How To Track Your Food Mindfully
By Fit3 Head Coach Tina Van Horn
Are you getting a little tired of tracking your food or haven’t started doing it yet? Here’s some good news… you don't have to do it every day for the rest of your life! But as you get started with Fit3 and learn how to make intentional food choices, it is an essential part of the learning curve as you gain a solid understanding of what you are eating on a daily basis and how those choices fit into your daily nutrition plan. As your habits change and you naturally make better daily choices, you won't need to track every single bite!
Why Do We Track Food?
There are so many reasons for keeping a daily food diary, the least of which is balancing calories. Probably the most important reason is that it will force you (and me!) to be honest about what you are eating. Journaling also encourages you to think about your portion sizes and slows you down enough to acknowledge why you are eating. Are you really hungry or are you actually bored, stressed, tired or just eating out of habit? I would encourage you to not only write down what you are eating, but also make a note of why.
Food Journaling Really Works Best!
Where’s the Fit3 app? You may feel like ditching the Fit3 paper forms in favor of a digital app. Not so fast! The beauty of the pen and paper system is that it is intentional! It takes a lot more intention to physically write something down than it does to tap a box on a screen. You are learning to be intentional and the tried-and-true system of putting words on paper helps to reinforce your efforts. My 10-year-old has to practice spelling words each week by WRITING. He doesn’t practice typing them on the computer!
But don’t worry if you still need an app. There are a number of free food tracking apps already available and when you have your healthier habits down, you can certainly use one. But for at least the first 60 days, I highly recommend digging out a pen and filling out your Fit3 nutrition plan.
Once you get into a rhythm, feel free to try out an app. I use My Fitness Pal to log what I eat MOST days. It has become a habit now and really doesn't take too much time. I get especially vigilant about tracking when I feel myself making a few too many questionable choices. It really helps me to acknowledge what I am doing and get back on track. You may need to only track a day or two a week. Maybe you track one week out of the month. But just remember, those tempting choices and bad habits can creep back into your daily routine very easily.