4 Reasons Why You Should Track Your Food
When it comes to fat-loss and getting into the best shape of your life, nutrition is key!
Yes it is true, you cannot out-exercise a bad diet and you certainly cannot lose weight with poor or inconsistent nutrition.
One of the best ways to improve your diet and eat for fat-loss is to start tracking your food. This simply means recording everything you eat and drink throughout the day.
And the research agrees.
One study gave over 1,000 participants a heart healthy diet and exercise regimen.
Over the course of the study participants lost an average of 13lbs.
Here's the kicker though: the participants who tracked what they ate lost an average of 18lbs where participants who did not track what they ate lost an average of 9lbs. That's a BIG difference in weight-loss achieved just by simply tracking their food.
So what does tracking your food entail?
There are a few ways to track like keeping a good old-fashioned food journal where you simply write down the foods and beverages you consume and their amounts.
We recommend using an app like My Fitness Pal though which will also easily break down how much of each food you're eating (carbs, fats, proteins, sugar, fiber, etc) and your total calories for you. You can search certain foods and even scan the barcode of the package you're eating to find its nutritional info.
Food tracking is a key component of our Nutrition Coaching Programs here at DSC, where our coaches help guide you on how much of each food you should be eating on a daily basis to help you lose fat and perform at your highest level in and out of the gym.
Some very important things happen when you start tracking your food and beverage intake.
Let's get into 4 reasons why you should start tracking your food intake today.
1) It shows you what's really going on
Did you know that on average, we underestimate our food intake (calories) by 40-60%.
That means we are taking in about 50% more calories than we think we are each day.
That is BAD news for weight loss because for us to be losing weight, we need to be burning more calories than we are taking in through our diet.
Many of us "think" we're eating good or healthy foods but are actually greatly overeating and therefore gaining or maintaining our weight.
Or we're drastically under-eating so our body stops burning fat and our weight-loss plateaus as body holds onto our weight to fuel our body.
Food tracking takes the guess work out of it by showing you exactly how much you're eating, the amount of calories you're taking in, and the balance of the foods you're eating.
2) You start to eat less (especially less junk)
Tracking can really open your eyes to the amount of food that you are not only eating but overeating.
When tracking, you're going to be less likely to eat that extra dessert or indulge in an additional spoonful of peanut butter. You're going to be less likely to grab that extra snack or treat that you really don't need because you have an instant visual of what that looks like to your day.
These once mindless additions to your day that you ate just out of habit, boredom, or stress, add up quick and can easily account for an additional 200-600 calories per day.
This is very bad news for losing fat.
3) You increase your consistency
Getting into the best shape of your life is all about consistency. There aren't any magic pills or shortcuts. It's about continually doing the small things that move us in the right direction.
Tracking helps you here immensely.
If you want to lose fat, you need to create a consistent calorie deficit. This means we need to burn off more calories than we consume on a very consistent basis.
A key concept in fat-loss is understanding that it's about the average of the week, not one day.
In other words, we need to dial our nutrition in for the entire week, not just a day or two. This is one reason why it's so important to not sabotage your results on the weekends after a great week of eating and working out.
This consistency is key for fat-loss. If your calories end up where you want them to be one day, only to be too high the next day, it's going to be very hard to lose fat.
Tracking will allow you to be consistent throughout the week and allow you to continually work towards your goals.
4) You see results
As I said earlier, food tracking is a major part of our Nutrition Coaching Program here.
We teach our members not only how to track their foods but what amounts of foods to aim for each day.
Imagine knowing exactly what foods and how much of those foods to eat to lose weight and feel great!
This is a game-changer. Talk about ending fat-loss and nutrition frustration for good!
Food tracking has been the favorite part of our program for many of members and key driver to their success.
Here is what a few of our Nutrition Coaching members are saying about food tracking and our program:
Meet Dawn - Down 100lbs
"The Nutrition Program at DSC helped me with my struggles immensely. I learned not only how to take in the right balance of food, but also about so many healthy foods that I could be eating daily that I actually loved and had no idea they were good for me.I learned that actually not eating enough was the biggest cause of my plateau.My experience with the nutrition program as well as my workouts at DSC has been a life changing experience."
Meet Jeremy - Down 100lbs
"Joining DSC's Nutrition Coaching Program opened my eyes to a whole new way to look at what, when and why I'm eating food. Getting a handle on and learning how to build my daily calories in proper balance, and how to correct the balance of my food throughout the day to achieve my daily goals, has literally changed my life!"
Meet Alison - Down 22lbs
"One thing that was extremely helpful for me was keeping a food log during the program. It kept me honest and mindful about what I was eating. It also helped me track my stomach symptoms and figure out what foods were a trigger. I learned about macros like protein, carbs, and fat (honestly had no idea about them before). The coaches then set my macros by coaching me on exactly how much of each food to eat for me and my goals. This resulted in not only weight loss but some significant strength improvements in the gym."
Meet Mary - Down 60lbs
"Before joining the program, I really just didn't have enough understanding of nutrition to make the right food choices. This program has made me think of everything I wanted to eat and learn how I could make better choices while still enjoying what the foods I like. I have done Weight Watchers before and this program worked so much better for me because it also taught me the "why" behind making better food choices. Not just eat this or that, but actually understanding the differences."