Nutrition, the Fatabase and Food Diaries
Keeping (Gay) New Years Resolutions
Hangovers are great times to reflect. So in the wake of an autumn hangover I decided to evaluate my 2010 resolutions. You know the ones where you feel a little bit of shame about your love handles as you wonder about when the last time the go-go dancers ate. The kind that gets you thinking that it’s time you dusted off your Buns of Steel video, the one that you have on VHS.
Personally, I don’t like resolutions. Usually this is because I don’t keep them very well. In fact, I may go for a run one day, hurt myself and then call it quits until another year goes by and I can’t fit into my jeans anymore.
This year, my healthy living crusade has been a little bit more fruitful. For one thing, I started actually listening to expert advice and research instead of simply assuming that if I eat less I’ll get skinnier. Despite that Kate Moss motto “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” it can actually be counterproductive to a healthy diet. In fact, skipping meals often leads to slowed metabolic rate and binge eating.
So if conventional supermodel ‘wisdom’ about trying to eat less is wrong, how can you use your diet to achieve your weight loss goals?
One of the most important and obvious sources of information on diet: Nutrition Labels. A recent study found that people who read nutritional information were much more successful in losing weight regardless of the amount of exercise they did. Canada’s Food Guide has information on what kinds of nutritional information you should pay attention to.
But what if you’re like me, whose favourite exercise is going out for dinner? Check out the Fatabase which provides nutritional information to many of Vancouver’s restaurants and chains.
Now that you have a good idea of the awful things you’re putting in your body, think about keeping a food diary. Several online programs exist and let you track your intake and input your goal. This kind of program is helpful in a few different ways.
- They let track your intake using a number of different nutritional parameters like calories and fat
- Many of them have their own databases for food so you can simply search for “Double Big Mac with Cheese and McChicken sauce” to see how your favourite meal is probably not the best for you
- It lets you look for patterns with your intake so you can find triggers which may make you want to binge
Several exist, such as the DailyBurn which also has a helpful fitness and weight tracker so you can see your progress.
Hopefully this is a good start, but remember, weight loss doesn’t happen overnight. The most important thing you can do is stick with it and to try not to beat yourself up if you don’t notice dramatic changes.