A Busy Mom's Guide to Tracking Food

Tracking Food Tips & Tricks with Running Diva Mom

Most of my weight loss success can be credited to logging my food. I run marathons and sometimes log 40-50 miles a week.  But I can easily consume many of the calories that I’ve burned if I am not careful.  Tracking food and activity with my monthly online fitness + weight loss accountability groups has really helped me realize what portions are realistic, what foods I enjoy fueling my body with – and also just how active my lifestyle is. I don’t cut anything out permanently – I am just smart about it and look at the big picture.

Tracking my food didn’t come without growing pains. Like with most things, this doesn’t happen successfully without a plan, streamlining your process and making a habit out of it.  Routine is definitely key.

Here are a few of this busy mom’s quick and easy tips for tracking food in a nutrition log, like My Fitness Pal.

  1. Don’t track it twice.  Don’t write it down and later log it into your device.  Log it once and get it done. Otherwise, you are just causing more work for yourself.
  2. Take advantage of the barcode scanner.  With one quick scan, the app will quickly insert all of the nutritional information.
  3. Use the frequent meals feature to routinely add the same meals.  If you’re a creature of habit like me, you probably eat similar foods before your long run or pack the same things for work every day.
  4. Just like meal planning for your evening meals, you should also get into the habit of meal planning for your day.  Empty your sack lunch when you get to work in the morning (or as you pack it) and log your foods for the whole day.  This will also help you stay on track with portions and avoid adding in extra snacks throughout the day.
  5. Fill up a glass of water and log it immediately.  Use the same glass or tumbler, and the specified number of ounces will be one, easy click away.
  6. Log your workouts before you actually work out.  You will be less inclined to cut your workout short, because you won’t want to edit the duration or intensity (unless you decide to go longer!).
  7. Take advantage of the syncing feature.  Sync your smart scale or activity tracker for the most accurate success and gain a few minutes back in your day.
  8. Weigh in only once a week versus once a day.  This is good from a time-management standpoint, as well as a mental standpoint.  Scales can vary and your body can fluctuate immensely over the period of twenty-four hours.  Give yourself a break – and a chance to see some real changes.
  9. So, now that your tracking is done - don’t forget to reflect on calories in versus calories out and see how your day ended up.  Truly touch base with yourself on how you are feeling emotionally, what your body is craving (specific foods or a rest day, perhaps?), and any stressors that perhaps came into play.

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