Even those of us invested in eating well are not always as honest with ourselves as we need to be. It is easy to overlook, or consciously ignore, a few hundred calories per day.

The best place to improve these habits start is by monitoring what you eat and when you exercise over the course of an average week. We all maintain habits that are potentially embarrassing, whether it is our total lack of exercise or our tendency to eat breakfast in the car each morning.

I recommend recording your food diary throughout the day, as we tend to "forget" foods (usually unhealthy foods) if we wait. Record everything with as much detail as possible—every beverage and food item should be accounted for (even water). Record whatever physical activity you participated in, and reflect on how you felt (both physically and mentally) about your eating, drinking and activity. Remember, you are only doing this for a week, but it is a crucial step toward modifying your eating behaviors so that you can understand your patterns and preferences, and the kinds of changes that are likely to make you feel better—and become healthier.

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Smart People Don't DietThis excerpt is from Smart People Don’t Diet by Charlotte N. Markey. Copyright 2014 by Charlotte Markey. Published by permission of Perseus Books.


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