Food Tracking: Why You Need a Diary (or app)

If there’s one thing you can’t do if you’re trying to create a better nutrition lifestyle (no fad diets remember, we’re going long-haul…), it’s that you cannot out-train a bad diet.

No matter how much training you do, be it in the gym, a sports team or just general living, you won’t take your health and fitness anywhere near it’s full potential if you’re not giving your body what it needs.

For example somebody doing the exact same training program as you will more likely, if not 100%, out-perform you every day if they’ve got nutrition dialed in that bit better than you they’re giving they’re body more of what it needs.

 

blueberries

Photo credit by https://unsplash.com/@veeterzy

 

So I’ll break it down:

You have your goal, you know what you want to achieve. But do you know how much exactly you’re eating on a daily basis? Or the types of food you’re eating.

The answer is, more often than not, surprisingly different from what you’d expect. Little nibbles throughout the day could potentially lead to consuming 500 extra calories a day, and when you’re trying to burn more calories than you consume to lose a bit of stubborn fat, the day has gone by and you’re a tiny bit off track. No biggie…

My point is the minute you start tracking your foods through the use of a diary or an app on your phone, the sooner you’ll know if you’re on or off track with your daily goals, and further along 🙂

Check out this cheeky post here for a quick breakdown of surprising things you can learn from tracking foods.

So, you now understand why you should track your nutrition. This doesn’t mean you have to be strict and boring about your food by the way, always try and have fun, but understand that building habits like these will propel you towards your goals, 100%.

There’s an array or trackers out there. By far the most complete one on offer has to be MyFitnessPal. It can do everything, when you log in you set yourself a goal and there’s a very quick calculation of whether you need to eat more in terms of calories or less, whether you’re looking to gain or lose weight.

Even better it will tell you the exact amount of calories you need to consume instead in order to lose ‘x’ lbs of fat in a week.

Simple.

It’s not a short-term diet. It’s a long-term lifestyle change.

From there you simply enter all your food and drink throughout the day and it’ll calculate it for you, and how near or far you are to your daily calorie goal, as well as the daily intake of protein, carbs and fat. Brilliant!

You can browse the database of over five million food and drink items and add it into your daily diary, tracking as you go along.

Going forward, you’ll need to start checking food labels more vigilantly, in case you have to manually enter your calories if they can’t find your food. This is probably the best habit to build and a food diary will really teach you what you’re putting in that body.

I’m so so tempted to go over into the topic of portion control today but I’m trying to give you guys one daily thing to take away, so I’ll save that for another day, maybe next…

But check out the little list below though to get started with tracking food.

Your actions to takeaway: mmm takeaway.

1. Download MyFitnessPal, or your other choice of food diary, many available on all phones… If you don’t want to use your phone check out Penzu. If you want to keep it real and don’t want to use a phone, manually track EVERYTHING in a physical diary. You one hardcore individual!!

2. Setup your account or login.

3. Set your goal within the app. Check out my last article here on how to set yourself the best goal.

4. Add your meals you’ve had today right now. The sooner you get into doing this the quicker you’ll see results. Just do your first entry today.

5. Assess your goal and how close you are, maybe even record in the notes section of the app your mood whilst eating. This way you can realise if you’re eating out of boredom or stress. Good for identifying habits.

6. Take a step back and see if your goal is too extreme or too easy.

7. Get consistent. Set reminders in the apps setting to notify you as a reminder.

8. Track everything.

I really really just want to keep it simple and to one topic without digressing. So this may seem boring but I hope you can tell I’m still buzzing about food tracking!! 😉

All I want to do is give you, Charge Nation, the skills and resources necessary to push you towards your goals.

If you incorporate the steps above I guarantee you’ll make some progress sooner or later, if you’re consistent.

Remember, let me know your experience with food tracking, and the things that help or hinder you. I’ll try and help anyone with queries.

Thanks, and happy tracking.

Dan


Did you know I’m on Instagram!? Follow me below for all the latest healthy food ideas too…

 

 

 

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