July 22, 2020
Hello Wise Patients! Hopefully you’ve been working hard to beat the heat. This week is no different with temperatures starting to level out in the 70’s and 80’s. With this good weather, we understand that you’ll definitely want to have your fun in the sun. When you do, make sure you have a mask on, sunscreen, about 6 feet between you and someone else and a ton of water to stay hydrated.
This week we have a feature from friend to the clinic, Nicole Lyon, a Registered Dietitian and Yoga Teacher! We wanted to highlight the work she does as we know a lot of you have questions pertaining to dieting, maintaining diets, and even just wondering where to start. Nicole is more than qualified to help out and give the proper information to those who are seeking it.
Getting Back on (Food) Track
By Nicole Lyon, RDN, CD, RYT
2020 has been an unprecedented year of change, especially in our daily routines. With people spending more time at home, one common change in routine has been our eating habits. The International Food Information Council (IFIC) surveyed over 1,000 American adults about food behaviors in April of this year. According to their findings, 80% of people reported changes in their usual eating habits with 36% of those surveyed reported increased snacking, 33% were thinking more about food, and only 21% were reportedly eating healthier than they used to. (https://foodinsight.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/IFIC-Food-and-Health-Survey-2020.pdf).
How has shelter in place affected your eating habits? Perhaps you haven’t noticed much of a difference, or maybe there has been a drastic shift. No matter how you feel about your current eating habits, one of the best ways to increase your awareness is to track what you consume. Recording what you eat and drink and reviewing the records develops mindfulness of what, when, how, and why you eat which is helpful for improving your diet, changing weight, or managing digestive issues
Methods: The best recording method for you is the one you can stick with. Consistent food tracking yields better results (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3268700), whether you choose to write down your intake or enter it into an app. If counting calories, entering your records into an app or website will save time with calculations. Build food tracking into your current routine by recording a meal or snack as you eat it, or set daily alarm reminders. Option 1: Pen & Paper – use a notepad or journal. Select which metrics you would like to track and make columns for that on each page. Option 2: Electronically – use an app or website. These methods tend to save time calculating calories, which lessens the burden of consistent tracking. Smartphone apps often have a barcode scanning function to easily capture info from food labels.
What to Record: Start by recording the time of your meal or snack and what it is that you eat or drink. Be detailed! For example if eating a turkey sandwich, write down the bread, meat, and toppings versus simply listing “turkey sandwich.” For weight management, record the portion size using the nutrition label, measuring cups, spoons, or even a food scale. This will help you to count calories with more precision, however if doing so triggers unwanted behavior (such as severe food restriction, obsession, purging, or anxiety), please stop! There are other ways to increase awareness of your eating patterns such as taking pictures of what you eat, recording emotions involved around the meal or snack, and your level of fullness (not satisfied, satisfied, overly full, stuffed). For those interested in managing digestive issues, track what symptoms you experience and quantify the severity of them using a numeric scale (for example: 1 = very mild bloating, 10 = extreme bloating). Regardless of what you’re tracking, start by recording 3 days of intake per week. To identify triggers of digestive issues, aim to record 3 days in a row to monitor symptoms and reactions.
Review Your Records: Track for 1-2 weeks to establish a baseline before looking back through your records for patterns. Once you’ve collected data, go back through it to look for trends. Remember that this is a learning tool to increase your awareness of your eating routine and you are not a better or worse person based on the results you find! What did you learn? Are you eating too much or too little of certain foods? Are there certain foods that result in digestive discomfort? Does too little food at the beginning of the day result in overeating at night? Are specific emotions causing you to snack more?
As a registered dietitian, I ask my clients to track their food in order for us both to learn more about their eating habits. If you need any help identifying trends, setting calorie targets for weight management, identifying what triggers your symptoms, or simply another pair of eyes to make sure you’re on the track you want to be for your health goals, I’m happy to help! I offer online nutrition counseling and meal planning through my practice, Renewtrition. Schedule a free strategy session to learn more. (https://secure.gethealthie.com/appointments/embed_appt?dietitian_id=461597&require_offering=true&offering_id=40048)
Recommended Food Tracking Methods:
Printable Food & Symptom Diary – (mailchi.mp/471ce38f3e45/free-food-symptom-diary) for those who prefer the pen & paper method.
My Fitness Pal – tracks the 14 nutrients listed on a common nutrition label. You can enter your food records and activity using the app or from a desktop browser. Recommended for those getting started with food tracking and for weight management.
Cronometer – records calories, vitamins, and minerals from tested food databases. Can also be used from your phone or computer. Recommended for those who are data driven, more experienced with food tracking, or interested in fine tuning their diet.
mySymptoms – this $3 app tracks digestive symptoms, type of bowel movements, meals and beverages, medications, supplements, mood, sleep, stress, and exercise. It includes a barcode scanning function. Recommended for those who want to improve their digestion.
Cara Care – this free app records 4 aspects of digestive health: food and beverages, symptoms, stress, and bowel movements. While it lacks the convenience of scanning food packages, it easily shares reports. Recommended also for those aiming to improve digestion.
RR: Eating Disorder Management – despite its name, this app is great for anyone regardless of your relationship with food. RR does NOT track calories. Instead it allows you to write out what you eat or take a picture, record bowel movements, fullness level, and emotions around your meal or snack. There are a lot of adjustable settings, so spend a little time in the settings to tailor the app to meet your needs. Recommended for those who want to track without the potential overwhelm of counting calories.
Ways to contact Nicole:
- Phone: (206) 414-8762
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Pinterest, Instagram: @nicolelyonrdn
Books for the Beach
We asked and you delivered! Here are the book recommendations we received from you. We’ll post more next week! Keep sending in those recommedations!
Dear Girls – Ali Wong
all about love – bell hooks
Range – David Epstein
The Ride of a Lifetime – Bob Iger Save
Atomic Habits – James Clear
The Long Fix – Vivian Lee
The Deficit Myth – Modern Monetary Theory & the Birth of the People’s Economy – Stephanie Kelton
Dear Life – Rachael Clarke
Red River – Lalita Tademy
Cane River – Lalita Tademy.