The Mindful Diet Week 2: Do a Digestion Assessment

Writing down what you eat can help you lose weight, and the process will also clue you in to what foods your body digests well—or not.

For exclusive access to all our stories, including sequences, teacher tips, video classes, and more, join Outside+ today.

Writing down what you eat can help you lose weight, and the process will also clue you in to what foods your body digests well—or not, according to Doug Hyde, an Ayurvedic practitioner in Killaloe, Ireland, who offers nutrition classes and consultations. “Spending one week tuning in to your body and discovering the ‘healthy’ foods that aren’t great for you will set you up for success,” says Hyde. It can also help you stay on track with other goals. For example, if you commit to writing down everything you eat, you might not be as likely to cave and have that bacon or hot dog if your goal is to eat according to your ethics.

Days 8–14: Keep a food diary

To figure out which foods make you feel fab—or drab—keep track of the following every day this week.

Nutrition. What did you eat? What was your hunger level before each meal? How did you feel 15 minutes afterward? Ideally, you should feel hungry but not famished before all of your meals (serious hunger pangs mean you’re waiting too long to eat and are more likely to overeat or make unhealthy choices), and energized within 15 minutes of finishing. Feeling like you need a nap post-meal is a sign you’re not getting the nutrients or calories you need.

Hydration. How much did you drink, and how thirsty (or not) did
you feel? You should aim to never feel parched, and should be drinking enough to pee 4–8 times a day. Your urine should be straw-colored—not clear (which can actually mean you’re overhydrating and your body isn’t absorbing the water you drink) and not too dark (which can signal dehydration).

Elimination. How often did you pass stool, and sweat? Everyone’s digestive system is different, but ideally you’ll have one or two bowel movements a day and not feel particularly gassy. You should also be sweating for at least 30 minutes each day.

“You’ll likely notice certain foods that you can eat every day that never give you digestive issues,” says Blossom. “Those are your power foods, which can be incorporated into your diet as often as you like.” As for the stuff that makes you feel sluggish, bloated, constipated, or just generally zapped? Steer clear to repair your gut, lose bloat and excess weight, and feel better.

See also Kundalini Yoga for Better Digestion

Continue on to the next week:

Return to the whole program

See also 10-Minute Guided Meditation for Mindful Eating