The Importance of Keeping a Food Diary to Ensure Weight Loss

Using a food diary as part of your armoury can be the missing link of any exercise and nutrition program and can be a very powerful tool when utilised properly and honestly.

Believe it or not, one of the most common causes of failure in exercise and weight loss programs is simply the fact that the person is just eating too much food or eating the wrong types of food or even “crashing out” at regular times each day.

For the majority of us, the overall stance on losing weight is very simple when you really strip it down and that is just the equation of calories in versus calories out.

Put more specifically, the body burns calories 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and the only thing that changes is the rate of calorie burn. This rate is determined by the activity the person is currently undertaking but rest assured that even while watching TV or sleeping, the natural functions of your body are causing calorie burn!

Therefore in theory, as long as we do not consume more calories from our daily food and drink than we burn off, weight loss is virtually guaranteed. By adding exercise to the mix you can obviously increase the differential between calories in and calories out.

So now we know a little bit more about calories let’s get to this food diary!

You would probably be surprised to learn that just about all of us underestimate exactly how much food and drink we consume each day. Sometimes by as much as 50%! Normally, we just think about our main meals and tend to forget the little bits and pieces here and there like a cookie, a can of soda or beer with dinner or perhaps a slice of cake from the office party at work!

When you keep a food dairy and providing you are totally honest with yourself, it will easily and clearly identify problem foods you are eating or drinking, problems days, problem parts of the day or specific meals that are going against you. You may see a general over eating pattern or you may just find that your afternoon snack is the main cause of your weight woes! For some reason, alcohol seems to be the most common item left out of food diaries!

The best way to get a real feel for how you are going is to keep your food diary religiously and 100% strictly, leaving nothing out that passes your lips for a period of two weeks. It is also very important to eat and drink as you would normally and not just be good while you are recording your food – kind of defeats the purpose don’t you think?!

You can write it all down in a notebook, keep it in a file on your lap top or PC or actually use a small diary. Whatever method is easiest for you to fully note down everything you consume in a day.

What I feel is the absolute best way however and the method I use, is to take a photo using my mobile phone camera of everything I consume. The great part of this is that I just about always have my phone with me and therefore it is quick and easy to simply pull it out and snap! No writing, no note books etc. Just before I go to bed, I cycle through my photos for the day and see what was good, what was bad and what can I learn from it all.

This method is also fantastic if you are co-ordinating your efforts with a personal trainer, nutritionist or dietician where it is sometimes hard to fully answer their questions on what exactly you eat and in what portions.

The crucial point is to ensure you take note of ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING. More often than not, it is the little things like one cupcake or a few lollies, an alcoholic nightcap or that donut at morning tea that we don’t include yet these are our calorie rich enemies!

So overall, a food diary can be a really powerful tool in keeping your nutritional choices in check and making sure you stay on the right path. The critical factor is being totally honest with yourself and recording everything during that two week analysis stage.

Upon the completion of your two weeks, have a thorough review of all the information you have accumulated and then make the necessary changes. This will go a long way in ensuring you have the best chance of achieving your fitness and weight loss goals!

How a Blog Can Work Better Than a Diary For Your Thoughts

I have to admit; I’m pretty new to this blogging lark. It all seemed a bit too technical for me, so it wasn’t until a cruel twist of fate (redundancy at very short notice) gave me a little bit of time to actually have a go at this fairly recent phenomenon. I expect that most people at first find the whole thing a bit daunting, but once you get into it, it’s really not that bad!

I actually started off by making myself a website – admittedly I started off with a free one but did decide to buy myself a more substantial domain name. They don’t really cost too much. Finally, feeling quite proud of myself, I felt confident enough to have a go at this blogging thing. I think at first I was concerned at how much information needed to be out there, but I soon discovered that you could add as little or as much personal information as you wish and a blog is more of an outlet for thoughts and ideas rather than personal details. Then feeling much safer in my own little corner of this new blogging world, I launched myself into it, adding links, details, ideas, extra pages etc.

Of course it doesn’t literally have to be you own personal diary, not the sort that other people shouldn’t read but on the contrary, it’s a public diary, things you do that you want to share, things you feel other people might like to know or in fact should know, and things that you think might even be able to help others, even if it’s just your little secret on how to ice cupcakes!!

It can really work well in certain situations such as travelling especially, even people who don’t usually keep a diary, do tend to keep one while travelling. This is purely because so many things happen that sometimes photos just can’t capture it all. Besides a holiday diary is one you want to share with the whole world. It’s not only good for showing friends and family what happened on your adventures together with your photos, but posting it on your blog can also make the whole thing into something quite special, it’s more like scrap booking online, it’s one step up from a diary, it makes things come alive more than simply writing in a book would, and it can even prove useful for other people who may be travelling to the same place as you.

Think how many people you give your travel tips to when you return or when you discover someone else is making that same trip, these bits of information, although they may seem a little insignificant may even save someone’s trip from disaster, even if it’s just making sure you let someone know to double check that their luggage is actually on a small plane from Kenya to Zanzibar!!!! By word of mouth you could help maybe a handful of people avoid any mistakes you made, now imagine putting that information global. You could help thousands of people enjoy their holidays more just because you chose to impart a tiny helpful piece of information, no matter how insignificant you may feel it is.

It’s not only travel that it works well for of course, but would also be useful for recording hobbies, club activities etc. This way it’s a public diary used for relaying information to other members or other people who share the same hobby as you. Of course the best part is that it’s interactive, you can add as many or as few gadgets onto your blog as you want, giving readers the chance to ask questions, post comments or even become a follower.

The best part is you can make a blog on whatever subject you like (well as long as it’s legal anyway) It’s a way to get carried away, to inform the world of your passion, show the world your beautifully decorated cupcakes, or simply just to share that little important travel detail that could save someone a major problem while they’re abroad, and the beauty of it is that you don’t even have to be at home to read or post on it. So while you are away travelling you can keep loved ones at home informed of your every move, although maybe sometimes it’s best to wait until you get back!!!

Discover How Popular Culture Arts Are Being Transformed by Digital Photo Manipulation

Pop art in its beginning freeze-framed what consumers of popular culture arts experienced into iconic visual abstractions. With the advent of the techno age, visual information circulates in such quantities, so rapidly and exponentially, that to comprehend a fraction of it all becomes a kind of production process in itself. The recording of history and how it’s interpreted has forever changed. The exposure to mass media and consumer advertising has opened up a brave new world of imagery saturation, with a tech savvy generation only too aware yet receptive to the processes of imagery marketing; including the cautious acknowledgment of the digital photo manipulation that readily occurs to such images, ranging from the air brushing of features to outright attempts at fraud.

The use of digital media has moved from the role of recording and documenting a popular culture of the time, to one now that creates its own culture(s), in ever quickening flashes that morph in and out of time often in unison with the latest fad television series or movie franchise.

The ‘spinning pop’ project as popular culture arts, is supported through the maintenance of logs, diaries, and various volumes of collected documentary materials. These documents comprise five components through which the nature of my practice is explored. I have adopted a visual approach to the traditional ‘artist’s journal’, with an extensive series of visual, written, and collected documents that have recorded the works in process. The five documentary components of this project comprise Collections (volumes of text based source materials); Diaries of digital daily images and collages printed onto copy paper; Work in progress logs (volumes of notes and photographs of the daily work practices); Daily postings to the social networks of the completed works; and including the Digital video compilation diaries.

While my work is influenced by Rene Magritte’s great sense of mystery in his juxtaposition of what appears to be unrelated images, I seek a less literal representation of the images created. His intent is to build an ambiguity into the visual language, an intention to engage the viewer on several levels. Generally my painted work is in a pixelated style, and while they are influenced by Georges Seurat’s intent for the viewer’s eye to blend the colours, they are not developed through the Pointillism technique. The digital work varies in its use of mediums and presentation, often produced with archival inks-on-cottonrag paper.

Unsurprisingly, we as a collective of artists examine every facet of life from a popular culture arts perspective, utilizing all available resource, materials and mediums to depict our interpretation of the world about us. The use of digital photo manipulation, and the creation of random imagery is just not surprising, nor outside the ‘norm’ of our brave new world. Photography has for many decades had to combat the accusation of ‘But is it Art?’, and thus as technology develops at such an astonishing pace, photographic manipulation is the medium at the proverbial ‘coal face’ or cutting edge, at which you would expect to find artists operating.