Hi all! Brianna (@diveandthedivine) here!
If you’re part of the iTrackBites family, then odds are you know there is value in tracking what you eat, especially if you’re trying to lose weight. However, just because we know something is good for us doesn’t necessarily make it any easier for us to do on a daily basis (I’m looking at you 10,000 steps and 5 servings of fruits and vegetables…)!
Tracking our food can be challenging at first, but the goal is to turn it into a habit. Something you do without thinking and with little to no extra effort. I know that’s not how it starts, but I’ve been tracking my food for years, whether I’m in weight loss mode or not. Tracking keeps me accountable to myself. It allows me to see what I’m eating and keeps me in control at all times. I’m rarely in a place where I don’t know what I’m putting in my body, which works well for me personally, because without keeping track of what goes in my mouth, it’s very easy for me to go overboard. Now, this might not be the case for everyone, but it’s how I work, and I know that. Knowing, as they say, is half the battle.
So what if you’re someone who hasn’t made tracking a habit just yet? There are a few tips I have used regularly over the years to help make tracking easier. Using these tips, I have successfully mastered tracking my food quickly and effectively. Also, don’t miss Coach Stefanie’s tracking hacks HERE!
1. Pre-track your day.
This is my number one tip for a reason. When I wake up in the morning, one of the first things I do is think about what I’m going to be eating throughout the day and put it in my tracker even if I haven’t eaten it yet. Do you know what you’re having for dinner? Track it! Are you really excited about the special dessert sitting in your fridge? Track it because then you know what you have left to work with. Going out to a restaurant? Check out the restaurant guide, pick what you want, and track it! Pre-tracking is the most efficient thing you can do because then the tracking is done. Also, it shows you what you have left to work with the rest of the day, which means your dinner out or your special dessert fit right into your plan, which is a wonderful feeling.
2. Create your own entries.
If you’re using the iTrackBites tracker and you can’t seem to find an entry for a food you eat regularly in a measurement that you want to use (for example, many fruits and vegetables don’t have grams as an option in the database right now), there’s a simple solution: make your own entry. I’ve personally done this for strawberries, tomatoes, and a few other things I eat on a very regular basis. Now when I go to weigh my food, I just go to my entries instead of the regular database and in two seconds I can track things accurately. Yes, this is a little bit of extra work on the front end, but once you create the entry it’s in your tracker for good and you can track it again and again. It’s worth the extra work, in my opinion.
3. Track BEFORE you eat.
One of the pitfalls of tracking is us believing ourselves when we say “oh I’ll track it later.” Nine times out of 10 this is a lie, and not because we didn’t have good intentions. Often, we do, but the problem is we forget the exact measurements of what we’ve eaten. Save yourself the hassle of having to try and remember exactly how much rice you put on your plate and track all of your food before it goes in your mouth. Let’s be honest, the trackers on our phone and our phones go with us everywhere, right? There’s no reason not to open your tracker and take 60 seconds to fill it out. Then it’s done and there’s no need to try and remember what you had hours later.
Those are just a few of the tracking tips that I use on a regular basis. At the end of the day, I track my food because I value the information and what tracking does for me. Did you know that studies have shown that simply writing down what food has caused people to consume up to 30% fewer calories in a day? All from being aware of what you’re doing! That’s mindfulness at its best. When you’re on a weight-loss journey, tracking is arguably the most important tool you have in your tool belt, so make sure that you use it to your advantage.