Measuring your nutrition is the only way you can know what you're putting into your body. What are some of the reasons why people log their nutrition?
to reach your goals for weight loss/weight gain
to improve eating habits like eating more nutrient dense food, improve eating times, and eating habits
to keep track of calories
to make sure you're getting the right intake of macro and micronutrients
Logging your nutrition isn't easy, but it will get easier once you get the hang of it. Also, logging your nutrition doesn't have to be long term. Once you become consistent with prepping and measuring your nutrition - lets say for a few months, it may become intuitive. In any case, measuring your nutrition is an objective and actionable way to reach nutrition goals. It also helps create a mindset shift - it shows you that reaching nutrition and health goals are possible with numbers, but it takes hard work to do so.
How to Log
A tried and tested app to use for nutrition logging is MyFitnessPal. I like it because it contains helpful features such as: macronutrient breakdown for each food item and meal you intake, it estimates caloric intake depending on your goals, a search bar for food items, barcode scanning feature for food and many other features.
Check this Step-By-Step Video below for a quick introduction on how to log:
Steps for logging:
Download the free Myfitnesspal app on your phone (recommended) or laptop. This app can be accessed on the iPhone and on Android as MyFitnessPal: Calorie Counter or on the website https://www.myfitnesspal.com/
Sign-Up and Set Goals: Click sign-up and set your goals relative to nutrition (Ie: goals, metrics etc.).
View the Calculated Caloric Intake: the app will calculate a general caloric intake to follow. Note: This may not be very accurate. If you’re skeptical about the calorie intake, you can ask me about calculating your macros & caloric intake with a formula.
Add me as a friend so I can view your log and keep you accountable. Note, if this does not apply to you, you can skip to #6: On the bottom panel, click “More” → click “Friends” → "+" → “Email” → Type in my email as Trainwithajfitness@gmail.com and write your name. I will accept once I get the email.
Change your privacy settings to “Friends Only” so I can view your log. On the bottom panel, click “More” →“Settings” → “Sharing & Privacy” → Diary Sharing → Friends Only”
Log your Meals: On the bottom panel, click “Diary” and you will see Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snacks, Exercise, and Water. Click any of the following to add meals, exercise and water.
Use the Search bar to find a food item by typing the item in the top panel. Try to select the most accurate food item to the description of your food. Ie: Instead of selecting “Egg” select “Boiled egg” or “fried egg” in the way that you prepared it.
Adjust Serving Size, number of servings and view Macronutrients & Calories for each item: Once you click on the food item, it will have Serving Size, and Number of Servings indicated under the item’s information. You can click on these and adjust these depending on how much you have eaten. A generic macro count (carbs, fat, protein) & total calories will also be in that information.
Pay attention to the“Calories Remaining” formula at the top of the main page. The equation will read “Goal - Food + Exercise = Remaining Calories”. As mentioned before, this is just a rough estimate and can be changed in the settings. What I want to know is not just your caloric intake, but what you’re eating and how much of each food.
View Macro details for your Daily Intake: After Clicking on "Remaining Calories" from the formula, you can view Calories, Nutrients, and Macros in more detail for your daily food intake.
Look for recipes that are already measured on the app: Click "More" on the bottom panel, then "Recipe Discovery". You can save the recipes by clicking the icon in the bottom right corner.
Sometimes when you make meals with lots of ingredients mixed together, it may not be possible to measure each ingredient individually. This is okay. Try to find a general dish that matches the one you’ve prepared!
Ie: Instead of inputting all of the ingredients individually for “Curry Chicken”, you can choose “Curry Chicken - Trader Joe’s Curry Chicken” and adjust the serving size and/or number of servings to match the weight of the portion you ate.
Exercise: You don’t necessarily have to log this section because the strength training category doesn’t calculate calories burned. You can still log cardio, and it will add to the calories burned and the overall equation on the main page.
Water: This is a good measure to log consistently.
That's It! You're now one step closer to reaching your nutrition goals!
Your next step would be to create a Grocery List and Day 1/Day 2 nutrient dense meals to meet your goals. Clients who are signed up in the Kinesiology Training Program have access to this content but if you would like a free sample of these documents, sign up with your email here!
Until Next Time,