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The Health Chronicle newsletter is part of HAP’s overall program to help members improve their health by ofering practical suggestions for living with chronic conditions. To provide suggestions on improving our programs, e-mail us at HAPsHealthTrack@hap.org or call HAP’s HealthTrack Program toll-free at (800) 288-2902. The information in this publication does not change or replace the information in your HAP Subscriber Contract, Group Health Insurance Policy, Riders or Handbooks and does not necessarily refect the policies or opinions of HAP, its ofcers or board of directors. The information is for general educational purposes and is not a substitution for the advice of your physician. You should consult your HAP personal care physician for your health care needs. HAP does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, religion, sex or mental or physical disability in its employment practices or in the provision of health care services.
Lose Weight with a Food Diary
Is losing weight part of your treatment plan? If so, you can shed pounds by eating right and exercising more. It also helps to keep a food diary, according to the American Dietetic Association. A food diary can help you spot dietary habits that are making it hard to lose weight.
The easiest way to keep a food diary is to use a small notebook. Make sure it’s easy to fnd when you need it.
Here are some diary do’s to make your efort worthwhile:
●● Write down everything you eat and drink, including portions. Don’t leave out the small stuf, such as condiments or a nibble of a cookie.
●● Estimate the calories you’ve eaten each day using food labels or a calorie-counter book. This step can help you identify fattening foods that you can swap with lighter versions.
●● After a week or two, look for unhealthy habits. Do you skip breakfast, only to overeat later? Do you eat when you’re upset? Do you snack in front of the TV?
Once you identify some areas of improvement, target only a few habits at a time. Replace poor choices, such as eating when sad, with healthy alternatives, like going for a walk or calling a friend. A dietitian also can provide additional insight and suggestions for success.
Log in at hap.org and link to Healthy Living. Then under Tools and Resources click on My Health Zone for tools to support your weight loss.
What to Write Down
The American Dietetic Association says you’re more likely to lose weight if you keep a diary that tracks more than just what you eat and drink. Also, write down:
●● The time
●● The place
●● Your feelings at the time
●● What you were doing while eating
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