Whether your goal is to lose weight, build muscle, sleep better, lower your blood pressure, run your fastest 10k, or lift heavier weights, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to get on a smart nutrition plan.
Now, the right nutrition plan for you will be informed by talking with your doctor, your fitness coach, and by considering your lifestyle.
This is one case where there’s definitely not a “one size fits all” approach. Indeed, your nutrition plan will likely change and grow as you meet goals and set new ones.
But one thing’s for certain: if you’re going to do this right, you need to be logging your food.
Yep, that’s right. The one thing holding you back from succeeding in your new nutrition plan might boil down to two minutes of note-taking a day.
If you would like our full nutrition recommendations, download our Ultimate Fat Loss Diet & Recipe Guide today!
We Need to Inspect What We Expect
For some folks, getting onto a nutrition plan already constitutes a huge change in behavior.
Suddenly they’re being asked to shop differently, to eat at home more often, and to spend their evenings prepping food for the following day.
That can be a big change.
It’s not surprising that people feel a little overwhelmed at first in the face of all these new requirements.
Adding a food log onto that already long list might feel like too much, and often, it just gets skipped entirely.
Here’s the part where we urge you not to do that…
As human beings, we’re generally terrible at keeping mental track of what we’re eating.
We’re even worse at keeping mental track of how the things we’ve eaten in a day stack up against our carefully thought-out nutrition plan.
The handful of almonds we grazed on while sitting in traffic, the yogurt we ate real quick before walking the kids down to the bus stop… these things get lost in the bigger food picture of the day.
You could be missing your goals left and right and never know it.
Food Logs Are Information - Not Morality Checks
A lot of people feel that keeping a food log will force them to come face to face with all the “bad” things they ate. If they don’t write them down, they can deny it ever happened.
Drop that mindset right now!
Food logs are NOT there to punish you. They are a means of tracking information, and nothing else.
Sure, sometimes taking that second to pause and write something down gives you a chance to say “Do I really want this?” But that’s just mindfulness making its way into your life.
Mindfulness is a good thing, obsession is not.
When you write down everything you eat in a day, you have valuable data on your hands.
- What time of day do you eat the most?
- Are there certain foods which don’t seem to fill you up and therefore lead to snacking?
- Have you hit your macro goals for the day, or are you coming up short on fiber, protein, healthy fats, etc.?
- Which foods really help you hit those macros?
That’s all good stuff to know and none of it is there to punish you for indulging in an occasional snack. In fact, many people are surprised to find they’re not eating enough once they begin tracking their food intake.
Tracking Your Macros is Important
If your goals are to increase daily performance, lower blood sugar/blood pressure, or eat in a more balanced way, you MUST know how your macros stack up.
Protein, carbs, fats, even certain vitamins and minerals can be tracked easily by taking a few minutes to write down what you eat.
If you’re training hard, you’ll want extra protein. If you’re watching your blood sugar levels, you need to track those carbs.
The problem is that a lot of people think they know how they’re doing on macros, but they’re often way off.
Trying to estimate your levels can lead to poor results. You might be surprised by your numbers once you write them down.
It’s Never Been Easier to Keep a Food Log!
Grab your smart phone and search for food log apps. You’re going to see hundreds of them - many of which are completely free.
Some have easy barcode scanners, taking all the guesswork out of the process for you, and nearly all of them have massive food databases already in place.
If you prefer the pen-and-paper approach, do that...whatever makes this a less stressful experience for you!
The bottom line is that if your doctor and your personal trainer don’t have a good idea of how you’re eating, they can’t accurately recommend the right changes for you to make, nor appropriate training schedules.
Make this small change and watch bigger changes happen in your health and fitness.
As you know, exercise is just one part of the equation, so I wanted to make sure we give you some straightforward nutrition advice as well.
If you would like our full nutrition recommendations, download our Ultimate Fat Loss Diet & Recipe Guide today and learn about:
- Our 7-Step Anti-Inflammatory Diet
- How much protein you really need
- The best foods to eat (and avoid) to lose fat
- Specific meal plans and recipes for optimal results
Have a question? Please post your questions on our Facebook Page.
Mint Condition Fitness empowers purpose-driven men and women to lose weight, get out of pain, and do more of the things that make life meaningful.