Why tracking your food for a short period of time could be the key to long term Results.
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I am so commonly seeing people are over or under consuming calories very regularly without even knowing it. There is a huge lack of knowledge around macronutrients and energy density of foods that are consumed daily. This is so detrimental when it comes to wanting to change your body composition because you really have no starting point or way to gauge where your energy intake is at and then manipulate that to make changes.
Some examples I commonly see are:
- People underestimating how many calories are in drinks particularly coffee. People drink up to 4 coffees per day with milk. Milk has a lot of carbohydrates which many people wouldn’t know and that amount of coffee’s equates to the calories of a large meal which I am sure they are not accounting for. There is also far more benefit to getting 500 calories from nutritious foods than coffee and milk.
- People adding to many ingredients, particularly fats to meals like salads. Eg adding avocado, haloumi, olive oil, and a sprinkle of nuts to a salad can massively blow out your calories which for some people will help them achieve their goals and for some people hinder. With knowledge of whats in your foods you could then choose 2 options and portion control them for your fats just by eye balling it. This will keep you on track to your goals rather than have you thinking you’re making the perfect choice because you chose a salad.
- I also commonly see people well under eating their fats, this is especially an issue when carbs are dropped down.
At Clean Shred we are all about a holistic balanced approach to optimising health, body composition and performance. We generally don’t encourage long term tracking of your caloric intake but highly recommend it for short periods of time to see where your energy intake is currently at and to learn about the foods that you commonly eat so you can use that knowledge to mange and when you want to manipulate your energy intake to gain or lose body fat/muscle. Even if you check in for a few days in a row by entering all of your food and drink intake into an app like “my fitness pal or “chronometer”and see where you’re currently at. It can be an extremely useful, educational tool to help you to make informed decisions around your food intake. I truly believe that if we slow down, be present, aware and listen to our bodies it tells us if its full, hungry, tired or lacking in something. We as humans are designed to know when to eat and when we dont need to but we eat mindlessly and trash our bodies which has led people to lose this connection. Its also worth noting that is a primal response to over eat high fat, high sugar foods. In primitive times we often faced famine regularly and Aboriginal tribes as an example were known to face great danger by climbing high up in trees to get honey from a bee hive. They also faced the risk of being stung many times. They would also drink up to a litre of the energy dense honey in a very short time. This is another reason why limiting highly processed foods that are high in sugar and fat to special occasions is highly recommended as portion control can be difficult for the best of us and I would highly doubt that anyone reading this article will be facing famine anytime soon.
Give it a go, don’t forget to include every single thing you put in your mouth including all liquids. Come and see one of the coaches if you have any questions or queries along the way or want to chat through it at all. Remember knowledge is POWER.