Yes, you read that correctly! I don’t recommend using nutrition tracking by any means (pictures, ap or paper) long term. WHAT!? Yes, you read that correctly. I don’t think it’s a great long-term habit.
Let me explain. I think tracking is GREAT…short term. I think it can provide some great feedback & insights. It can also provide awesome awareness. But both personally and professionally I’ve seen how tracking can become COUNTER-productive to nutrition goals when we become consumed with the tracking of food. WHY? Because when you’re SO focused on the tracking, what I see happening is people becoming less focused on their body. You lose sight of the natural signals your body is giving you for hunger and thirst. And when we lose sight of those, it’s really hard to make great choices.
So – what I recommend to my clients is periodic tracking. Do it on a regular basis – either scheduled OR when you feel like you could use a check in. Use it as follows:
- to increase awareness about what is going in (and reduce mindless eating)
- to gain insight into your nutrition habits (you may also wish to track activity – to help you notice correlations and causation)
- to have a look at your portions & nutritional balance – are you getting enough healthy fats, carbs & proteins?
But most importantly – once you’ve gained this awareness I want you to walk away from your tracker. Listen to your body’s cues. And eat to nourish your body!