes or bites?
One of the reasons food journaling or food logs are so useful is that the under reporting of what we eat, versus what we actually do eat is common. In fact, just eating an extra 100 calories per day could add up to 10 pounds gained in a year. The problem is, it’s difficult to keep track of what we nibble when cooking, cleaning up, eating food off of other people’s plates, sampling at the grocery store, or even grabbing a piece of candy from the communal bowl at the office - unfortunately, it all counts. Tastes, bites, and mindless eating all lead to excess calories and excess weight. A simple nibble or two a day could mean the difference between weight loss and weight gain over time.
An important tool in losing weight is to utilize some sort of food journal. It can be on line, a fancy journal designed to record food and exercise, or just a small note pad to write it ALL down. If you journal what you eat, it is hard to include foods that you know aren’t healthy choices. It can be used as a deturrent to not eat those foods or to disregard the day entirely when you make those choices and start journaling again the next day. We don’t like to acknowledge to ourselves or others, and see it written down that we ate something that isn’t on our food plan or healthy.
So what’s one of the best ways to lose weight through a food journal? Eat what you actually SAY you eat.
Here are a few suggestions to avoid the “nibble” trap:
Be aware of your “trigger times.” When are the times that certain foods seem to call your name. Stay away from key “taste areas” such as the kitchen, grocery store samples or a buffet table. Avoid leaving candy dishes or bowls of chips and other foods out. Skip free samples at stores, and stop yourself from picking from other people’s plates. You aren’t a dog, don’t eat left overs from others’ plates. Limit sodas, juices, and other high calorie beverages.
How much can those little bites and tastes add up to? Here are a few for you to remember: