Keeping A Meal and Food Log

David Trammel's picture

One of the over looked things that we can all do to prepare for the Long Descent and the way that all of our lives will get a bit rougher and harder, is to learn NOW while we have some leeway to eat better and more nutritiously. To get more of our needs with less.

Too many foods currently on the market are of the category of "Salty/Sweet". See the Processed Food industry did study after study to identify the perfect flavor of food that would both make us want to eat it, and would prevent us from stopping. They found that a food with a little bit of sugar and a little bit of salt, disconnected our "I'm Full" sensor. No matter how much we eat of this flavor, we wouldn't think we were full. Kind of explains how we can sit down and eat an entire back of chips, doesn't it?

This intentional has directly lead to the obesity epidemic that is afflicting our society today. And with it the sky high rate that we come down with heart disease and diabetes.

Green Wizards must learn to eat healthier.

Yet look at all the choices out there. Paleo, Vegan, Atkins, Mediterranean, good lord, I don't know half of the fad diets being hyped right now, many with very deep financial interests pushing them. We will try and look at many of these diets, and separate the fact from the hype over the coming years as we prepare for this next big stair step down the Collapse. Hopefully we can educate you to make wise choices when the choices are few.

What I do believe is its not so much what diet you do, but how you eat. That you choose healthy, fresh and natural ingredients for your meals. That you avoid process and manufactured foods. That you eat in moderation and that includes alcohol.

That you take control of your diet, with a conscious will.

This article highlights one of the tools you can use to do that.

Do this 15 minutes a day to lose weight

(Unfortunately, the title got a bit of marketing hype, lol.)

Meal tracking for at least 15 minutes a day proved to be the recipe for success in a new study being published in the journal Obesity’s March issue. Researchers from the University of Vermont tracked 142 participants for six months. The subjects logged their daily food intake online, including what they ate and drank, their portion sizes and how those foods were prepared. The length of time they spent noting what they ate, as well as the frequency of their posts, were tracked by the research team. The participants also met in an online group session led by a trained dietitian once a week.

And the biggest losers — who dropped a whopping 10% of their body weight over six months — spent an average of 23.2 minutes per day self-monitoring their meals during the first month of the program, which leveled out to 14.6 minutes a day by the end of the study. To put this weight loss into perspective, physicians such as Dr. Avigdor Arad at the Mount Sinai Physiolab suggest aiming for losing just 3% to 5% of your body weight when you begin a sustainable weight loss program.


Makes sense. If you have to write down what you eat, there's a bit of a shame factor. Which do you want to record, "I had a fresh vegetable medley for a snack today" or "I bought an ice cream cone and some fries"?

This backs previous research that has recommended keeping a food diary to become aware of how many calories you’re consuming. After all, portion sizes have ballooned in restaurants over the past 40 years, leading adults to consume an average of 300 more calories per day now than they did in 1985. Plus, knowing that you’ll have to record that you grabbed a chocolate chip muffin for breakfast instead of more nutritious oatmeal could keep you from making the less healthy choice.

I can personally attest to the "Super Sizing" of portions. Friends and I often have a communal lunch every month or so, and given the amount of uneaten food left on the plates, it seems clear that restaurants are pushing larger and larger portions. I try and downsize any choice I make for a meal now, and pick a choice that seems to me to be not enough for my "reading the menu and seeing all the choices" induced hunger. I try to clean my plate and leave no left overs to take home or send to the trash.

The idea of a "food diary" dovetails nicely into the idea of a financial diary. In a week or two we will get back to talking about ways to lower your expenses and manage your money.

Justin Patrick Moore's picture

I'm a big fan of keeping a diary. I've kept pretty much a continuous diary since I was in 6th grade when I started journaling. I'm almost 40 now, so there are a lot of notebooks, including my extensive dream diaries. I have a habit of keeping a moleskine, or cheaper pocket notebook with me at all times. It seems to me a good practice for a green wizard house-holder to keep a ledger of some kind, or a common book of the household economy. Writing down things like food intake, spending etc., all seem like good ideas for learning system thinking.

Though not overweight, I could spare a few pounds myself. If I had to keep track of all the snacks I ate in the office, it just might help!

Kiashu's picture

I work as a trainer, and I find that the simple act of writing down what they eat and having to show it to someone else tends to improve most people's food immensely.

As for what is an ideal diet, it's plain that humans are built to survive on all kinds of diets, from meat only to fruit, vegetables and grain only, and everything in between. We can survive on anything, the question is what makes us thrive. But as I tell my people: basically, if 80% of your grocery spending is at the greengrocers, butchers and fishmongers - you're probably alright. If 80% is at takeaway places or the supermarket, you may have some problems.