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Should You Track Your Food?

By Amy Silva

Whether it's to lose weight or to improve their diet in general, many people are tracking their calorie intake these days. Some people find they can change their diet simply by avoiding unhealthy foods, but others find it more sustainable if they include foods they love in their diet, but in moderation. Tracking your food can be an extremely helpful way to hold yourself accountable when you aren't surrounded by a supportive family, or if you work somewhere that always has snacks around and you have a hard time walking away from the free donuts and birthday cake.

Benefits of Writing Down Everything You Eat

When you keep a food diary, it's easier to see where mistakes are made, allowing you to plan better the following day. It may take a few days or weeks of getting used to tracking, but it gets easier thanks to convenient apps that have a bar code scanner or extensive food lists where you can find just about any food you purchase. Many of these apps are free. Tracking calories for even a few weeks is a helpful step in becoming healthier because you can see what you're consuming and make changes where necessary to fit your changing goals.

How to Stay on Track

  • Be honest - Feeling guilty about eating a pint of ice cream and leaving it out of your diary doesn't mean it didn't happen. If you're trying to make a change in your eating habits, it's imperative you write down every bite you take. It's OK to slip up. Get back on track the next meal and move forward.
  • Plan ahead - Meal prepping is a lifesaver when it comes to calorie tracking. Knowing what you're going to have for each meal and having it already prepared and put into containers saves extra time later and helps you eat what you made instead of reaching for other foods. Mindlessly going through the fridge and cabinets is where it gets tough to stick to a diet, so have a plan.
  • Don't forget the drinks - Any beverage, such as sodas, juices, milk and alcohol can have calories. Skipping these in your diary can mean the difference between success and frustration when you can't figure out why you're stuck when you're trying to lose weight.

Keeping a food diary is easier than you may think. It can help you lose or maintain your weight and turn a bad diet into a healthy one. Try a few different apps to see what works best for your goals and which you find easiest to use.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Willow Lawn, Va.

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