These days, there is a huge variety of options for tracking your nutrition, food intake, and physical activity. Technology is at its greatest and almost all of your health information is at your fingertips. There are so many benefits to tracking your food and fitness habits daily.
Why Tracking Works:
Tracking can keep you accountable — When tracking, you can be 100% accountable to your plan. Taking a few bites of a cookie, drinking another a glass of wine, or having an extra spoonful of rice will all be acknowledged. These small amounts may not seem like much, but they can add up over time. Without tracking, they are easy to forget. Often, people wonder why they are struggling to meet their goals. Tracking can provide a full picture. It works the same with physical activity. Logging each day’s workout and movement can help you stay focused on your goals. Keeping your activity streak going can be a huge motivator.
Reminders can be helpful — Setting reminders can make a world of difference. Smart devices can buzz to remind you to move or stand for the last few minutes of the hour. This is a great way to increase your physical activity. You can also set nutrition reminders to stay on track with drinking water, taking vitamins, or timing your meals so you don’t eat too late.
You can spot your pitfalls — No one is perfect! It can be easier to see where you struggle when you track your food intake and physical activity. When you know your struggles, you can some up with solutions. If you notice a trend of snacking after dinner, you can develop a strategy such as taking an evening walk or doing an activity away from the kitchen. If you notice you can’t get your exercise done in the evening, make a commitment to do it earlier in the day.
Tracking provides encouragement – Any encouragement on your fitness journey is positive. A message about the great work you are doing, even from a tracker, can help you go a little longer. A text message about reaching your workout goal or staying within your desired calorie range can be positive motivators.
You can get all the details — Trackers can give you a significant amount of information, sometimes more than you want! For many people, this information is extremely valuable. After logging your food, you can see the composition of carbohydrates, protein, and fat for each meal. These macronutrients can be helpful for those with specific health conditions or to determine if your plan is working for you. Workout stats such as your heart rate, active minutes, and calories burned can also be a great asset to your plan. Based on these details, you may want to step up your workout or try something a little different.
Remember, there is no perfect plan for everyone to follow. For many people, tracking is beneficial to their overall plan and wellness goals. This isn’t the same for everyone. Some may find this overwhelming and too much to do. If tracking is a positive strategy for you, add it to your plan. If you find that it’s too much, find other ways to stay on track!