Last week, I mentioned a possible downside to tracking your food.
First of all, in my own background and many people I know, have had great success with tracking!
I have tracked calories and then moved on to tracking both calories and macros.
I used to track everything religiously, I would weigh and measure all my food. I would hit my macro targets to within a few grams.
I was fully invested in the process and I got great results from it.
I believed that tracking macros was absolutely key for me.
However, the downside of this was that I found it very difficult if I couldn’t control my food.
I believe there is a real tendency for us to get a bit (or even a lot) obsessive.
We can worry about social situations, eating out, eating at friends’ houses or going to parties.
This is a real shame because these are parts of life we should enjoy.
I was like this, I worried about social events and it got the stage where I was either religiously tracking or I was eating completely out of control!
It has been a long journey!
I still firmly believe that tracking can be a good thing and does have a place.
If you are struggling with weight loss then My Fitness Pal can be a fantastic tool.
Be 100% honest about everything you put in your mouth and you will develop an awareness of how much you are really eating.
You will learn about the calorie values of the foods you prefer to eat and this is really useful for life!
Tracking is not forever.
What we want to do, of course, is get to the stage where we can rely on our hunger signals to decide when and how to eat.
Yes, we need to be aware of the nutrients and calorie amounts of foods, but trusting our body and knowledge.
Relying on an app to tell us it’s ok to have ice cream is not the way to live.
So what are the steps away from tracking?
Do it slowly.
Do not just whip the stabilisers off and go solo all at once.
Start by maybe not tracking one meal a day.
What you do track, be sure to track mindfully.
The longer we go on with tracking, the easier it becomes. All our favourite foods are in the lists.
We have our saved recipes and we can quickly pop in the food we’ve had without giving it too much thought.
Start to pay more attention to how large your weighed portion of this or that food is.
Learn how many calories are in your average banana, your average chicken breast.
Store this information away in your head, it will stand you in good stead as you move away from tracking.
Develop a rough meal template.
We all tend to eat a lot of the same foods regularly.
We maybe have the same breakfast almost every day, or just a couple of options.
It will be relatively easy to learn the rough calorie content of your regular meals.
Once you have this information then you can start to adjust things if you have a takeaway or a party.
You may normally have cereal and fruit for breakfast but you could swap this for a protein shake.
Have a lower carb lunch, just some protein and veg or salad and you’ve ‘banked’ some savings for later.
This is learning habits and tools that you can then use for the rest of your life.
If you would like help developing these habits and getting out of the yo-yo dieting trap for good, please check out my new course;