After 30 years of working with clients, I’ve seen many diets, strategies, theories, and ideas about how to lose weight.
A few have stayed around but many have not.
There is one thing that has stood the test time and that is the concept of managing energy (or calorie) balance by tracking your calories.
This process of weight loss (or weight gain) is all about balancing the calories we consume with the calories that we burn.
Not a new concept but it’s one that is often overlooked or pushed aside for a more popular or trendy diet idea.
However, It is the underlying mechanism of how any diet or strategy works.
When you cut carbs, you cut calories.
If you eat fewer calories than you burn, you lose weight.
When we consume more than our body requires we gain weight, usually in the form of fat (stored energy) or muscle (if there is adequate resistance training).
So even if you don’t always track calories or food intake it is at the core of all bodyweight changes.
That is why it is the most effective way to get results.
Here are 4 more reasons you should track your food intake:
Awareness of what you’re eating
By tracking your food intake, you can gain invaluable insight into your eating habits and identify areas where improvements can be made. You may discover that you are consuming too many processed foods or not getting enough protein. When you notice these as patterns you can make the changes necessary to shift your calorie balance in the right direction. Without tracking, it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what needs to change or improve.
Tracking what you eat promotes accountability. We tend to improve what we track. When you have a detailed record of everything that goes into your body, it’s easier to make better decisions about food choices. This level of accountability can be helpful when resisting temptation or trying to break bad habits.
Small changes are better
Small changes are key when it comes to achieving short and long-term success. Instead of trying to overhaul all your eating habits (and lifestyle), making small adjustments is less overwhelming and more sustainable. If you swap out soda for water or add a serving of vegetables to each meal you can make significant changes without feeling deprived. Tracking your food helps you identify areas where these small changes can be made.
The biggest benefit of tracking your food intake is that it leads to immediate results. Seeing positive changes in body weight can provide instant feedback and keep you motivated to continue making healthy choices. When you manage your calorie balance, it only takes a few days before you start feeling better and seeing a difference on the scale.
In my experience whenever you start a diet or nutrition program it’s important to see quick results.
There’s always resistance when you first start anything. Seeing the scale change provides that big burst of motivation you need to get things rolling.
Yes, habits and lifestyle are essential but they take longer to develop and you won’t see the benefits right away.
Tracking calories get’s to the heart of the matter, especially when you want to see changes when you step on the scale.
Put your time and focus balancing your calorie intake and you will see results in no time.
EAT WELL, LIVE BETTER