Thoughts on food tracking

I’ve read a number of articles over the year praising the use of ‘food tracking’, both in weight loss programs and on a more general basis, to help you eat more healthily. There are ridiculous numbers of free and paid online services that do this, and an equal number of paper versions that help you do this too. The idea behind it being that you’re feeling held more accountable for what you’re consuming, and causing you to generally be a more mindful eater. (Couldn’t we all use that?)

Earlier this Fall, I decided to give food tracking a try, just as a way to keep an eye on what I was eating and see where the less healthy aspects stood out. I’ll be honest, my weakness is food. I’m lucky that I love working out but I love food equally as much. While I try to make healthier decisions, and am miles ahead of where I was earlier on in my life, there are definitely aspects of my eating that could improve. So I thought I’d give it a shot.

I went to my local indigo, and bought a little book called the fitbook (available in the stationary section). It is a small spiral-bound food and exercise log set up to be used for 12 weeks. I filled out my goals and my current measurements in the front and read all of the suggestions, tips and directions so I was ready to start using it.

I used it religiously for all 12 weeks, carrying it around in my purse with me, tracking every last thing that went in to my body, and every little exercise that came out of it. Here’s the thing; it did not one single thing to alter my eating habits for the better.

Don’t get me wrong, I thought the book was great. It was full of helpful knowledge and was really easy to use. BUT at the end of the day, I don’t think food tracking is this miracle solution to healthy eating that some tend to believe.

I watched myself write down my less desirable foods consumed and didn’t bat an eye. I actually found myself looking at it, and going “Ohhh look how many vegetables I had today, I can definitely eat that extra plate of this or that.”

I am sure that this works for some people, but it didn’t work for me. It was an interesting experiment, but I prefer not to track every little thing.

If you’re feeling like your healthy diet is off its rocker, it is probably not a bad idea to write down what you’re eating for a few days and see if anything stands out.

Long-term, I don’t think keeping track of everything you consume is a sustainable approach to a healthy lifestyle.

Do you food track?  Have you ever? 


Note: I have no affiliation with fitbook and purchased this item on my own because I wanted to try it.

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