The Easy Alternative To Calorie Counting


Calorie counting for some people conjures up the image of slavish devotion to a diet.  It evokes image of time consuming effort in order to track your every bite of food.  This form of behavior change has been proven to be effective, however, because of its difficulty many people quit before they lose the weight necessary.  However, the idea of maintaining a record of your eating does seem to have potential as a dietary intervention.
The simple solution to this problem is to take photos of all food you consume.  This record serves some of the same behavior purposes as the food diary.  The reason it is useful is because knowing that you have to log your food can subtly influence your decisions.  Taking photographs “raised the awareness of their diets…the act of photographing altered behaviour for some because it forced them to think about their food choices” (Zepeda and Deal 696).  The evidence suggests that being forced to log and evaluate your food choices in this manner made many people change their diets.

This can become even more powerful if you upload these pictures to dropbox, or social media where you can have trusted friends make sure that you are sticking to your goals.

This is a case where simplicity makes the weight loss that much more simple.  We want weight loss and lifestyle changes to  be as easy as possible.

References:

Zepeda, Lydia, and David Deal. “Think before You Eat: Photographic Food Diaries as Intervention Tools to Change Dietary Decision Making and Attitudes.” International Journal of Consumer Studies 32.6 (2008): 692-98. Web.

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Unsaturated Fats: The Mediterranean Savior?

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Unsaturated fats are often pushed as a replacement for the allegedly dangerous saturated fats that people consume.  There are two primary types of unsaturated fat, monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats; they are named based on whether they have one or more double bonds.  A fat with only a single double bond is considered monounsaturated and a fat with multiple double bonds is considered polyunsaturated.  Here we are going to primarily focus on polyunsaturated fats, which are often pitched as a healthful alternative to saturated fats.  However, some scientists believe that consumption of polyunsaturated fats can actually increase the risk of cardiovascular heart disease, and the Institute of Medicine recommends no more than one tenth of your calories coming from this source (Mozaffarian, Micha and Wallace 2). Continue reading “Unsaturated Fats: The Mediterranean Savior?”

Trend Line Dieting

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What we see above is an example of my weight trend for the past five days.  As explained in the previous post (here).

Trend line dieting is one of the simplest but also a surprisingly effective form of dieting.  Basically the idea is that all you track is your weight and using a trend line all you have to do is ensure that the line is moving the direction that you want.  For example, I want to lose weight, so it is my goal to make sure that the pictured trend line keeps decreasing, and as long as it does I do not need to worry. Continue reading “Trend Line Dieting”

How to Track Weight Effectively and Easily

Image courtesy of Angelsharum.  https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bathroom_Scale.jpg

Weight tracking seems like one  of the easiest things you could do.  You just weight yourself and then keep track of how it changes.  However, this method can cause people to very quickly lose motivation, so instead we are going to focus on several principles that will help eliminate the motivation destroying spikes. Continue reading “How to Track Weight Effectively and Easily”