I usually dine in restaurants that offer free refills. Before I finish my drink, the waitress will bring me a full one. One time I was having lunch at a busy restaurant. The waitress kept providing me with refills, but forgot to take the old glasses from the table, so I pushed them to the side. When I was about to order another refill, my wife pointed for to me to look at the side of the table. There were two empty glasses plus the one I was about to finish. Needless to say, I felt bad for my stomach and didnt take any additional drink. The decision to pass on the additional drink was very easy to make because I could see how much I had already drunk.
I thought, what if we can always visualize how much food we actually eat? It would be easier, then, to stop overeating. The problem is, once we finish our food, its gone, and we cannot account for it. Brian Wansink puts it very nicely in his book The Mindless Eating when he says, Our stomachs cannot count.
Here comes the importance of documentation. It captures information for us to analyze and go back to. We can count the food we put in our stomach and compare it to our weight-loss results. With the 20% Off diet, you will use documentation to achieve your goal.
However, I am not here to point to the importance of documentation. You will find many studies proving that documentation will greatly help you succeed in anything you want to achieve, weight loss included. What I want to do is to present a method that will help you practice documentation. Documentation is rather difficult. It will require that you take the time and use the necessary equipment to log down what you ate at different times of the day. Actually I dont remember knowing anyone who was able to keep a log of his/her eating for more than 3 days. I tried many times and failed, even though I bought a special logbook for weight loss and an electronic organizer to log my eating. I faced the following difficulties while trying to document my food consumption:
1I cannot take a log book everywhere I go to eat. Even if I try, I will certainly forget sometimes.
2 I felt embarrassed to write my food diaries in public places.
3If I decide to write down what I had for dinner when I get back home, I usually cannot remember the details of everything I ate.
4One purpose of documenting my eating is to review what food I had. However, it is boring to read what food I ate in the past few days.
5My handwriting is not that good.
For these reasons, documentation was more of a theory than a practice. However, I found a method that will provide the benefits of documentation and is practical and actually fun. It is effective to use your mobile phone to document your food with pictures. Using the camera on a mobile phone has the following advantages:
1Your phone is almost always with you, especially when you are out of the house. This will help you not miss recording any food you eat.
2Even cheap mobile phones have good-quality cameras.
3Pictures will capture all the details of your food.
4Taking a picture of your food is much faster that writing it down.
5 You can sort your pictures by date and time taken, so you will not lose track of what you ate and when you ate it.
6 You can review your eating history in an enjoyable manner, similar to reviewing a vacation photo album.
7 A picture is worth a thousand words! Seeing pictures of food you left behind while having the ability to finish it all should work on your subconscious so that you are in control of food.
In a nutshell, your mobile phone camera is almost always available, easy to use and will save you the trouble of writing down the details. The following are examples of how to use it.