When it comes to what we eat, awareness is key. If you want to change the way your body looks, you need to be aware (and accountable) for every bite and sip you take. While I don’t believe in constant food monitoring, I do believe that tracking your food for 3-7 days every couple of months is a good way to keep mindful of whether or not you are meeting your nutritional needs, and eating in a way that will fuel your body. Remember that you are what you eat, so take the time to feed your body healthy foods now, and you won’t have to take the time later to deal with health issues. Below are a few resources to help you track your meals:
For those who are kinesthetic and need to write things out, here are some free templates you can print out to create your own food journal:
WebMD log focuses on calorie intake, but also leaves areas for exercise.
Food Diary focuses on balanced eating and serving sizes.
Built lean gives examples and instructions, as well as a log template. This log includes balanced eating, calories, and an area for notes.
For those that can’t seem to put their mobile devices down, here are some apps that you can use to track your food and beverage intake.
Myfitnesspal lets you input your meals, exercise, and body stats so that you can easily track your progress.
Calorific Diet Tracker shows your ratio vs. ideal ratio and uses a three color traffic light system to keep you aware of what you are eating and how to immediately make modifications.
Fooducate doesn’t track, but it allows you to scan products in real-time, get an A-F grade and gives you suggestions of alternatives for those low-grade products.
If you are going to take the time to log your nutritional intake, keep some guidelines in mind:
1. Don’t cheat yourself. Put in every stray M&M, drizzle of oil, sip of soda, etc. It all counts and it will be the easiest way to see where you can make modifications.
2. Look at nutritional labels. Take note of the serving size and make sure that you are recording things accurately. Most people have 2-3 servings when they think they are just having one.
3. Don’t beat yourself up. Tracking your nutritional intake is a way to make yourself aware so that you can make positive changes, or keep motivated to stay on track.