The other day, some of us here at ActivatedYou had a little picnic. The weather was nice, so we all took our lunches to the park near our office. However, when I looked around the table, I noticed something…while everyone was enjoying their meals, Kelsey (our customer care whiz) wasn’t eating… she was taking pictures of her salad and posting it on Instagram!
And when I looked at it, I could see why… the colors, the way it was put together, and the sprinkle of fresh herbs on top made it beautiful. When she caught me staring (my bad!) she explained what she was doing…
“It seems a little silly, but I’ve been posting pictures of EVERYTHING I eat on Instagram. And I think it’s making me healthier!”
And the more I think about it, the more I realize… what Kelsey is doing is actually BRILLIANT… for a few reasons:
1. It’s an easy way to hold yourself accountable.
Numerous studies have shown: tracking the foods you eat is a great way to stay on track. After all, when you write down (or take photos of) the foods that you eat, you are more likely to think carefully about the choices you make — even if they’re not always the healthiest choices. Tracking your food makes you accountable for these choices, healthy or not, so you become more aware of your eating patterns, how certain foods make you feel (bloated, tired, energized), and what nutrients you might need more of.
And if writing down everything you eat, calculating calories, and tracking nutrients sounds like a drag, photo-tracking is a great alternative. Taking a photo can take less than a second — but let’s be real, who can take a perfect photo in a single try?! — and all you really need is your phone (and let’s face it — we ALWAYS have our phones on us). Anyone who has tried writing down everything they eat, every ingredient, every meal, every day, knows that it requires a lot of dedication. So, if you’ve tried writing down everything you eat and it didn’t work for you, give food photography a try instead!
And when you look back on those photos you’ll see:
- What your portion size looks like, day by day
- The kinds of foods you’re eating a lot of — and the things your diet is missing
- How your diet changes over time
Not bad for a 1-second trick, right?
2. It encourages you to “eat the rainbow.”
Now, I don’t know anyone who goes around taking bad pictures on purpose… we pose with our family members, wait for the perfect sunset, or that great hair day. And the same goes for food, too.
Maybe you start topping your salad with more colorful fruits and veggies — a rainbow of cucumbers, yellow, red, orange peppers, carrots, or blueberries. Or you make sure every plate has a pop of color — like a side of bright green veggies, and fresh herbs.
And dessert? Suddenly that scoop of vanilla isn’t pretty enough — so you top it with antioxidant-rich raspberries and blueberries. Plus, it turns food prep from something mundane into something fun. It’s like you’re doing an art project, every time you eat.
3. Posting on Instagram could even motivate others!
Photographing your food is one thing, but posting it to Instagram for your friends and the world to see is another. It’s up to you whether or not you post the pictures of your food on Instagram like Kelsey does; she posts about every single meal and snack. That’s dedication!
But, I encourage you to try posting your food to Instagram (or Facebook, or Pinterest, or other social media) for two reasons:
- Sharing photos of your food with others will keep you accountable… so you keep up the great habit.
- You may inspire someone in your network to start trying some of the healthy foods you make.
And inspiring your loved ones to live healthy, full lives is a great thing — after all, you want to enjoy their company for YEARS to come.
Of course, you don’t have to post every meal, every day, like Kelsey, but consider posting regularly, whether it’s weekly, on the weekends, or even once in a while, on any kind of social media you’re comfortable with. Not only will you find your own meals healthier, more exciting, and filled with colorful fruits and veggies…
You never know who you might inspire with your meals!