If you ask somebody how their nutrition is you will most likely get the answer “It’s good”.
The person that tell’s you their nutrition is “good” is generally telling the truth. Their brain and memory is telling them the same thing they are telling you, “Remember, we had that salad on Tuesday, that was good, right?”.
The reality though can often be quite different from what we remember. That very same salad we remember having may have been covered in dressing and bacon pieces but we’ve forgotten those.
That’s where tracking our food comes in.
We’ve spoken before about tracking and or measuring our food and how the goal is to get to a place where we no longer have to track or record everything we eat because we’ve built habits. But if we’re looking to change up our nutrition and lose some weight or add some muscle then tracking our food for a period of time is a great way to highlight patterns in our current eating habits. It allows us to better see what we are doing that is getting us closer to our goals or what we are doing that is preventing us from achieving them.
The simple act of recording what we eat will make us just a little bit more conscious of what we consume, and it is those little things that can make a big difference over time.
Take coffee for example. When we recall what foods we had during the week we remember having our coffee but we can very easily overlook the two sugars we added into each cup.
At an estimated 16 calories per teaspoon that gives us 32 calories per cup. At a theoretical 3-4 cups of coffee a day that gives us anywhere between 100 and 128 calories a day just on sugar in your coffee. This can be forgotten as we try to think back on what we ate during the week but if its written down and looking back at us its very hard to ignore.
How you track your food doesn’t have to be overly complicated. Use the method that works best for you, whether that’s a pen and paper or an app on your phone. We’ve used and recommend the app MyFitnessPal as its very easy to use and it’s a very rare occasion that we don’t have our phones within arms reach so recording does’t become too much of a chore.
If you are looking to change up your nutrition try recording your food for a week or so (be honest with yourself in what you record) and I guarantee you’ll spot something that you hadn’t thought of.