Pencil and paper are two of the best tools to become a healthier you!

Ok, so we’ve talked about eating healthy and exercising. How do you know if you’re doing enough? How do you know if you need to change anything? The answer is simple, just grab a pencil and some paper and you’re well on your way to a healthy lifestyle!

To begin, write down everything you eat throughout the day. Yes, everything. It should include your water intake for the day and every morsel you put into your mouth. This will help to give you an idea of what you consume in a day. Compare this to a listing of daily requirements for things like fruits, veggies, whole grain and fiber. It will give you a picture of what things you need to address. You may see that you need more veggies in your diet, or more water. Also take into consideration how you feel that day. This will help you see what works and what doesn’t for you.

In addition to what you eat, also log what you do at the gym. This helps you grow. You can see when it’s time to up your weights, reps, incline, speed, or distance. It keeps you motivated to try new things. It also lets you see where you started and how far you’ve come. It’s a wonderfully simple tool!

If you do not like the pencil and paper idea, there are many apps for your smart phone that will help you track what you are eating in a day. DJ uses a program called “Lose it”. You can set up this app to help you lose a certain amount of weight in a week. She has her set up for losing 1 ½ pounds a week. Every week when she weighs in for weight no more she puts her current weight in the program. The Lose It program tracks your food, and also your exercise for the given day. Other apps to help you track what you eat are; My net diary, Nutrition Menu Calorie Counter, Food Tracker Pro, IFood and The Eatery. These are just a few apps that you can find for your smart phone to help you track your diet.

While tracking what you eat there is one important thing to remember. Be honest with yourself. Make sure you write down everything you put in your mouth, even what you drink. Yes you have to document that mini Reese fast break you ate this afternoon at work. You will be happy you did. For more information, please feel free to call the YMCA at (570) 253-2083. Or visit us on the web at