These days we’re trying to be purposeful about our eating at my house.4 Reasons to try a food tracker! #foodtracker #trackyourfood #healthyeating #healthychoices Click To Tweet
Making sure we only buy what we will eat. Eliminating foods that have no nutritional value. Using up food before we waste money buying more. Watching portion sizes. Eating all our leftovers. Snacking on fruits and veggies instead of junk. Not letting things go to waste. That kind of “healthy eating and healthy budgeting” all at the same time.
But one thing we really need to do better with is actually tracking what we eat!
Saying that you want to eat healthily is easy, but taking active steps to improve your dietary habits and change the foods that you bring into your home and put into your body can be daunting and challenging. Everyone has announced an intention to eat better without following through, because those fatty, high-sodium, sugar-laden foods are convenient, delicious, and justifiable as long as you ignore their contents. Detailing your daily intake with a food tracker holds you accountable for what you consume. It also reveals eating patterns and problem areas.
Count Your Calories
Estimating your caloric intake doesn’t do you any good. Most people are so far removed from the nutritional information of their food that they can’t correctly guess how many calories or carbs they consume every day. When you know you don’t have the best eating habits, it’s not uncommon to take an ostrich approach and bury your head in the sand so you don’t have to acknowledge your unhealthy choices. It’s even possible that you don’t eat enough.
Tracking the food you eat each day causes you to see your caloric intake in black and white. You can’t dispute the numbers. Within the first few days of monitoring what you eat, you discover where you’re wasting calories. For example, upon tallying up a restaurant meal, don’t be too surprised to learn you just ate three-quarters of your daily target in one setting and you’re not even satiated.
Get Real about Portion Size
Portion size is another area where most people fly blind. Take a look at the recommended serving size for your favorite cereal. Odds are you eat double, even triple the amount. The same goes for ice cream, cookies, chips, and snacks in general. However, your meal portions might just be out of whack, too. A balanced meal includes more vegetables than anything else. Proteins should be the size of your fist or a deck of cards. Carbohydrates and starches should take up the least amount of space on the plate.
Identify Dietary Sabotage
Have you ever started a healthy eating plan to aid in weight loss or overall dietary improvement, only to see no difference? Maybe carbs curb your success. Perhaps you’re sabotaged by starches or hidden sugars. Noting what you eat and drink, how much, and when reveals areas of deficiency and overindulgence. A health tracker like Lifesum also helps you to replace poor eating habits with nutritional alternatives. For instance, you might not see results because you aren’t drinking enough water.
Discover Your Triggers
Emotional eating is more common than you might think. Turning to food for comfort in times of anger, anxiety, or depression is sometimes the only thing that soothes you. A food tracking app analyzes the times you eat, what you eat, and what you feel in the moment to figure out your emotional triggers. The only way to break a bad habit is to delve into why you do it.
Even if you only track what you eat for a few weeks, the exercise will reveal eye-opening information about your dietary habits. An app is the most convenient way to record what you consume at all times.
Would you try food tracking? Do you do it already? I’d love to hear your experience!
Due to the amount of comments from all of my wonderful readers, it is not always possible for me to respond to each one. However, I absolutely do read them all, and if you’d like to address something specific, or have a question for me, please don’t hesitate to email me at Kristen@theroadtodomestication.com. I will respond to your email as soon as possible! Thank you for visiting the blog!