Track Your Food With The Goal Of Not Tracking Your Food
Let’s track your food with the goal of not tracking your food in the future.
This is an interesting concept. Practice something now and spend hours and hours of your life doing it, so that you will never have to do it again.
Pay attention to my word choice. I didn’t say you would never have to use it again. I said you never have to do it again.
The goal would be to learn so much from the action of tracking our food intake, that it can influence every meal we have in the future without having to pull out a food scale or measuring cup.
Most people never try tracking their food because of the lifelong job they think they’re creating for themselves. “I don’t want to have to measure my food every time I want to eat,” they’ll say.
I should rephrase that above statement to “most health concious people”, because most of the general population don’t even realize the positive benefits tracking macronutrients can do for them.
Tracking macros is not a groundbreaking concept. For decades, different diets focused the user’s efforts on altering intake of their calories or carbs or protein or fat. It’s how a new diet is born every ten minutes in the United States alone (Disclaimer: that is not a real stat).
This is the common ground that all diets find…macros matter.
So if macros matter, why only track for a few months? Will that really last me the rest of my life?
When you learn how much a portion size really is, or how much fat is actually in something, or how much your liquid calorie intake is costing you…it is pricelss information that can impact your health for decades to come.
Let’s not forget about the value of honesty. I wrote a post about it recently because I believe it’s the one thing that can move the needle the most for you this year. Each year you say you want to change, but then you don’t change anything. You can’t change anything, if you honestly don’t know where you are. (Read my “Let’s Be Honest post).
Tracking your food intake is simply introducing a little honesty into what can be an emotionally treacherous area for a lot of people. All relationships work better with a good dose of honesty, especially your relationship with food.
Probably the biggest insight you will gain (I know, spoiler alert) from tracking your food, is that food is energy. Food is fuel. Food is no different than the gas we put in our cars. Every bite we take signals the processes in our body to take action. Every bite puts us in a position to get better or feel worse. Food is an object of energy, not an object of affection.
This was my greatest realization with tracking my food. I always said, “I love my body. I respect my body. I love myself so I can love others….blah blah blah”. And then the camera cuts to me eating 1200 calories in food and washing it down with another 1200 calories in beer.
After years of showing my body this “respect”, I started paying the price with massive amounts of inflammation and chronic digestive issues that were only appeased by over the counter medications.
Even when I started to clean up my diet and follow paleo diet principles, I still left cheat days open to go crazy, and binged on paleo-ish treats. 5 days of clean eating was an improvement, so I saw an improvement, but I still left a lot on the table by not realizing the power of macronutrients.
I’ll repeat it for emphasis, everything that goes into your body causes a response…even if you are just renting that item for a few hours (or less if it’s Taco Bell).
While carbs, protein, and fat have the same general response in the body, each person is unique and their bodies will handle each differently. Again it’s why so many diets come along…because what worked for someone, may not work for someone else.
The only way to know what works best for you is to experiment.
This is why I implore you to try and learn something about yourself every time you eat. Keep track of what makes you feel good in workouts or throughout your day. Take note of your bathroom visits. Monitor your sugar monster and food cravings.
I know that sounds like work, but I’m willing to bet everything I own that you will NEVER stop eating.
You’re probably never going to use the french you learned in high school. You will hopefully never have to use the CPR certification you continue to keep current. It’s commendable that you graduated college or high school, and it’s a great conversation starter that you know ballet or karate or can milk a cow. But you eat 5-10 times a day. Every. Single. Day.
Let’s learn something from it. Let’s get better at it.
Keep Living Superhuman,
2019 01 10