The Most High Tech, Complicated, Diet Hack EVER

Recently I’ve been experimenting with my diet (with phenomenal results, but I’ll save that for another blog) and have stumbled into a method (an extremely complicated, high-tech method) that I’d heard about in the past but always shrugged off.

So, what’s this “magical” method?

Not so fast! It’s important to note that this particular strategy is working so well, in part, due to the N of 1 idea I’ve talked about before. (If you’re not sure what I’m talking about CLICK HERE) This current method that I’m using is all about facilitating and benefiting from the N of 1 philosophy and being both the observed and observer when it comes to your plan and results. So, understand that when you’re going into this it probably wont work right away (and if it did it wouldn’t teach you anything anyway!) and look at this as a process. Yes, it needs to lead to progress (real, substantial progress towards your goals) or it isn’t worth your time or effort BUT just because it doesn’t lead to an immediate jump forward doesn’t mean one isn’t coming.

Alright so, ready?

This mystical process that’s punching the gas pedal on my results is….

A food log!

That’s right! A basic, boring, pen and paper food log. Kinda funny right? I mean, we’ve got apps that count every calorie, tell us how to break down our macro split and even scan the barcodes on your food so you know exactly what you’re consuming each and every day.

While these are all great tools (even if I’ve never gotten into the groove of using them) to me they’re missing the tangible, “real” feeling of putting pen to paper. Speaking of which, what am I doing when I put pen to paper? I keep it pretty simple. I include my AM bodyweight (if I take it that day), I note the time of each meal, what I ate and approximately how large my servings were if they’re outside my norm and I note how many litres of water I drank that day.

Now before you brush this off as too simple here are the 3 reasons I believe this has been so effective for me.

  1. With a blank sheet of paper the only influence is you. There’s no little graph telling you how many calories or carbs you should have and there’s no other “options” or features to distract you. The only input and, more importantly, the only feedback on what you’re eating is your own. This is scary and powerful for the same reason: you’re 100% in the drivers seat with this method. (N of 1, remember?)

  2. If you haven’t logged your food before, or haven’t logged it consistently, any method of logging is going to be a game changer for you. From seeing how often you have certain foods to how much (or little) water you drink to the sting of writing down an unplanned cheat meal there are tons of benefits for tracking what you eat. (For those of you [or us…] who can get a little neurotic with things it’s also a nice benefit to the pen and paper method that you can evaluate what you’re eating on a level that’s not just calories and grams of fat. Imagine thinking about your choices with parameters like nourishing and healthy)

  3. Feedback. I’ve got little notes on different days that talk about how I’m feeling - good or bad. Sometimes it only takes one of these for me to know where I’ve gone wrong (or right) and sometimes it takes a few days before I can see a pattern. Either that the little notes you can add about how you slept, how your training went or just straight up how you feel are incredibly important when it comes to modifying your approach and tweaking what you’re doing.

So there you have it! I hope it wasn’t a let down… but it might have been, this method was something I regretted wasting my time reading about for years before I finally tried it - which happens to be my suggestion for you. I know it sounds basic and it sounds like a waste of time and it sounds like something you could do better with a phone or an app or a website.

Take my word on this one, grab yourself a notebook and try it for a week. If you’re anything like me you’ll be surprised and happy you did!


Craig Bongelli