Why You Should Track Your Food When Starting A Diet
So a common resistance when starting a diet can be the ole “I don’t want to track my food” issue.
And I do understand it’s a bit of a pain and can be time consuming.
But if you’ve bounced around diets, gained weight or have been stuck in a rut for a while, then it’s a great place to start.
Let’s look at it this way:
If you’ve gained weight, it has been through the over-consumption of calories.
Now if you want to suddenly start losing weight, you need to consume less calories than you expend.
But how do you ever know what calories you currently consume?
And this is where so many fall down (including myself in the past)
I’ll be boring for a second and throw this quote out:
“What gets measured, gets managed”
And it’s very true.
If you start a diet by purely guesstimating your food consumption, then you leave yourself wide open to fail.
One of the major reasons people don’t lose weight while dieting is this:
They drastically UNDERESTIMATE how much they are actually eating.
And it’s very easy done.
Simple things that we massively underestimate are generally high in calories.
E.g. Nuts, oils, butter, cereals, pasta (seriously, has anyone every put the right amount of pasta in???) etc.
So without ever taking the time to measure your food, it’s very hard to get an accurate idea of your current calorie consumption.
And this is where weighing food and tracking it comes in.
But don’t panic, I don’t force anyone to do it long term unless you’re a competitor, high level athlete.
For the general public who want to look a bit better, tighten up the hips, stomach and arms it’s a very worthy exercise to do.
My main aim is to have clients track their food for 2-4 weeks.
The first week is a wake up call as the majority will always be shocked at how much they were currently eating (even a few are under-eating massively)
Once we establish a consistent diet then they can ease off the pressure of weighing and tracking.
It’s a case of mimicking what they’ve been doing while also showing them how to track their intake.
So if down the line progress slows it’s very easy to do a quick check on if they’ve regressed a bit.
What Do You Need To Track Your Food?
2 Things – A kitchen scales (I got one for €12) and the MyFitnessPal app.
Weigh out your foods, measure your liquids and log all into the app.
It has a huge database of food and will calculate your calories and macronutrients based off what you log.
That way, you can begin to assess where your diet is currently at and make any changes.
You’ll soon get into a pattern where your meals are consistent and quantities are under control.
And if progress is going well and you’re happy, you can continue your diet without having to stress over it.
At the end of the day, your primary goal for weight loss is to maintain a calorie deficit.
So in order to do so, you do need to measure where your current calories are at and then make adjustments.