The Key to a Clean Diet: Post-It Notes
Some people organize their lives using fancy newish services like Evernote, Asana, and Notesy. Business magazines would lead us to believe that everyone is using these apps, and without them, we risk plummeting productivity and blank to-do lists. Well, as someone with two of the apps I mentioned (and some more I didn’t mention) downloaded but infrequently used, I beg to differ. My main way of organizing my life and my ideas is as low tech as it gets. I manage my life on post-its.
Post-its are my way of keeping track of things I need to do, read, and think about. They’re how I remember to send my sister a birthday present in time, get the oil changed, hit work deadlines, and get a hill workout in. There’s something comforting about seeing multi-colored squares dotting my notebooks, my desk, and even my walls — organized in a fashion that I understand completely, but other may see as art one day and utter chaos on another. So when I decided to clean up my diet recently, it’s no surprise that I turned not to some flashy app, but rather, to my tried-and-true post-its.
It’s a well-known fact that food journaling leads to positive health outcomes. A Kaiser Permanente study found that keeping a food journal can double weight loss. The simple act of writing down what we’re eating impacts our ability to stick to the changes we’re trying to make. And although lots of companies may try to convince us otherwise, where we write this down doesn’t matter nearly as much as whether or not we do it every single day. So if you’re thinking about keeping a food journal for any reason, make a plan based on how you organize the rest of your life.
My goal right now is to put healthier foods into my body and keep less healthy stuff out of my body. I’m not trying to lose weight or adhere to some strict regimen, so I don’t need any elaborate calorie tracking or ingredient research. Post-its are a perfect solution. My plan is as simple as it gets:
- Stick fresh post-it on the front of my work notebook every morning
- Write down everything I eat (if I eat carrots, I write “carrots,” and if I eat ice cream, I write “ice cream”)
- Take stock at the end of the day
Why does this work? For the simplest reason: it’s a lot easier to write “carrots” than it is to write “ice cream.” Knowing I’m going to need to write it down makes me think twice before raiding my kids’ Halloween candy or having a mindless handful of trail mix in the middle of the afternoon. Post-it by post-it, I’m getting back to a real food diet and going to sleep at night feeling nourished and accomplished….the old school way. Here’s my list from today:
What tricks and tools help you keep your diet…and your life on track?