Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tracking my food intake changes the way I eat

Tracking my food takes more time than I’d like, especially if the database doesn’t have the food I’m looking for (like black bean sauce shrimp) or if the food item lists portions as a “serving” (WHAT THE HECK IS A SERVING???).

But it’s been good because often I’ll see what I need to eat to hit my target ranges. For example, most of the time I’ll look and see that I need to eat more protein for the day, so sometimes I’ll choose cheese instead of a biscuit at tea time. Or if I’m high on my fat range, I’ll be careful to go low fat for dinner.

I’ve also noticed that when I know I need to track my food, I start to change how I eat food. I start thinking, “I need to eat only about 1/2 cup of rice” or I’ll weigh that slice of bread (yes I know that’s kind of freaky anal) or I’ll use a measuring cup when I scoop out soup to reheat. It just makes it easier for me to record my food later, because otherwise I’m really guessing at how much I ate.

But I recently read this article on SparkPeople about how a study showed that if you track your food, you might end up losing twice the weight than if you didn’t track your food. Makes sense to me, especially in light of how I’ve been changing my food choices during the day if I’m aware of where I’m falling in terms of my nutritional ranges.

Who else out there tracks your food? And if you’ve lost weight, do you still track your food to maintain your weight?


  1. I track... myfitnesspal.com is my go-to system... and while I feel no "dire" need to keep losing, I keep tracking, often at this point to ensure both proper nutritional balance, as well as assuring I'm taking in enough for as much as I'm working out!

  2. oh, and the SparkPeople link is off... :S

    1. Aack! Thanks for letting me know! I fixed it now!