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Monthly Archives

December 2019

Podcast: Tracking Calories Pros and Cons

By | Dining, Healthy Eating | No Comments

Hey Health Nuts! Here is the link to listen to our first podcast episode. Give it a listen: Listen on Spotify

For those who prefer reading to listening, here are some of the key takeaways from our recent podcast episode on the Pros and Cons of tracking calories. Enjoy!

Pros

  1. It gives you an idea of how many calories you are consuming in a day. This is the obvious one! By tracking your calories, you can look back and see how much you ate in a day, as well as weekly averages. This is great if you are trying to lose fat or build muscle.
  2. It is a great way to keep track of your eating habits. You can see what foods you consistently eat, if there are certain days you tend to overeat, etc.
  3. Makes you a more mindful eater. By tracking everything you eat, you naturally become more aware of the calories and nutritional value of specific foods in your diet. This is especially valuable if you track before actually eating.
  4. It is easier/simpler than you think. I track all my meals, and it usually takes about 2 minutes before each meal with easy to use apps – more on those later!

Cons

  1. It can lead to an unhealthy relationship with food. Tracking calories is not for everyone, and it might cause you to stress about or overthink every little thing you eat, which can lead to anxiety.
  2. Tracking calories is difficult if you eat out often or don’t make your own meals. If you are at a restaurant, it’s impossible to know what oils, dressings, and sauces are used to prepare your food. It is also difficult to measure portion sizes at a restaurant or if someone else is making your dinner.
  3. If you’re not careful with tracking everything you eat and measuring portions, your calories won’t be accurate. Tracking calories takes diligence and precision. If you are incorrectly measuring portions of forgetting to track sauces, creams, or other small items – it can throw off your numbers.

Tools

  1. Download a calorie tracking app such as  MyFitnessPal or LoseIt on your phone. These apps are very similar, and I have used both. The apps make it simple to track food. There is a huge database of foods, and if what you are eating has a barcode, you can scan it and the nutritional information will automatically upload into the app. *Disclaimer – the apps don’t automatically know the amount of servings you are eating. You can adjust number of servings after picking a food item.
  2. Get a food scale. This is important in order to accurately measure the foods you are eating. You can get them fairly cheap on Amazon or in your local grocery store.