From the moment we wake up until we go back to bed again. We consume food and drinks, if not we wouldn’t last for too long. Big breakfast or just a coffee on the way to work, grab a snack once you reach the office. Go out for a business lunch have a few drinks, skip dinner but eat a bag of crisps instead, cook your own dinner, ordering out, there are endless possibilities. Some are good others not so good. When trying to reach your ideal weight, it’s important to be aware of what you eat. And the best way to do that is simply write it all down.
Either you do it the old school way, note it all down in a little book or use your smartphone and download one of many food tracking apps available. Benefit here is that these apps will tell you the amount of calories and the breakdown in macro nutrients (carbs, protein, fat).
At first, it might look like a lot of work. but the benefits are there! As a study has proven that people who track their food lose twice as much weight as those who don’t.
1. Creating awareness
Beside the main meals like breakfast, lunch and dinner we often snack between those moments. It’s not always easy to eat healthy on a busy schedule. when you finally get home in the evening, there isn’t much time left to reflect on what you ate during the day. Plus, if you do take the time the chance you forget some little things you don’t think would matter is much bigger.
That’s why you need to track it at the moment you eat it. This way you become more aware of how much you are actually eating and realise that you consume much more than you should.
2. Makes you more accountable By putting it all in your food tracking app straight away, will make you think twice before you stuff it in your face. You know that piece of cake is not what you should be eating. And if you have to note it down…
3. Getting to know your eating habits Are the products you eat really that healthy? How much vegetables do you put on your plate? What kind of fresh fruits do you eat? What about the macro-nutrient balance, is it high in fats? Or carbs? What type of protein do you prefer? these things will all come clear, very fast when you track your foods. This information will help you to change your diet and work towards your goal.
4. What are the macro-nutrients Soon you realise what certain foods are made of. Things you would never guessed before you started to write down everything. The apps will tell you exactly how much carbs/fats/ protein is in the product. Whether its losing or gaining weight, improving physical performance the macros will change as the goal is different.
5. It shows your progress The longer you track, the more information you’ll get about what works well. So let’s say you lost a few kilos the past two weeks but didn’t lose anything this week than you can go back and check what you did different. Food tracking will help you to stay motivated and reach your goal faster.
By: Carmen Bosmans, Performance Coach & Head of Nutrition Programming