Should you track your food intake? Maybe or maybe not. Let’s talk about it! In this article, I will list the pros and cons for tracking your food intake.
I personally think everyone should keep a food log at some point in his or her life. Tracking food helps make you aware of what you’re eating and how it affects your body.
Do you know how many grams of protein you consume a day on average? How much water do you drink? How many calories do you eat? Most likely, you do not have the answers to these questions. Most people are not aware of what they put into their bodies.
Food tracking will help make you aware.
You do not have to track your food intake for the rest of your life. But it is good to do for a while.
The goal of food tracking is to get a good understanding of food and how it affects your body. Food tracking will help you see what 1,500 calories looks like and what it feels like in your body.
Apps like MyFitnessPal can help you track you food. The app will also tell you if the variety of food you consume gives you enough protein, vitamins, and healthy fats each day.
Tracking your food will make you more knowledgeable about what vitamins and macronutrients are in basic foods. However, it will take more than a day to learn these things. It is a process and it will take some commitment. This commitment will improve your health though, so it is worth it!
You will know food tracking has served its purpose when, without tracking, you can feel when you’ve eaten too much or not enough. You will see and feel the signs of when you’re low on iron or have eaten too many carbohydrates. Food logging will open your eyes to which foods make you bloated, break out or feel strong. If you want to be healthy you need to understand what is happening in your body. Food tracking will help you understand those things.
How long do you need to track for?
As I said before, you do not need to track every day for the rest of your life. But, you likely will need to check in with your food-tracking app as your body starts to change. Age, fitness, body weight and lifestyle all affect how much your body needs to eat to maintain a healthy weight. As these things change, track your food for a week to make sure you are on the right track with your new body.
I still track my food. Not 365 days a year, but when I need it. Food tracking is an amazing tool that I use when I start to get lazy with my food. I go through periods where I don’t feel like cooking, so I’ll snack too much and not eat enough vegetables. When this starts to happen, I get back on track by logging my food. And it always works!
When it’s not a good idea to track
You know food tracking is hurting you when you become obsessed with meeting your macronutrient and calorie goals each day. Food tracking should not take over your life. If it has caused disordered eating, please stop and talk to a friend or therapist about why that is happening.