The Importance of Tracking Your Food

I started P90X almost a year ago to the day (March 15th, 2011). I worked my butt off for 9 months, subbing in Insanity for the cardio days for rounds 2 and 3.

I lost 25 pounds the first round (from 228.5-203.5) and ended 2011 down 45 pounds. I lost a ton of body fat, got into awesome shape and was really proud of myself. I never skipped a workout. I pushed play every single day (except planned rest days), ate well and thought I was on track.

I started 2012 with P90X2 and realized that if I wanted to take my results to the next level (I have a mental image of Ryan Reynolds with his shirt off) I would have to really start to dial in my nutrition. After doing a lot of reading and planning I started following a 1900 cal diet and tracking everything I ate with MyFitnessPal for my phone.

I thought I was eating really well and doing great, but what I learned was, I wasn’t. I had to adjust what I ate every day to hit my desired ratios of protein, carbs and fat (50:30:20) and once I got into a routine, it became second nature. There is no guess work, I know what I can eat, because I know (not guess) what I already ate in any given day.

Last night we had potatoe pancakes for dinner, which contain a lot of carbs, but because I knew what I had already eaten for the day, I knew it was well withing my dietary “budget”.

I have a bit of greeen thumb, I am pretty good with house plants. People remark all the time when they come to the house about how they can never keep plants alive. My response (or at least what I say in my head) is that plants need precious few things to survive. Water, sun, and nutients from the soil. But, you cannot just throw those things together ad hoc, you have to understand the balance of those three factors as it relates to the individual plant. Your body is the same way. It really only needs a few things to survive, but like the house plant, it needs those things in specific quantites and if you are just throwing things in your mouth, you will fail to see the results you are looking for.

If you workout every day, think you are eating well and are not looking/feeling the way you wish you did. You need to take a closer look a few factors. How are you working out? Has your body hit a wall, or a plateau and it is time for something new. Are you workouts effective (are they too long, too short, not hard enough, not diverse enough).

And then you have to look at what you are eating and in what ratios, and when during the day. This is where MyFitnessPal comes in. I don’t guess what I ate on a given day. I can look back through almost three months of data to see what I have been eating and how it has made me feel. The beauty is that the website syncs with the app, so if you track something on your computer, it shows up on the app. Taking the guess work out has taken my results from good, to something I am really proud of.

Again, this is where Shakeology comes in. I know that every morning, I have put the healthiest meal of the day in my body and have set a strong foundaiton for the rest of the day. That way, I don’t feel like I spend the rest of the day playing catch-up.

If you have any questions about what I am eating, or MyFitnessPal, or Shakeology please do not hesitate to ask.

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3 comments on “The Importance of Tracking Your Food

  1. […] do with the importance of keeping a food journal, especially for women. I have written before about the importance of tracking food. I thought I was eating healthy my first few rounds of P90X. It wasn’t until I began using […]

  2. […] help me recommit, I will be getting back to using MyFitnessPal on my phone and computer to help me track what I am eating and ensure that I am hitting my […]

  3. […] I completed my nutrition diary for Tuesday of this week, to show exactly what I ate that day using MyFitnessPal and am sharing those images […]

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