Tuesday Tip: isn’t tracking food a bit obsessive? 🤯
People often tell me they’ve tried everything but can’t reach their goal. When I ask if they track their food they respond with ‘isn’t that a bit obsessive?’ or ‘no I don’t want to do that’. Not wanting to is fine, that’s your choice, but if you’ve been struggling to reach your goals and you haven’t been tracking then why not try it?
Do you track your finances? Most people do so they have an idea of how much they’re earning, spending and saving. That’s not obsessive, so why would tracking your calories be?
Can tracking food become obsessive? Yes, like anything, of course it can. Does it have to? No! Do you have to do it forever? No! Does it have value? Yes! It’s a tool – and its value is determined by how it’s used and what you learn from it.
We don’t have an innate working knowledge of portion sizes and calorie content. In fact, studies show that people are awful at estimating how much they eat. We underestimate ALL the time, even nutrition experts do! We are surrounded by highly palatable, calorie dense foods and we have evolved to seek them out. So it’s unsurprising, when these sorts of foods are so readily available, that we need to do some tracking to keep an eye on what’s actually going in our mouths.
The main reasons we don’t track are fear, time and being unsure of how many cals to aim for. The fear is of what we’re going to find out and that we really are eating more than we thought. Time is really about priorities. Yes it can take a few days to get the hang of it, but then it takes seconds to log before you eat. Most people have time to check Instagram/Facebook/watch tv. Even the busiest person has 2 mins to log their food, if they want to. In terms of how many cals to aim for; if you’re not sure, ask! I’m happy to help!
You don’t need to track food forever. You’ll learn about portion sizes, calories in the things you eat and drink, and develop that skill. Then you can cease tracking if you want and see how it goes. You can easily go back and check if you feel that skill needs more honing.
You don’t have to count calories forever, but calories will always count!