5 Minutes a Day Can Change Your Life!

Dave Brown, NSCA Certified Personal Trainer

The term “five minutes a day” sparks visions of the latest ab lounger or the latest supplement de jour. Believe it or not I’m not referring to a product and it costs absolutely nothing. What it does require is honesty and dedication, for when eating doesn’t go exactly as planned, it is most important.

This item can make the difference between losing weight this week and not. Using it could also help make a world of difference for those suffering from high blood pressure and/or diabetes. This is also something that most people will avoid like the plague.

This incredibly powerful tool is a Food Journal! I’m not talking about a journal where you have to weigh each ingredient or track every calorie. I’m talking about a simple food journal that contains nothing more than the time you ate, what you ate, how much exercise you did for the day and a small journal entry about how the day went.

Research also supports the use of food journals. Jack Hollis Ph.D, the lead author of a recent study by Kaiser Permanente’s Center for Health Research found that, “The more food records people kept, the more weight they lost. Those who kept daily food records lost twice as much weight as those who kept no records. It seems that the simple act of writing down what you eat encourages people to consume fewer calories.”

Here’s an example.

Exercise: 20 minutes cardio before work

Journal: Today started off great. I ran the kids down the hill, we were in a hurry and McDonalds was the only option, so I bought the kids food and skipped lunch. I was starving at dinner.

8:00am
2 eggs scrambled w/whole wheat toast Coffee w/half and half

10:00am
Banana

12:00pm
No lunch

5:00pm
2 pork chops, potatoes & corn, cake

10:00pm
Ice cream

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see why this fictional person was starving later in the day. They missed lunch, their early morning snack lacked some protein and fat, peanut butter for example, and by the time they hit dinner they were ravenous.

This type of scenario is all too common in our fast-paced lives and could just as easily have been someone working in an office. Since this person had a food journal they are able to look back and adjust. For example, maybe the next day they packed a cooler with a healthy lunch and snacks thus setting themselves up for success.

You don’t need the latest fad diet to succeed with weight-loss. You need to get moving and add some accountability by using a food journal.

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