I'm going to preface this by saying how you perceive things, how you choose to view things, is going to make a huge impact on how you experience life.
I about skipped out on the huge helpfulness and source of learning this tool provides because of how I used to perceive it.
You're not going to expect this probably...
Hear me out! This is how it used to be...
"Food tracking is dumb, and kind of OCD, just enjoy food!"
I'd tried it off and on a few times just to check it out, but I couldn't ever get myself to stick to it. It didn't really help that I had no real concrete goal in mind and I didn't feel like it was really useful for my situation.
It wasn't until I hired my first fitness coach that I really took food logging seriously, had a goal, had targets, and the guidance I needed.
It was then I finally understood how helpful food tracking can be, especially if you are trying to lose weight, gain muscle, or maintain weight. Which all of us are in one of those 3 categories so, essentially, food tracking can be a good tool for anyone. As long as you can view it as a TOOL.
Just like a dumbbell is a tool to make you stronger or a spoon is a tool to help you eat- food tracking is a tool to help you become better aware of what you eat and it's components.
Here's the main things I learned from food tracking that have made a hella difference in my health:
You start to understand the make up of food and how you can set up your diet to better serve you. i.e. This food has a shit ton of sugar and makes me crash vs this food satisfies me and keeps me full longer so I'm able to focus better on my work.
It can help you reach your fitness goals faster because it's gives you data. It keeps you in check so that you can be consistently working towards your goals, whatever they may be. Our bodies love consistency.
Learning what food portions actually look like. Sometimes they're smaller than you'd think and sometimes bigger. Yes. BIGGER.
Coming to the realization that measuring cups and spoons are sometimes way different than weighing out a serving of something. What I mean by this is, in my recent experience, 2 tablespoons of Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce vs 36g are very different. As in 36g is way more than I even need and if I scooped out a serving with my tablespoon it just somehow isn't the same amount. This will depend on the density of the sauce.
If you get negative (or positive) feedback from your doc about blood tests you have data to analyze. Say you find out you're deficient in potassium or have high cholesterol, for example, you can go back to your food logs and see what might be causing that in your diet and make any necessary changes
It helps you to make sure you are eating a balanced diet. It doesn't require you to cut out carbs, go super low fat, or never eat your favorite foods again. This can be especially helpful if you've been under the impression that low carb is the only way to lose weight...psst...IT'S NOT.
You have to acknowledge and take responsibility for your food choices. Assuming you log honestly, it can be really eye opening when you see how much sodium or how little potassium you take in each day. Or how many carbs you're getting, but somehow so little fiber. Once again, IF you log honestly.
Learn how to make some bomb ass recipes! Take some of your favorite foods or old family recipes and make healthier versions of them that taste just as good, or sometimes better, than the original.
It teaches you how to be able to eat more intuitively. The goal isn't to track forever. Once you weigh out 4 oz of chicken or a serving of tater chips a few hundred times you're gonna be able to eye ball it fairly well when you're no longer logging food.
You can always start logging again to do a little self-check. Every now and then it's good to whip this tool back out for a week and ensure you're still making healthier choices most of the time.
It can be a hard habit to build at first because it is, in fact, a pain in the ass. I'll be honest, I had to really push myself to do it when I first started. It was definitely helpful to have a coach to hold me accountable. However, once you build the habit, it's much easier and sometimes it can even be intriguing to see what you're results are at the end of the day.
Give food logging a try from a viewpoint of curiosity, a desire to learn, and become healthier. See how that better serves you than being annoyed or feeling restricted. You never know how much good might come from it if you don't give it a chance.
If you need some accountability, like I did, don't hesitate to reach out to me! This tool has helped my clients lose hundreds of pounds, learn how to maintain their ideal weight, and achieve the strength & tone they've been looking for!
Shoot me an email at email@example.com!