Updated: May 3
Know What to Track and Measure!
Nutrition tracking fundamentally alters your eating habits by simply raising awareness. One of the most common issues with nutritional studies, for example, comes with inaccurate reporting. And it’s not always that people don’t want to admit what they’re eating – they often aren’t aware. Salad dressing contains hidden sugars, their proteins aren’t as lean as they think, or their eyes simply misjudge a portion size.
When embarking on a journey to change your diet, it helps to track macros, micronutrients, and more. But how do you know what’s really in your food? Fortunately, technology provides a modern solution. From online spreadsheets to iOS and Android apps, you and a Nutrition Specialist can identify which method fits your specific nutrition tracking needs.
Tracking Your Macros Fundamentals
Before you Google or download nutrition trackers, you need to understand your what, how and why. And that means laying down some groundwork to define your SuPeRSMART goal. Once you’ve got those down, your dietary needs will vary greatly depending on your journey.
Depending on your previous experience, there are several habits to practice prior to a food journal. For example, you could focus on adding healthy habits to your current routine such as; eating slower, stopping when 80% full, or learning how to weigh foods to better understand serving sizes. Incorporating these habits into a daily routine will get you moving in a positive direction. Food journals could be tracked using a Google document, taking photos or using an app.
It is also important to track your emotional state before, during and after eating. A Nutrition Specialist wants to learn about what time you are eating, how long it takes you to eat and with whom are you eating. After evaluating this information, a Nutrition Coach can work with you to focus on what is working.
Using Online Macro Trackers for Nutrition Tracking
There are several user-friendly online macro trackers that you can download. Most offer both free and premium options, but for basic macronutrient counting, you probably won’t need anything further than the free version. Using an online macro tracker, you can identify total caloric intake, individual macros (including water), activity level, changes in weight, and more. All you have to do is enter your basic health info (height, weight, gender, etc) and goal weight – the software will do the rest to recommend your daily calorie intake/macro breakdown. Plus, most have a large database of food options, largely due to the built-in ability to add your own. This feature means that, even if you can’t find your dinner in the database, you can add it piecemeal or as a whole (based on the nutrition facts label).