When it comes to developing an individualized approach to your nutrition plan, one of the best ways to start is by tracking what you eat. After all, if you don't know your starting point, it's harder to set goals and gauge progress.
But who wants to write down every single ingredient, meal, snack, and drink consumed over the course of a day? And what about keeping that kind of log for multiple days or even weeks? It doesn't take long for the practice to turn into a slog, especially if you're trying to estimate quantities—did you have half a cup of blueberries, or 1/3 cup?—and then share those with a registered dietitians.
Fortunately, food tracking doesn't have to be a pain. There are a few ways to make the practice easy and workable:
Set a timeframe
To get a glimpse of how much you eat, when you eat it, and what you're eating, schedule a certain timeframe for the effort. One day of food tracking is usually not enough to see what your consumption patterns are like, especially since people who know they're being tracked sometimes eat differently than they would usually (choosing carrots instead of cupcakes, for example). Set aside one week or at least establish a specific endpoint. That will make the effort feel more like a project and less like a homework assignment.
Get into a food photo habit
Keeping on top of your food intake may be as easy as reaching for your smartphone or camera. Whenever you put together a meal or have a snack, take a photo. There's no need to arrange the dish artfully like you're trying to win Instagram—it's just a way to create a record that you and your registered dietitians can look at later.
Use an app
There's an app for almost everything, and food tracking is no exception. Some even help to pinpoint your macronutrients, and record activity levels. These are more time consuming than simply taking a photo, but they also provide insights into how your physical activity fits together with your food intake.
Getting even a rough idea of what you eat every day, and in what amount, can help you and your registered dietitians to understand how food is fitting into your life. From there, you can set a plan together that works for your health and fitness goals.
Contact us today to get started.
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