All About Tracking!
A lot of people ask me if and how I track my nutrition and workouts, so I thought it would be helpful to share a few ways my clients or I personally have tracked. Sometimes people worry that tracking can be stressful or time consuming. While this can be true, it depends on what and how you track. Tracking is not just for those who are counting calories or macros! Tracking can be great for anyone who is trying to understand physical symptoms related to their eating and movement habits or for those simply trying to plan ahead. I personally like having a tracking mechanism that combines my daily planning for life as a whole with my nutrition and exercise. This is why I track my sleep, moods, to-do list, exercise, foods, and important events/tasks all in one place! For me, as a nutrition coach, I encourage all my clients to track at least part of the time so they can look back and see what exactly was happening that could be contributing to any successes, challenges, and symptoms. Tracking is usually done one of two ways: online through an app or by hand in a notebook. Below are just a few examples of some options out there for tracking.
Online tracking via apps
My Fitness Pal:
I would guess that if you’ve ever tracked your food before, you’ve tried MFP. This, in my opinion, is the best app for tracking macros. You can pretty much find any food in the app if it’s ever been added by someone else, and if not, you can add it yourself. You can also add the ingredients from your recipes so you can get the macros for something you’ve made yourself (though this is time consuming). MFP can also be synced with many smart watches and activity watches so your movement/exercise will transfer over. I think in the premium version of the app you can add notes and more detail, but the free version is more limited.
Evernote is an online notebook that stores your notes in a cloud, kind of like Google Docs. It’s pretty user friendly, and the thing I like most about using Evernote is that you can search your previous notes. This is especially helpful because if you want to look up old workouts or lifts, you can find what you’re looking for pretty quickly. It’s not great if you want to track macros though, unless you set up some kind of template for yourself to use in your notes. https://evernote.com/
While I completely understand the convenience of tracking on apps from your phone, there is something about handwriting in a journal! It’s probably because I have always been a Type A and I’m obsessed with planners, fancy pens, etc. I figure I might as well make it pretty and fun to track. Here are some options that I’ve seen or used:
I just recently started using this journal in December. This is a subscription based company, and they send out a new journal every quarter. There are daily pages as well as a calendar page for each month and a few pages for notes, goals, vision boarding, etc. at the beginning of each month. It also comes with a page of fun emoji stickers if you’re into that. As far as the daily pages, you can track your meals as well as your macros, but the one thing I don’t like is that the space for writing down meals is pretty small. This one can be found at: https://gym-gypsy.com/
I personally haven’t used this one, but I have heard that some people really like it! It can be found at: https://commit30.com/
At the end of the day, if all of these options sound too fancy or complicated, a good old-fashioned plain notebook or tracking through the notebook in your phone will do just fine!