If you are having trouble consistently using the app to track, I have this alternative for you -
Introducing the Handwritten Journal
The purpose of this:
To stay mindful
To practice planning
To practice executing your plan
To identify where you are having difficulty following your plan.
To turn missteps into opportunities for success
How to do it:
At the beginning of the day, do the following:
Get out a notebook or a sheet of paper. I really like using a mead composition notebook for this, but whatever you have will work.
Use a pencil to draw a line down the middle of the page.
Mark the left side “PLAN” and the right side “ACTUAL.”
Draw about four horizontal, evenly spaced lines across. You should now have about 10 boxes on the page.
Fill out the PLAN side with each meal or snack you intend to eat that day, one meal or snack per box. Make sure you consider your schedule and the food you have available. This is not a diet plan. It’s your realistic plan. So, if you have a handful of M&Ms mid-afternoon each day, put that in a PLAN box for now. It’s OK to have an A (acceptable) and B (better) option in a single box. For example, if you often have that handful of M&Ms in the afternoon but sometimes you have a piece of fruit instead, write “A. M&Ms B. banana.”
As you progress through the day, do the following:
Put a checkmark on the ACTUAL side by each planned item you eat
If you eat something that’s not planned, write that in the ACTUAL side and highlight it
If you do not eat something that’s planned, put a star next to the ACTUAL column
At the end of the day, do the following:
Look over your day like a scientist (not a judge)
Look for patterns – e.g., are you consistently eating off plan at a certain time? Are you consistently eating a particular food that’s off-plan?
If you eat off plan in a particular way for 2 days in a row, make that part of next day’s plan as an “A”. Ex - if you are hitting McDonald’s for an ice cream cone after work, then plan that in tomorrow as “A.” Come up with a B option that’s just a little better. Ex. Protein bar. And if you eat the cone, check it off. But if you eat the protein bar, give yourself a star. I know this seems counterintuitive, but remember, we are not working on a calorie deficit right now; we are working on staying mindful and executing our plan well.
Start from where you are so you can improve from there. You want to see more stars than highlights. If that means listing unhealthy food on your PLAN side, do that. Set yourself up to improve.
Do not white knuckle through staying on plan. If you really want something not on your plan, eat it, put it on the right side with a highlight, and then consider making it part of your plan the next day.
Most plans have you start with food that is too different from what you currently eat. This plan starts where you are and has you work on making permanent improvements. Do not set your plan up to be perfect and look like a restrictive diet. This will not work. What works is using this plan to stay mindful which will allow us to maintain our weight through the holidays.