Keeping a food log or journal is a great first step in taking control of your nutrition. It is as easy as carrying around a notebook or piece of paper and jotting down what you are eating each day.  Software and apps have made it even simpler to scan and track your food. I recommend Myfitnesspal.com because it is user friendly and has a large database of food data, which makes for easy tracking.

Why is tracking your food important? The answer is because most people have no idea how much they are eating and what kinds of nutrients are in (or missing from) the food they are eating.  Tracking helps you put calories and macronutrients into context and shows you how they add up as a whole.

Tracking your food, even just for a short time, helps you see what a day should look like to hit your calorie and nutrient goals. The more you track, the more comfortable you will be with putting together meals that fit in nicely with your nutritional parameters. It becomes second nature. You will be able to eye-ball portions and guestimate amounts. You will know what your perfect meal should look and feel like. And once you have that knowledge, it is only a matter of consistency.

Is tracking the end-all-be-all of nutrition? Of course not! Your metabolism is so much more complex than simply calories in vs. calories out. But what tracking does is gives you a clearer picture of your nutritional trends. You can see if you often have a surplus or deficit of calories. You can see if you are deficient in any macro or micronutrients. You can see if there are certain times of the day that you are getting off track. All of these pieces of the puzzle will give you a clearer picture of what you need to change to see results. It is all about becoming aware.

As you track, you will begin to notice how much that fast food meal or 6 pack of beer sets you back. Will you continue to over indulge? Maybe. Or perhaps you will start to realize that those things aren’t compatible with what you want to achieve and start to make better choices.

Whether you are just starting out or want to get back on track, I want to challenge you to track what you are eating for just one week. Thinking about what you are eating, being intentional about your nutrition, and being honest with yourself will serve you well on your way to your health goals.

Need the next step? Sign up for a free nutrition intro and learn about how we can use your individual body composition to design a targeted nutrition program that fits your goals.

Set yourself up for success with nutrition coaching!

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