In a previous post I talked about tracking important Biometrics. Now let’s talk about tracking your food…

Phase one of your Body Comp Challenge involves tracking your food in as much detail as possible through an app called Cronometer.

Granted, inaccuracies in food labelling and even your best efforts to track precisely what you’re eating can leave you approx. 25% off what you’re actually consuming. Nonetheless, there is still a ton to be gleaned from the process.

Let me explain…

Tracking teaches you more about the foods you’re already eating and helps guide your eating process. For example:

1. You learn which foods are the best choices for helping you reach your protein and carb goal and which foods can quickly push you over your fat goal (which we generally keep around 30% of total caloric intake).

2. You realize how close or far away you are from the necessary calories you need to support your training/activity level. Phase I of your challenge involves eating ENOUGH calories, ENOUGH protein and ENOUGH carbs to support your current training. One of the first things people discover is that they are almost always over-training and under-eating, a recipe for long term hormonal disarray and poor results. Tracking illustrates this point poignantly.

3. Interestingly you can objectively see that a lot of the foods you thought were “bad” really don’t impact you as negatively as you initially thought. This frees you from many of the “restrictive” ideas you have about dieting.

4. Tracking forces you to pay attention. Any time you pay attention to anything on an above-average level your likelihood of improvement skyrockets. Remember, that which is measured is improved!

5. Tracking highlights potential nutrient deficiencies/imbalances over time. Specific foods provide specific nutrients. For example, Cronometer details all-important omega 3:6 ratios, potassium:sodium ratios, zinc:copper ratios, and even PRAL alkalinity (i.e. whether your diet is overly acidic or alkaline in nature). Seeing these trends over time can be valuable in balancing your overall nutrient profile. The more balanced these ratios the better your results.

6. Tracking in the short term sets you up for success in the long-term. I’ll be the first to admit tracking can be tedious and inconvenient. But once you understand HOW to eat and WHAT to eat it makes it much easier moving forward. So embrace the process in the early stages of your journey, because that’s what it is…a process. The more consistent you can be in the early stages, the less reliant you’ll be on technology as you move forward. It’s simply a tool.