Full Episode Transcript
With Your Host
Pat Beaupre Becker
You are listening to It's Never Too Late to Lose Weight, a podcast with Pat
Beaupre Becker, Episode 32.
Welcome to It's Never Too Late to Lose Weight, a podcast for women approaching
60 who have been successful at everything but reaching their weight loss goals.
Tune in each week for tools and strategies to help you lose weight, create a
strong body and support a healthy mind. Here's your host, Master Certified
weight and life coach, Pat Beaupre Becker.
Hello, my dears. Today I want to talk to you about learning a different kind of
skill. Now, in Episode 31, I gave you steps to take so that you can actually
choose, plan, and execute on your food plan in a simple way that you can repeat
over, and over, and over again. The more you do it, the more you create a habit.
Now, if this isn't how you approach food at this moment in time, then you can
see that it's actually a new skill. And if you study and figure out how you want
to go about it, and then you learn it, and then you practice it, that skill
becomes a habit.
Now, another skill that you may not have made automatic is how to use a food
journal. Now you might ask, "Why bother with a food journal? Like, what's the
point?" So, why bother with a food journal? Well, the reason we bother is
because it has been proven to be an effective strategy to lose weight and keep
The most successful people who win at weight loss and reach their goals, they
have been studied and the success that they can attribute is to keeping a daily
food journal. In general, successful people keep a daily journal. There's been
lots of writing about that, even if it's a brief morning journal. But, a food
journal is another proven effective strategy to achieve your goals, and in this
case your weight loss and your healthy-eating goals.
So, what is a food journal or food diary?
I think there's two critical factors, and one is it is a place to plan what
and how much you're going to eat. The second critical factor is a place
where you keep track of what you actually did eat, when you ate it, and actually
how much you have eaten. Now, there are many approaches to food journals, but
every successful approach includes those two things, right?
We create a food journal so that we have a place to record what we plan to eat.
And then, once again, we keep track of what we are actually eating.
Now, the interesting thing is when you start to get into the habit of sticking
to your plan, there really is no second part because you will always just eat
what it is that you plan and you become better at sticking to that plan and
there isn't much tracking. But initially, if you are not used to keeping a
journal and if you are not used to eating according to a plan, then tracking is
going to give you the awareness so that you can actually learn what it's all
Now, another approach that you can use in terms of a food journal is to keep
track of how you feel before and after you eat. Often, we eat because of
emotional upsets or even boredom, so keeping track of your feelings and your
level of hunger when you actually eat, that's going to open up this internal
process that's going on in your brain that's being done unconsciously. What we
want to do is become aware of that process, bring that process to the surface so
that we can influence it.
Another thing you can keep track of in a journal is your specific goal and
actually why you want to reach it.
Now, changing habits really requires strong motivation, right? Because if you
don't really want to change, it's not something that's going to come easy, so
you really have to have a strong motivation to step out of your comfort zone
into the discomfort of something new. When you write down your goal and you make
it very specific, and then you spend time writing about why you want to achieve
it, what are your thoughts about why you want to reach that goal, those thoughts
can actually rekindle your emotional motivation to help you make those changes.
Because remember, your thoughts create your feelings, and your feelings drive
your action, right? They give us the motivation to do or not to do something, to
eat that apple instead of that cookie. And those actions, whether you eat that
apple or you eat that cookie over and over again, is going to give you the
result you either want or you don't want.
Now, writing about what you will feel and get when you reach that goal ... Let's
say your goal is to lose 25 pounds. Then, you want to ask yourself, "Why do you
want to lose that weight? What are you going to get at the end of that?"
Sometimes we can discover that the thing that we want we could actually have
right now. We don't have to wait until we lose the weight. But once we start
feeling better about ourselves, actually losing the weight will come a bit
Now, I believed that if I lost weight, I would stop disappointing myself, right?
Because a big part of the suffering that I was going through was that I wanted
to lose weight, I wanted to eat healthy, but I just kept breaking those
promises. I couldn't figure out how to stop feeling so bad and eating all of my
feelings. But then, when I learned that that feeling of disappointment, that's
really what I wanted to change, right? I mean, I know I wanted to be healthy and
I didn't want to get diabetes, right? Because I saw my mom going in that
direction. She suffered with that. But when I saw that disappointing myself was
the problem, then I could look at how can I stop disappointing myself right now?
That became a different problem to solve as opposed to just losing weight.
I also thought that when I lost weight, I would have more self-confidence, but I
could actually learn how to have confidence right now. So, it's really
interesting and fascinating that when you write about why do you want to reach
your goal, you may still be inspired to lose that weight, but you may also find
that there are things you can do to feel better right now.
Okay, let's get back to this food journal.
So, what's the purpose? The purpose of a food journal is to lose weight and to
keep it off, to eat healthier foods. Successful weight loss studies have shown
that keeping a food journal has a positive effect on weight loss. It's also
journaling has helped with depression and stress. Then additionally, when you
set a goal, any goal, and you write it down, we know, through studies, that you
are more likely to achieve it.
Why does it work to have a food journal?
Researchers speculate that the success of using a food journal to lose and
sustain weight loss comes from both awareness and accountability. Now, often
we're not aware of how much we eat, and writing it down gives us a way to
evaluate, well, exactly what it is that we're eating. What are the portions that
we're eating? When we write it down, we actually become more accountable to
ourselves. And if we share our food journal with a coach, a trainer, or a
partner, then we have even another level of accountability. Sometimes just not
wanting to write something down will change your desire for eating a particular
food. Another benefit is that just using your imagination to visualize yourself
eating a meal that you're planning as you're writing it down is also going to
strengthen your chance for success.
Remember, when we're talking about changing habits, that is what is the key to
success. We want to make this sustainable over a long period of time, so we want
to really be able to learn new skills in order to maintain our behaviors, right?
So when you're working at changing old habits of overeating, using a food
journal actually takes advantage of your brain's designed to support you in this
process. And why is that? Is because using a food journal actually engages your
prefrontal cortex. Now remember, your prefrontal cortex is your mental CEO and
the executive of your brain and your life. It's great at planning, executing on
a plan, and understanding that what you do today immediately is going to have a
long-term impact on you in the future.
Now, if you are often standing in front of the fridge at the end of a long work
day wondering, "What do I feel like eating?" you're not using your prefrontal
cortex, but your limbic brain, the one that cannot see the future, that's only
seeking immediate gratification. In fact this part of your brain may likely be
running the show right now, and may have been running the show for quite some
time. And of course, every time you use that part of your brain, you're building
a skill, right? So you'll building on the skill to live unconsciously, which is
really going to doom any chance you have at achieving your weight loss goals. So
now, I do highly recommend, again, listening to episode 31 on simple planning.
Because in order to be successful in writing down your food, you have to have
the food in your house. It has to be ready to be cooked or has to already be
The other thing you can use your food diary is to understand your food and taste
profile. Now, we often, you know, say, "Oh, I like this. I don't like that. I
hate this. I love that." But as you get into the habit of writing down your food
and your goals, you're going to be able to see, well, what food is working,
what's helping you lose weight, and what's not working. It's going to help you
identify areas where you can make changes.
Maybe you think you should eat some food because it's healthy, like maybe kale,
right? So you start to try and implement these recipes and you find you don't
like it. Well, then, that is not going to be sustainable. So really picking, we
know it's a green and we want to find maybe another green that is healthy for
you that you could add to your meals that's going to support you in sticking to
it because you like the flavor, right? So, you really want to look at that food
plan and that food diary so that you can actually get information about what it
is that you like and what works for you.
I want to give you several tips that you can use for being successful yourself
at creating a food diary.
#1 What kind of Journal?
The first thing is I want you to decide what kind of a journal works with your
lifestyle and your personality. I have used pads of paper that sit in my kitchen
to write down my food for the next day. You may have a similar situation, right?
You just kind of jot it down. Or, you can keep a small notebook that you can
write day after day. You write down all your food. This way you can actually
take it with you, put it in your purse so that you can use the same notebook to
track your food in real time. Or maybe you actually want to use the notes on
your phone, right? There's a little note thing on your phone and you can use
that or you can use a food app.
You want to decide what is your personality, what is your lifestyle, if it's
simple. Are you more likely to use electronics or are you more likely to use
paper? Are you more likely to remember to write down your food in a little
notebook in your purse or do you want to just keep it on your phone? So, that's
the first thing, is you decide, "Well, what are you going to use?"
#2 When will you write?
Then, you want to decide how often will you write in your journal. I know for
me, I always write my food before bed, right? Some people would plan their food
after dinner and some people would plan their food in the morning, so whatever
works for you. You do want to do it 24 hours. So, if you're planning it in the
morning, it's for the following day, right?
The other thing is you want to figure out when you need to track, especially
initially, what you actually ate. You want to make sure you put that on your
schedule so that you can check in at lunch, check in at breakfast, and check in
You want to decide, again, when are you going to write your food down and how
you're going to keep track of what it is you are eating until you get into the
habit of just following your plan.
#3 What are you willing to track?
Now, the other thing you can decide is, what are you going to track? Now, let's
say you love creating Excel spreadsheets and you love different data points to
track, right? You get to decide what it is you want to track, and this is my
recommendations. I'm going to give you several of them.
I think it's important for your overall food protocol. When you started out here
you decided, "These are the kinds of foods I'm going to eat in order to lose
weight. This is how much of each food I'm going to eat and when I'm going to eat
it." So, you want to have that food protocol written down somewhere, right?
Meal Plan 24-hours in Advance.
Then you want to have a meal plan for the next 24 hours. So, you have breakfast,
lunch, and dinner. You plan what it is you're going to eat the next day, and you
want to be specific, right? You're going to have, let's say, chicken, and
broccoli, and salad, and olive oil or you're going to have yogurt, and fruit,
and oatmeal. Whatever it is you're going to have for breakfast, you write it
down, you write down the amount, and you write down exactly what it is that
you're going to have the next day.
Now, this is brilliant because I love this process because what it does is it
actually gives you the anchor, right? If you're confused about what it is you're
going to eat, you just look at your plan, and there it is. You have already
determined that food is in your house, whether it's already cooked or whether
it's ready to be cooked, right? So, you really want to look at that piece of
paper that has the food you're going to eat tomorrow and be able to rely on it.
Exact portions and timing of meals.
The other thing you could track is how much you're going to eat and what time
you actually eat. The other thing is you really want to make sure that you don't
forget to record any snacks or beverages, things that you maybe don't consider
having added calories or added food. Let's just even say carrot sticks, right?
You want to make sure every single time you eat, you write it down, especially
as you're practicing creating a plan and then following that plan.
Those are the basics, the minimal tracking. I think if you do that much, you're
going to see some success, right? So, it's the food protocol, your meal 24 hours
in advance, and then the review, how much did you actually eat, when did you
actually eat, and making sure you put every single thing down that you put in
your body on that piece of paper, on that computer, or on your phone.
Tracking more than food.
Events and Feelings. So, I want to talk about additional things that you can
track that will also impact and give you some insight into your emotional eating
patterns. You want to write down, let's just say any stressful or emotional
moments that came up in your day, and then how you handle those situations. Were
you upset? Did you eat? Did you want to eat and you didn't eat? Basically, you
want to keep track of what happen for you emotionally that day.
I also like to consider what surprises did you learn? Maybe you learned that
you thought you had to have a snack at 3 o'clock, and when you didn't snack
today at 3 o'clock, it wasn't a big deal, right? And you might have been
surprised by that. So whatever you find that surprising in your journey would be
nice to write down. But whatever you do, you want to be consistent and write
down your food every single day.
#4 Review what is working.
Then, the next tip I want to give you is to review your success against your
journal. So if you're successfully losing weight each week, then you want to
just keep doing what it is you're doing. Also, remembering that your weight is
going to naturally fluctuate between one to three pounds from day to day, and
you want to accumulate at least two to six weeks of food journaling to determine
if your plan is working. Now, if your plan is not getting you the results you
want, let's say after two to four weeks, you can actually review and tweak your
plan with your coach or with your trainer.
So ladies, at any age changing habits created over years of practice is going to
take time and patience as you learn new skills. For many of you, using a
journal, a food journal, might be a new skill. I want you to use it to notice
how you react to your weight fluctuations, how you react to hunger, your
emotions, and your thoughts about your successes or your missteps. Because all
of this information, plus the tracking of your food, what you're going to eat,
making that commitment that you're going to stick to that plan, these are all
going to be processes that will become easier. The more you do them.
What ends up happening, which I think is a beautiful thing, is that you become
really more understanding of the richness of your own humanity. And in the
process, you're becoming the person you want to be, which is choosing a healthy
lifestyle so that you have the energy and vitality to live your life.
So now I want to talk about my favorite things, and today I'm going to ... My
favorite thing is what didn't use to be my favorite thing, but it is, I'm going
to say it, AARP. Now, people make fun of it because as soon as you turn 50, you
start getting all this mail from AARP, and everyone's freaking out about it,
But, I think that the information in the magazines and the newsletters, oh my
God, they're so spot-on and interesting. I almost always learn something new. So
when you get that AARP in the mail as soon as you turn 50, or if you haven't,
maybe you're 60 and you still haven't actually replied or taken advantage of
AARP, don't dread that application. Welcome it and become a member, because I
think you're going to be very surprised at how much really good information AARP
can provide to you as you are turning 60s and in your 70s.
So, thank you so much for listening to today's episode of It's Never Too Late to
Lose Weight. If you know someone who's approaching 60 and struggling still with
weight or wellness, send them a link so that they get to listen to what I'm
sharing. And if you want to speak with me about your particular situation, just
send me an email to pat\@beauprecoaching.com, and we can find some time to talk.
I'd love to show you how I can help you succeed and what I see as the final
frontier in your weight loss journey. Because if you're listening to this
podcast, you know one thing for sure, it's never too late. I'll see you next
Thanks for listening to this episode of It's Never Too Late to Lose Weight. If
you liked what you heard and want more, head over to never2late.info/guide to
download your quick-start guide, to jumpstart your weight loss plan and begin
creating an amazing life you love.