...and remembered why it is so important! If you saw my weigh in from last week, you probably also saw that I had a bit of a naughty week. I got busy, lost some focus, and as a result I skipped a lot of things I shouldn't have, including recording my intake. While a bad week isn't really fun, it really helped to reinforce for me that I NEED to count kilojoules. It really works for me, and when I don't I tend to over-eat, under-eat, forget things that I've eaten and eat bad, bad foods. Basically I go a bit crazy and all over the place.
I did much better than I thought I would have. I didn't resort to my old eating habits, and I still tried to eat really good nutritious foods, but I did see a lot of issues that I don't really have when I'm on top of my kilojoules. It helps in so many little ways, like:
It keeps me accountable. What gets measured gets done. 'Tis true. Having an accurate account of all of the food that I've eaten somehow keeps me responsible and making better choices. I think that knowing my kilojoule happy zone, and have a running tally to compare it to makes me step back and really think if more food is worth it. I know that if I step over the happy zone, that I'm doing myself a disservice and taking away from the progress that I'm working so hard to keep going.
It stops me from overlooking foods. If one good thing came out of not counting kilojoules for the last week, it's that I'm now more confident in my ability to keep a mental count. I did pretty well. Despite that, though, there were sometimes foods I'd consumed that I would overlook or forget later in the day (seriously I have a mind like a sieve). Most of the time this probably isn't/wasn't a big deal, but keeping a record prevents it from becoming an issue.
It helps me to tell when I'm trying to eat for non-hunger reasons. Sometimes I just want food because I want food. When this happens, I don't always have very good reasoning skills and having a record of my food that day can help me to see quite clearly when I'm wanting to eat just for the sake of it.
It makes me think about my choices every day. If I have to log my foods into my records every day, then everyday I am forced to think about my weight loss and what I'm doing to get healthy. If I think about it daily, then it's easier to stay on track and motivated. I won't let it slip as easily.
It helps to control my portions. While eating healthy food is a great thing, it doesn't help me if I'm eating too much. Calculating kilojoules and recording them gives me a really good idea of how much of anything I should eat, and makes me stick to it. Especially because I can easily see how quickly eating that little bit extra adds up.
I know this post has turned into a bit of an ode to kilojoule counting, but it really does help me so very much. Out of any of the many tools and strategies I am using to lose weight, it is by far the most valuable. Last week helped me to learn a really good lesson, and I'm keen to keep going.