Making a meal map

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Before you can start healing your metabolism, you need to get real about who you are, what you do and what you like. And that means getting a handle on understanding your eating habits. It seems obvious, but once you start writing down what you’re eating, you’ll be shocked to see what patterns emerge, both in what you eat and the timing of your meals.

For example:

  • Are you a breakfast eater?
  • Do you think about your meals in advance, or do you tend to figure out what you’ll eat at the last minute?
  • Do you get hungry in the afternoon or at night?
  • Do you usually eat on purpose or do you find yourself eating when you hadn’t really planned on it?
  • Are you influenced by what other people around you are eating, or do you do your own thing?

The best way to answer these questions is to keep a diary or a meal map–not for very long, about three days is fine. The point is to catalog exactly what you did and how you felt, and not making assumptions about how you THINK you eat. So in addition to answering the questions above, write down every single bite you eat for three days. Don’t forget to include all the little “extras” like the cookies so-and-so brought in to work, or the last bit of birthday cake you polished off because you didn’t want it to go to waste.

Be honest! No one is going to see this but you. Make yourself a little chart like this. Don’t forget beverages!

Time What I ate/drank Meal or snack? Planned or not? How I felt before How I felt after
 6:30 a.m.  Cereal  Breakfast  Yes, I have it every day  Hungry  Still hungry!
 6:30 a.m. 2 cups coffee w/milk  Breakfast  Yes  Groggy  Ahhh, waking up now
 8:00 a.m.  Banana  Snack  No  Still hungry  Better! I love bananas

After you’ve collected three days worth of entries, take a good hard look:

  • Do you tend to eat at the same times or are your eating habits all over the map?
  • Are there some foods that seem over-represented?
  • Do you eat as many fruits and vegetables as you thought you did?
  • Are you a meal skipper?
  • Do you snack, and if so, at what times?

All of this is important prep work if you’re getting ready to start the Fast Metabolism Diet. Here’s where you’ll be able to see what meals, foods or times of the day are most challenging for you.

Remember, on the Fast Metabolism Diet, you’ll be eating a lot of food–and that includes regular and strategic snacks. So getting an honest idea of what you’re doing now will tell you why other diets might have failed in the past, why your body might be fighting you when it comes to weight loss, and where consistency and regular, planned meals can make a positive impact on your life.

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As with all new weight loss or weight maintenance regimes, the nutrition program described on this website should be followed only after first consulting with your physician to make sure it is appropriate for your individual circumstances. Keep in mind that nutritional needs vary from person to person, depending on age, sex, health status, and total diet. Responsibility for any adverse effects that may result from the use or application of the information contained on this website is expressly disclaimed.