8 Reasons To Track Your Food
Did you know that 88% of people who track their food intake lose weight in as little as 7 days? That statistic alone should be enough to convince you that if you're not reaching your nutrition goals, you may want to start keeping track of what you put in your mouth. Regardless of whether you want to lose weight, tone up, or just get healthy, tracking your food provides priceless insight into your starting point, areas for improvement, and ensuring progress over time.
Can you remember what you ate for dinner last night? Often times we forget everything we put in our mouths. Tracking helps you remain mindful of what you eat because you have to log it.
Provides you with a better understanding of your current eating habits
In order to reach your nutrition goals, you need to know what your starting point is so you can then devise an attainable plan with steps to reach your goal. For instance, you need to know how many calories you're currently consuming and from what sources, and what ratio of macronutrients, before you can tweak anything to make progress towards your goal.
Informs you how nutrient dense your food is
Tracking your food helps you determine what foods are "worth it" for you to meet your goals/nutritional needs. Likewise, it helps you realize what foods are inhibiting you from meeting those goals/needs (and therefore helps you reduce the amount of consumption or even eliminate it). For example, a latte with whole milk and syrups can add an extra 500 calories to your day. If you consume that latte everyday, that's an extra 3500 calories a week.... that's equal to 1lb of fat...every week.
Helps you balance your total calories and macronutrients
By logging each meal, you can see how balanced your meals are and this can help you make better choices in the future and ensure you continue to make balanced choices for sustained energy.
Helps you reach your goals
Once you know the caloric density of your food, you can't help but use that information in the future to help you reach your goals. For example, while eating out at a resturant, you are debating what appetizer you want to order. Before making a decision, you check to see how many calories are in the grilled chicken wraps and discover that they contain a whopping 1,000 calories. You also notice that that would put you way over your calorie limit for the day and decide to go with a different appetizer. Side note: This is different than a restrictive, boring diet. Tracking simply allows you to make informed decisions of food you enjoy
Holds you accountable
By logging, you are alert when you near your daily calorie limit. For example, if you know that you can only consume another 100 calories for that day, you will probably pass on that chocolate glazed donut.
Allows you to plan ahead
Decide what you're going to get at the grocery store while you're still at home or pre-read the menu and log those foods in advance. If you aren't able to do this, learn after you make a choice why it was good or bad (moving you towards or away from your goal) and how to improve your choices in the future.
Gives you options
You can feel empowered that you have control over incorporating a variety of your favorite foods, in moderation, into your diet.
Things to Remember When You Start Tracking
1. The more often you track, the more likely you are to reach your goals. Tracking keeps you informed about your intake over time. Tracking gets easier the more you do it, so stick with it.
2. Lifestyle habits will form by logging each meal one at a time. As you get more organized with doing this, logging your day ahead of time will force you to have a plan.
3. Log ahead of time to see if that food aligns with your goals. If it does not, delete it and choose something else.
About The Author
What you put in your body is the most important piece to achieving your goals. That's why trainer, nutrition coach, and chef Jillian Tedesco started fit-flavors to help others succeed. See how they can help you at fit-flavors.com.