Divide and Conquer – Taking Concepts from Programming and Applying it to Food Journaling

 In Blog, Psychology

Did you know I’m taking classes in Computer Programming?

If you didn’t know, I grew up around computers. Since I was 6, I’ve worked on and handled a computer almost all day, every day.

You can call it my first love, before I met Rebecca ;).

What is Divide and Conquer?

Today I want to share with you a very important point that echoes something we’ve brought up numerous times during our nutrition consultations. It involves the idea of divide and conquer. Divide and conquer is a concept in Computer Programming of breaking down a problem to smaller and smaller subproblems, until you are able to work on a part you can solve.

Easy enough right?

The biggest problem for the clients I’ve trained is learning that this key concept can apply to everything and anything…including dieting.

For us we want to define solving a subproblem, as being able to act on a problem (behavior) consistently and easily enough that doesn’t take too much out of you.

Here’s an example:
As you know whenever you are making dietary changes, one of the key behaviors we want you to be able to do is: doing your food journal. When someone says that though, even that behavior is part of a bunch of other behaviors that are needed to be performed to say you are doing your food journal.

The Art of the Food Journal

“If you bite it, write it” – from Chiquita Publishing

So what are the main behaviors of Food Journaling?

1. Can you type or write or take a photo of your daily meals for present or future reference?

2. Can you analyze what you tracked to give you meaningful information about your current diet?

3. If you can analyze your current diet, do you know how to make the necessary changes to get to your fitness and/or body goal?

As you can see, these are the 3 main tasks of DOING YOUR FOOD JOURNAL.

But, can those be broken down further, especially when you may be having a hard time working on these crucial behaviors that are currently solving as a problem. Why yes, yes you can.

Breaking it down:

Let’s take point #1 – tracking your daily meals for present or future reference.
Let’s start with the assumptions starting from bigger to smaller:

Does it have to be daily? (reduce further, if needed)
Does it have to be every meal? (reduce further, if needed)
Do you have to write down the entire meal? (reduce further, if needed)
Do you have to write every ingredient?

And now we have a few subproblems that you can handle over an easier length of time.

Can you do any one of those things when it comes to DOING YOUR FOOD JOURNAL?

Hopefully now you can!

One of the key things to understand is that by working on the subproblems is helping you work on the much larger problem.

It’s lead to you getting better and better at doing the entire project of DOING YOUR FOOD JOURNAL.

Learning to think that way, not only makes doing things easier, it also leads to success faster and who doesn’t like to succeed?

Towards getting better,

Darryl Lardizabal

P.S. We’ll cover several ways of breaking down different behaviors that a person needs to be successful at changing their body fat and getting to their goal weight loss!

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