A common problem is working out what you are putting in your body. In this article you will find out what you need to be doing to ensure you are consuming the correct amount of food.
It is always a good idea to track your food intake whether you are looking to lose weight, gain muscle, or just maintain your current physique. This is because nutrition and food intake is extremely important in achieving your fitness goals.
Where do you even start?
Ditch the prepared food
My first recommendation to you is to ditch the foods that have food labels on them. This goes for any prepared food such as pastries, ready meals, snacks, and soft drinks. The reason for this is because these foods tend to have hidden ingredients such as salts, sugars, and fats.
Food labels don’t help you at all as they tell you what they want you to hear or what they think you want to hear.
The best thing to do is to make your own meals as you then know what is going in to your body. We live in a world of marketing where a ready meal says feeds two when we all know that most people would have one each as the meal will just be tiny otherwise.
The reason they do this is not because it actually feeds two people, but instead it then means that the calorie content, sugar, or level of salts don’t look as bad to the consumer.
Most people don’t read the food labels and end up surprised when they find out their idea of a single serving is actually two, three, or even four (according to food packages).
Read food labels
If you are to consume prepared meals then it is a must to read the food labels carefully. As mentioned in the section above, many labels say the information for one serving, NOT the whole meal. This can often trick people in to thinking that the food they are consuming isn’t that bad for them.
Food labels are not just about calories, they are also about nutrients such as proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. These should be crucial in your decision-making process especially when it comes to added sugar and salts in the food you are about to consume.
Another thing is that you will have to look at the nutrition information on the back of products to see the vitamins and minerals that the food has in it. Vitamins and Minerals should be top of the list when it comes to food labels but they are just hidden at the back.
There is no point in consuming foods with no vitamins or minerals as your body absolutely loves them and they do so much for you and your amazing body.
Get a set of scales
While you are learning all about portion sizes a small investment in a set of measuring scales is a great way to understand and see how much food you are taking in. This way you know the total calorie content of your food and how big your portion sizes need to be.
Simply purchase a cheap set of gram scales and measuring cups and you can keep track of your food intake.
Using this method keeps you on track as it means you can monitor everything that goes in to your body. It is a little annoying however it will help you track and achieve your results.
Use My Fitness Pal
We live in a world where there is technology for absolutely everything. You will have apps for games, social media, and news but one that everyone should have is My Fitness Pal.
My fitness pal is a free app so there is no reason not to have it on your smartphone. It is an online calorie counter and diet plan that allows you to log your food intake as it contains a database of 2 million foods. If in the unlikely event the food you are consuming is not on there, then you can scan the barcode of the product and it will add it in.
This is an easy way to track your food intake to keep you on the straight and narrow road to your fitness goals. You can also add your exercise activity on to my fitness pal so you can see how many calories you have consumed and have many you have burned off through exercise.
Seek professional help
If you are struggling to keep track of your calorie intake or portion sizes then the next solution is to seek professional help. This could be a dietician, nutritionist, or even a personal trainer.
The great thing about using a professional is that you won’t just be told what to do, but they would help educate you and give you the knowledge needed for the rest of your life. It may be more expensive than the previous two suggestions however the more knowledge you have, the better your decisions will be.
When it comes to finding the right professional you must look at their expertise. It is more advisable to discover knowledge rather than how a professional looks. Don’t just follow someones food plan because they have the body you dream to have.
Nutrition is an extremely complicated subject and just because a food plan has worked for one person, it does not mean it will for you!
Overall tracking your food intake will prevent you from gaining weight, over consuming the wrong foods, and help you consume a balanced diet. Remember that calorie intake is not the only important thing when it comes to food consumption. Vitamins and minerals are just as important so make sure that these are included in your daily food intake.
Track food. Eat well. Be healthy!