Tracking your food may not be at the top of your list of things to do, but it can help in many areas of your life. Many people assume you only need to track your food when you are on a diet or have a specific health goal. However, tracking your food can have many other benefits.
Here are the top reasons you should track your food for a week
1. You’ll be more aware of how you eat
How often have you thought back to what you ate for the day and can’t remember? Tracking what you eat keeps you more accountable. You’ll notice patterns when you haven’t had enough water or you’ve consumed too many carbs and not enough fruits and vegetables. Tracking your food can help you make better choices rather than mindlessly eating. It can also help you connect how you feel with how you’ve been eating.
2. Tracking your food provides positive reinforcement
We’re all great at telling ourselves what we do wrong, so what about shining a light on what you’re doing right? When you track your food, you’ll see what habits you have that are working well for your body and mind. You may not even realize how many nutrients you get in a day, and seeing it written out can motivate you to keep up with good habits.
3. Tracking gives a clear picture of how often you eat
How often do you eat without realizing it? This happens to the best of us. You may eat out of boredom, to do something while watching TV, while preparing the kids’ meals, or while you’re driving. When you don’t track when and how often you eat, it’s easy to eat too much.
When you track your food intake, you see how often you eat and can put yourself on a better schedule, checking in with yourself before mindlessly eating.
4. You’ll see what foods may be standing in your way
If you’re suffering from digestive issues, headaches, or skin issues, your diet could be the root cause. Looking at the foods you eat can help point to food intolerances or mealtimes that don’t work for you right now. When you track your food, you can also connect your symptoms, making it easier to determine what may be causing the problem. You might notice that your skin breaks out after dairy, or you don’t sleep well when you have sugary snacks in the evening.
5. You may reach your goals easier
If you have a certain weight goal or health objective, tracking your food intake could help you get there faster. For example, if you want to lose 10 pounds over the next 3 months, you may stay on track better if you track your food, watch your calories, and keep a pulse on the type of food you eat.
Without tracking your food, you may not realize when you’ve had your ‘treat’ allowance already or when you’ve had too much or not enough protein.
6. You can spot bad habits
Tracking your food for a week can help you spot bad habits too. It’s one thing to have a ‘bad day’ and eat too much, but if you notice the same habits throughout the entire week, you may be able to change them.
For example, if you notice that you eat a candy bar or sweet treat every day at 3 PM, you can determine why that happens. What is your body missing or craving that forces you to reach for sugar mid-day?
7. You’ll be more consistent
You may also find that you’re more consistent with your food choices when you track what you’re eating. Knowing that you’re mindful of what’s going into your mouth will help you stop and think – is this really what I want to eat right now?
Tracking your food for a week may set you up on more consistent habits moving forward. You may find that you love tracking what you eat because it keeps you more accountable. Even if you don’t love it, you’ll notice new habits and nuances that you may want to change or understand more.
If nothing else, it can help understand your eating patterns, which may help you make the right adjustments to finally lose weight, feel less tired, or have fewer issues such as stomachaches, headaches, or skin irritations.
Try tracking your food for a week and see how much it changes your life. You can do anything for one week out of your entire life – it’s worth giving it a shot!