Updated: Jan 31, 2021
1. Creates Awareness
Tracking your food can provide a better understanding of your current eating habits. This can help provide a baseline for you to start taking steps towards your goals. Often times we are totally unaware of what we're eating, how much, when we're eating and why. Tracking everything you eat can truly help bring a new level of awareness to your diet.
2. Understand Quantity
Tracking your food can help shine a light on how much you are consuming. Are you eating too much? Too little? Are you eating nothing all day and then consuming all your calories at night? There can be some eye-opening moments in tracking your food when you recognize the quantity of what you are eating throughout the day.
3. Understanding Quality
Are you getting enough fruits and vegetables? Tracking your food can help you recognize the quality of food you are eating. Are you getting vegetables in with the majority of your meals? How much of what you consume daily is coming from a package? These are all things you might start to recognize simply by recording everything you eat. This could also help you pinpoint food intolerances. Tracking your food may help you identify what foods are affecting you and help you start to connect the dots if you are having sensitivities with food.
4. Plan Ahead
Tracking your food can help you to plan ahead. If you really want to stick to some nutrition goals, having a plan is key. You can pre-enter everything you plan to eat daily which can serve as your daily "meal plan." This also helps prevent straying away from your goals and reaching for foods that you may not necessarily need.
Do you know how much carbohydrates, protein, and fat you are consuming a day? When it comes to body composition and performance, paying attention to your macronutrients can be essential. It can also help you create balanced meals by designing your plates/meals around the three macronutrients. Here are some examples of well balances plates:
If you are curious about what your macronutrient profile should look like here is a quick calculator to help you get started. Venturing further into this we would recommend working one-on-one with a certified coach at Targhee Athletics.
How to track your food.
Since it is 2021 after all, and the likelihood that you have a smartphone is pretty high we have found the best way to track food is through an easy-to-use food tracking app. Our favorite is My Fitness Pal. You can track all your food for free! You can easily scan barcodes, search for foods, and enter serving sizes for everything you put in your mouth. Tracking through an app also shows your calories and macronutrients. Of course, if you would like to go old school, a pen and paper are just fine. However, if you choose to track just try and be accurate on your quantity and do it before you forget!
Week 4 Wildcard:
Your goal for this week in the nutrition challenge is to track your food every day! You will get 3 points for every day that you track your food. Good luck!