Why Your Body Needs A Nutrition Tracker ASAP...
I remember once in middle school, we had to keep a food journal for a week so we could talk about the food pyramid and nutrition. Rather than reflecting accurately what I normally ate in a week, my eating habits completely changed while keeping my journal. Suddenly, I was so aware of everything I was eating and was being held accountable for it by writing it all down and having to share it with my class. The funny thing is that I think I actually ate less healthy during that week, since this was back when the food pyramid still suggested eating about 5,000 servings of bread per day.
Cut to years later when I actually know what a healthy diet looks like and know I shouldn’t be eating ten loaves of bread a day. I must say I eat pretty healthily on average and try to be careful about not eating too much junk food and curbing my sugar intake. My boyfriend also recently became vegan, which means I’m also mostly vegan since I cook most nights and we don’t typically keep non-vegan ingredients in our kitchen. With this big switch in my diet, I became concerned about getting a balanced diet, so I decided to download a free nutrition tracker on my phone just to see where I was at. I knew I wasn’t going to be perfect, but man was I shocked after logging my first day.
I found that I was eating about a third of the protein recommended for my body and lifestyle. Yikes! That was the biggest issue for me, but I was also not getting enough fiber and was consuming too much sugar, even though I thought I was pretty good at avoiding sugar. I immediately went out and found a protein powder that I could add to my morning routine and became more aware of my sugar intake, ie my slight obsession with apples and also the occasional donut (I said I’m not perfect!).
After only one day of adding the protein shake to my diet, I felt like a different person. Maybe it was partially placebo, but the added 20g of protein really energized me and I felt more awake and alert throughout the entire day. But perhaps the best thing about keeping track of my diet is the accountability. Knowing that I log everything I eat has made me cut way down on idle snacking or reaching for that last slice of pizza despite how full I already am. I’m well known for eating entire bags of gummy candies during a busy work day and once ate three donuts just on the drive home from Krispy Kreme because they were sitting in my lap.
I’m still definitely not perfect (I helped myself to quite a few Oreos last night), but my nutrition tracker has really helped cut down on mindless snacking and also lets me know if there’s anything I’m missing. If you’re looking for a way to improve your diet, definitely give a nutrition tracker a try to see where you’re lacking. You’ll also be holding yourself accountable by logging everything. You can even enlist a friend to try it with you! That way, you’ll be holding each other accountable and can test out some yummy high-protein recipes the next time you hang out.
Cover image via Wearable