Up until about a month ago I had always tried to eat healthy but never counted my calorie intake. If I was eating mostly proteins, good carbohydrates and good fats – whilst limiting the ‘crap’ foods I would be happy. To be completely honest that worked well for me, considering how active I am I could get away with eating like that and still maintaining my body mass. Then one day I literally woke up and decided to download a food tracker, for no other reason than to see what my total energy intake was and what the make-up of my macro-nutrients was. From this experience, the following will be my humble opinion on food trackers, the positives, the negatives and whatever else comes to mind.
– Obviously for me the biggest benefit is being able to track energy intake. Weight-loss is really very simple, you need to eat less calories than you expend. If you do that then you won’t go far wrong.
– Secondly it is very handy to see the breakdown of your macronutrients. All the above is true about weight loss, if you want to lose fat but not muscle, knowing how much protein you should be having is key. Some food trackers allow you to easily to scan your food and find out the exact make-up of your meal – unless you are Kate, who didn’t know you could scan foods in!!
– I don’t know about everyone else, but for me it is helpful for keeping me on track, it reminds you if you had a ‘bad’ day to get back on the horse and keep aiming for your goal.
– People get obsessed. I see people in a supermarket on their phone, scanning in foods to their weekly shop. Yes, it is good to be precise with your food intake. In my opinion though, there is a balance and for long term results you need to give yourself some leeway. It is like anything, if you do it to death at the start then at some point you will get sick of it.
– Some of the values on some food trackers are not correct, for example I logged 30g of nuts….it came up with 30 calories, 0g fat, 0g protein, 0g carbs…..I think there maybe something wrong there!
Take Home Message
I think the take home message, in my opinion anyway, it overall food tracking apps can be useful. Though to use them long-term make sure you don’t smash it to death on every single food you eat in the first 2 weeks after downloading it…FIND THAT HAPPY MEDIUM!