Whether travelling or just in daily life, tracking your diet has numerous benefits. Recording what you eat helps ensure you’re eating balanced meals, highlights any connection between eating habits and your emotional state and provides accountability for your eating choices! Below are additional reasons why meal tracking is valuable and how to successfully implement it in your life.
Why You Should Track Your Food Intake
Tracking food helps bring to light eating habits, both good and bad, you were previously unaware of. For instance, you may realize you’re consuming unhealthy snacks throughout the day or drinking high-sugar drinks (i.e., soft drinks, hot chocolate, etc.). These poor diet habits negatively impact your health and should be avoided. On the other hand, good eating habits include eating three main meals daily and consuming healthy snacks throughout the day.
Diet tracking also brings other key aspects to the surface, such as portion size and what you’re doing or feeling in these moments. These questions are important when you look back on your food consumption at the end of the day.
Making time to reflect on your food choices throughout the day is just as important as logging them in the first place. You’ll also want to ensure your questions are tailored towards your goal, whether that’s reducing calories or controlling hunger, these question will help you gauge where you are with your diet.
When Trying to Reduce Caloric Intake:
- Did I maintain small portions throughout the day?
- Did I limit sugary foods and beverages?
- Did I include fruits and vegetables with every meal?
When Striving to Control Hunger:
- Did I incorporate healthy snacking to beat cravings?
- Did each meal consist of filling foods and water?
- Did I eat enough fruits, vegetables and fiber from whole grains?
How to Effectively Track Your Diet
There are numerous ways to track your food consumption. Some of the more popular methods are recording your food habits in a journal, keeping notes on a computer/laptop/tablet or using a diet tracking app available on your smartphone or computer.