Food tracking is a great way to stay focused and lose weight by monitoring and thus limiting the number of calories you consume. It helps you to become aware of what is in the food you eat, and a good program, like Calorie King, lets you track your macronutrients as well.
Today I found out another benefit to tracking your food! I was nervous today and so my usual food patterns went by the wayside and I ‘snacked’ my way through lunch. That is, I had an early snack of strawberries and a muffin (200 cals), and then another snack at 11am of nuts and a cup of tea (220cals) and then at 1pm I had to go out so had half a mandarin (42cals). By the time I had picked up the kids (3pm) I was “Hangry” (so hungry I was getting that tense angry feeling!). Result: a quick pop into Maccas to get a couple of nuggets turned into 470 calories consisting of eight nuggets and a few chippies. And let’s not forget the $21 I handed over, and that the kids got another dose of that crap food!
The huge bonus is that I can look at my daily record and see quite clearly where I went wrong! When I had that early snack, I should have had an early lunch rather then that extra snack, I’m having an early dinner anyway so it would have worked out perfectly!
The basis of losing weight is to limit calories but the idea is to make sure you do so in a way that ensures you are healthy! It isn’t just calories, it isn’t just macronutrients, it is also about when you eat your food and matching that up to when your body needs the food!
Five to six meals a day, with a bit of protein at each meal; Carb it up early in the day, but leave it at vegies for night time carbs. And then find a balance that suits your lifestyle – when you work, train, study – to make sure you feel satisfied and have energy when you need it! Avoid that afternoon crash with a good solid lunch and having your afternoon snack ready to go!