Number one would be the Food Journal. If you search Google about "the importance of keeping a food journal," you'd get a lot of information about it that will convince you of keeping one. Personally, the food journal helped me in eating less, because when I joined the meme "Get Lost" (which unfortunately died after a week), us participants had to post whatever food we ate, and my food journal helped me because whenever I was tempted to eat something, my mind was the first to tell me that I had to jot it down my journal. Now, if I ate a lot, that would mean having a long list of food to post, and since other participants would blog hop, I would feel ashamed if my list would be longer than the other participants. Tee hee...
If you're dieting or considering the idea of dieting, I suggest you keep a food journal, too. You can use any kind of notebook or writing material, it doesn't matter if your journal's the most expensive kind of paper or those cheap ticklers you can buy at the neighborhood school supply shop, as long as you have your journal, you're good to go. The important thing we have to know is to be honest. If you eat lechon for lunch and crispy pata for dinner, just jot it down. If there's one thing to be honest about, this should be it, because if you cheat, it's you who will suffer and not the people reading your food journal. Your honesty will be the one helping you with the dieting, because as you read your journal, you will realize just how much food you consume. If it's too much, then you can cut back, or if it's too little, then you can add more food.
Last August, I jot down what I had for meals and snacks. For this journey, not only will I jot down every food item I put in my mouth, I will also include the time I had them, so I will know the time interval of my meals. Another thing you should know... jot down the measurements of your food. Don't just put "I had sinigang for lunch," put in "I had a small bowl of pork sinigang (liempo) with 3 pieces of 2-inch cuts sitaw, 3 cubes of gabi, and kangkong + 1 cup of rice for lunch." Be as elaborate as possible, because putting in just "sinigang" is sort of misleading because we can use any type of protein for our sinigang, and not everyone eats radish and okra on their sinigang. If you can't properly measure the exact amount of your food, then use things in your kitchen to help you measure it. If you have measuring cups, use it, or use one particular bowl or cup as your measurement.
Also, don't forget to list down the extra food items we tend to forget: condiments such as mayonnaise, ketchup, patis, bagoong. If you had sinigang for lunch and you had a little saucer with chili-patis with kalamansi, jot it down, too (how many teaspoons of patis, how many kalamansi and chili)... because these condiments, how little they may be, have calories as well.
Number two would be Fixing the Water Intake. I took this "Lyn's Habit a Week Challenge," and although water is no longer a problem for me, it doesn't really mean I am stopping, because this is habit formation, something I have to live up to. Click on the link if you want to learn more about what Lyn has to say about this habit-building block, and even if water is no longer a problem for me, what I need to learn is introducing the idea of drinking green tea. We have a box of Lipton Yellow Tea here at home, so I think it would take long before I can buy myself a box of green tea because we in the family aren't big tea drinkers.
One big lesson about water drinking - drink water upon waking up. I first learned this from my late father, and at first I found it a bit gross that I had to drink water even before I do my morning gargle, but my late father was right - who dies from drinking their diluted stale saliva anyway? Actually, drinking two cups of water upon waking up helps to move the bowels, and it sure feels good to start the day with clean tummy. Normally, I tend to get my daily water quota by late afternoon, because I don't want to wake up in the middle of the night just to pee. After eating dinner, I would just drink a cup of water, and after that, I would just fill a cup and take a sip from it from time to time. Of course, if I had to keep awake until late at night, I would still consume more water than that (as my mind is already trained to drink water right after peeing).
There is just one big question on my head about water. A lot of people say cold water makes one fat, and some say it hardens the oil in our arteries (especially after eating), so they suggest to drink water at room temperature. I still don't know whether cold water is indeed bad for us, but since there are more bad posts (than good) about cold water, I guess I have to train myself to drink water at room temp. This is challenging because I love cold water! I find cold water sweeter and more pleasurable to drink, so may the heavens help me with this one. :)
Am I ready to embark on my first week? You bet I am!