I’ve told a lot of people about how much I think nutrition tracking is important and there seem to be two kinds of response. The first is interest and a willingness to ask questions or even give it a try. The second, the more common one, is to look doubtful and decide that it’s too much of a pain to do.
I’ve tried to talk about how easy nutrition tracking is when you have the right app. I have a Fitbit, but I find using that app to track nutrition is about as much fun as a root canal. Fortunately, there are a lot of other apps that connect with the Fitbit app so I can keep my fitness and nutrition log all in one place. I’m currently using SparkPeople, but I’ve also successfully used MyFitnessPal.
My Nutrition Tracking Claims are Scientifically Supported!
I was scrolling through Google News the other day and right before my eyes, a report on a study showed up to support everything I’ve been saying about the benefits of nutrition tracking all along. I love it when that happens. As it turns out, researchers have found that logging what you eat on a regular and ongoing basis is an extremely effective weight loss technique. In fact, it’s one of the most effective ones you can choose, regardless of the healthy diet and lifestyle changes you’ve decided to make.
The study was called “Log Often, Lose More: Electronic Dietary Self?Monitoring for Weight Loss” and it was published in the Obesity journal. It showed that among all the weight loss strategies, nutrition tracking – that is, self-monitoring eating habits – on a regular basis is a very powerful tool.
Does Nutrition Tracking Take as Long as You Think?
Not at all. Most people are shocked at how little time it takes to track what they eat. Plus, the longer you do it, the less time it takes you. Sure, at first, it can take a bit of time to learn your nutrition tracking app’s ins and outs. That said, if you’re using a good one, it will learn your favorite foods, it will let you enter full recipes (so you just have to type “grandma’s chicken soup” instead of entering every single ingredient Gran used every time you have a bowl), and it will let you scan the barcodes on packaged products so you don’t need to type anything at all.
I track everything to make sure I keep on top of my calories, I keep my macros balanced, and I also let it monitor my intake of sodium, sugar, and iron. It takes me about 30 seconds to add my breakfast (including nutritional supplements), my lunch is usually around a minute and my dinner can be anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes, depending on the complexity of the meal. I usually do it while things are cooking when I’d usually be standing around anyway.
Don’t believe me? The research showed the exact same thing. It said people think it takes way longer than it does, and they don’t realize that it becomes a much faster process over time. Guess you won’t be doubting my advice from now on, right? Ha!