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Self-reflection: A Minute a Day Can Change Your Life!

I have been working with the nutrition challenges of working-age people for 15 years now. When a new person comes to my office, I ask them what they ate yesterday. I’ve noticed that people often do not remember what they ate the day before. When one does not remember one’s meals, self-reflection on one’s eating habits is difficult.

They do not remember because they simply have not paid attention to it. Everything has gone as it always has. The same familiar groceries are bought from the store, and breakfast is the same porridge.

Another major challenge with remembering is that eating is often very unnoticeable.

My clients talk about a regular breakfast and lunch, but when I ask about the evening, answering becomes difficult: there is no straightforward dinner or supper. Eating is snacking, visiting the fridge frequently, and maybe even eating due to emotions. We usually want to avoid seeing these things.

Self-reflection requires a minute a day!

The challenges I’ve described above are widespread. The hustle and bustle of everyday life consume resources. Energy does not suffice to keep a record of one’s eating. There are more critical things to do.

Often, a person stops to think about this issue only when some external factor forces them to. It could be, for example, elevated blood sugar or a rise in cholesterol levels. A short moment at the doctor’s office highlights the need to look at one’s eating habits (and entire lifestyle) in a completely new light.

Before change can begin, one must first become aware of the current situation. You need to know what needs to change.

Many struggle with, for example, adding more vegetables: “It’s so hard!” I’ve written about this topic in a previous blog post. Go pick up the best tips for yourself there.

A handy tool for self-reflection: download the photo food diary app See How You Eat and start your journey to awareness!

Photographing food is the easiest, fastest, and most effective way to become aware of one’s habits.

1. Photographing food breaks the routine.

When we repeat a specific habit for years, it happens entirely automatically without us even noticing it. However, these could be the very habits that need to be changed. When you take a photo, you become aware of them and can try other ways of doing things.

2. A photo of the food shows the reality.

No matter how hard you try to remember what you ate during the day, your memory is prone to errors. If you think about writing everything down, you always need a pen and paper. Nowadays, almost everyone carries a phone with them. It is easy to take a picture of your dish. And it always tells the truth. A photo does not lie.

3. Taking a photo takes very little time.

Digging out your phone and taking a picture of your food takes about 15 seconds—no longer. Initially, it may feel awkward to take a picture of your own dish, but you get used to it. People are pretty accustomed to meal photography these days. Can it also be seen as an excellent conversation starter?

Good insights into your eating moments.

Licensed Nutritionist

P.S. Also, if you feel that self-reflection is already under control and are interested in intuitively trusting your body’s satiety and hunger signals, read Harvard’s post on intuitive eating.

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