VQ Nutrition: Tracking Your Food & Exercise

Log your nutrition intake for 7 days is your challenge for this week. When doing something like this, it is important to find a program or app that works for you. There are dozens of different platforms to use these days, what works for some, may not work for you. Some popular apps easily for download on your phone are; My Fitness Pal, Lose IT, Life Sum, and My Diet Coach. Dietary tracking apps have become quite sophisticated over the years, moving from manual entering of a food and portion to using barcode scanners to identify brand name products and return nutritional content information based on an entered portion. However refined these apps have become, their most poignant issue may not lie in the accuracy of the nutritional content information returned, but in the accuracy of the user’s portion estimation. Under reporting is the most common error when people input their food. Another thing to be aware of is when eating a commercially prepared food or food from a restaurant, you have no idea what went into it. Asking questions and reading ingredients can help with this. These are just a few thoughts to keep in mind when tracking your food. Some of the pros of using these apps, especially in the beginning of a new health and wellness program are:

  1. It can cause you to think about and consider a food choice before you take a bite.

  2. It allows you to analyze your own food choices to assess and tweak your eating plan and patterns.

  3. It provides general awareness of nutrients in food.

4. It is a targeted way to focus on your health.

Good luck this week and try not to just focus on the calories, look at your macronutrient breakdown (percentages of fats, protein and carbohydrates) as well as the quality of foods you are eating.