This might not be the most fun part of getting healthier, but it is definitely the most informative. Personally, doing this will give you more information about your health and eating habits than any scale or measurement ever will. And all you need is a pencil, piece of paper, and some dedication.
So, how do you do it. It’s as simple as it sounds. All you need to do is write down everything you eat throughout the day. There are apps that do this, like my fitness pal, but they really focus more on tracking calories. That’s not what I’m suggesting you do. What I suggest you do is take it a little set further – not only track your foods at each meal, but also take into consideration how you FEEL after each meal and before you eat.
Why, you ask? Because how you FEEL before and after you eat tells you a TON about your eating habits and why you’re feeling a certain way. But we’re not going to get super deep into that in this post. What I want you to take from this today is the importance of tracking your foods. But I will give you a couple of examples why it can tell you a lot about why you’re eating, craving, and feeling a certain way after the foods you eat.
- It can show you if you’re actually hungry or having a sugar crash.
- It can show you if you’re having a sensitivity to a certain type of food.
- It can show you that you’re eating out more or not eating as healthy and clean as you thought you were.
Doesn’t sound too hard, right? Well… it’s actually a little harder than you think it might be. But that’s because we’re not always dedicated to tracking it and surprisingly enough honest about it. A certain kind of psychology comes into play when you start writing down what you’ve eaten in a day. I’ve had clients tell me that they were embarrassed by some of their food choices. There’s absolutely NO reason to feel embarrassed. Being honest about how you’re actually doing is the only way to move forward and learn from your food tracking.
This is always the first thing I tell any of my clients to do. Start tracking for 2 weeks. It might be hard to commit to a full 2 weeks, but I think we can all commit to doing it for 5 days. Start tracking what you’re eating and look at it – observe it, look for patterns. And then make some adjustments based on what you see. Always having a crash mid morning? Are you eating enough fiber and protein in the morning or just grabbing a bagel with cream cheese and eating it in the car on the way to work? Start to pay attention to the details.
Once you get into the hang of it, it’s actually a lot of fun and you’ll learn SO much about where you’re hitting the mark and where you might have a couple of things you want to work on.
Get yourself a cute little notebook or track it in your planner and commit to 5 days. As always, I love hearing about what came up, what worked, what didn’t!