I love to eat. And I love to eat healthy. I don’t obsess about it though. I allow myself a couple “cheat” or reward meals throughout the week as I feel they are necessary for balance and sanity. I also encourage my clients to reward themselves with an extra serving or a couple cocktails now and then.
For clients looking to lose weight I recommend food logs. It’s just one way to help hold people accountable for what they consume. If you eat it or drink it, write it down. It’s simple, fairly painless, and seems to help. Just that simple task of jotting things down leads individuals to clean things up. There are even studies to show that food logs lead to weight loss. So if dropping a couple pounds is your goal, starting writing things down…and be truthful. Not writing down the candy bar you had only hurts yourself…in more ways than one.
Eat A Rainbow
There are many things I prefer when it comes to nutrition…some of my favorites include:
- Single ingredient
- Protein – Lean, Wild, Grass-Fed
- Avoid processed
- Keep it real
When it comes to colors, the more the better. Attempt to eat a rainbow everyday. It will ensure variety and encourage you to try new things. Check out the image below to see additional reasons why eating a rainbow is a healthy mantra.
What if you want to challenge yourself or your clients even more? How do you take a written food log to the next level? A photo food log. I first learned about photo food logs while reading “The 4-Hour Body” by Tim Ferriss. In the book he references a study:
Dr. Lydia Zepeda and David Deal of the University of Wisconsin–Madison enlisted 43 subjects to photograph all of their meals or snacks prior to eating. Unlike food diaries, which require time-consuming entries often written long after eating, the photographs acted as an instantaneous intervention and forced people to consider their choices before the damage was done. In the words of one participant: “I was less likely to have a jumbo bag of M&Ms. It curbed my choices. It didn’t alter them completely, but who wants to take a photo of a jumbo bag of M&Ms?”
The researchers concluded that photographs are more effective than written food diaries. This is saying something, as prior studies had confirmed that subjects who use food diaries lose three times as much weight as those who don’t.
I’ve tried photo logs a couple times in the past and I like it a lot more than the written log version. It’s super easy to do and takes less time than writing items down. There are a number of apps out there to make the process even easier…I’m still researching them so I can’t give a recommendation yet.
Here’s a photo log I did recently. I think I did a pretty good job of “eating a rainbow“…I definitely got the color green covered.
Breakfast: Whole egg omelet with spinach, tomatoes, avocado. Side of kiwi and bluberries
Morning Snack: Greenfix Organic Smoothie. This includes kale, chard, collard greens, romaine, dandelion greens, parsley, apple, banana, flax seed, and water.
Lunch: Kale salad with tomatoes, peppers, carrots, cucumbers, pumpkin seeds, currants, and wild salmon
Dinner: Seasoned shrimp with Okinawan sweet potato mash and sauteed spinach
Post Workout Shake: banana, almonds, goji berries, cacao nibs, protein powder, spinach, chia seeds, ice, water
Give It A Try
Whether you want to lose weight or not, incorporating these two methods, 1. eating a rainbow and 2. photo food log, are fun and challenging ways to ensure healthy nutritional habits. Give it a try and let me know how it goes. Snap away!
Doug Balzarini, CSCS, MMA-CC, is the owner of DB Strength, which provides fitness training, education, and resources. He is also the strength and conditioning coach for Alliance MMA where he works with UFC Champion Dominick Cruz, Bellator Champion Michael Chandler, Phil Davis, Brandon Vera, Travis Browne, Ross Pearson, Alexander Gustafsson, and more. Prior to starting his own business, Doug worked at Fitness Quest 10 as a personal trainer, strength coach, and Operations Director for Todd Durkin Enterprises (TDE).
He has completed some graduate work in Biomechanics at SDSU and has obtained multiple certifications including ACE, NSCA-CSCS, MMA-CC, TFW Level 1, TRX instructor training, RIP training, EFI Gravity instructor training, LIFT Sandbag Certification, and FMS training. He has produced his 2 DVD projects on strength training for combat athletes, appeared in many fitness videos and articles, and was a coach on “The Ultimate Fighter” FOX TV show in 2012.
For more information please visit www.dbstrength.com.