My least favorite part about keeping track of my health and fitness is logging my food intake. It is by far the most important thing to do if you want to reach your goals and/or stay on track, but can often be tedious and sometimes difficult when you can’t find the nutritional information readily available.
Most of us have heard, “You can work out all day, everyday, but if your food is not on point you will never see the results you should or could without the proper caloric and nutritional intake”. We keep hearing it because it’s true. As much as we want to fight it, facts are facts. The first step to tracking our food is working with a program like MyFitnessPal, which is probably the most commonly used app, to log your diet and nutrition. Please note when I use the word diet I only mean the food you personally eat. I don’t believe in diets, I believe in a lifestyle change. Everyone in my core health and fitness circle use MyFitnessPal, and I highly recommend it, or some kind of calorie tracker, in order to really know what you are putting into your body.
MyFitnessPal has most foods nutritional information already listed in their very extensive database. You can simply scan the bar code on products, or easily load recipes from websites, or do a search for specific foods and 99% of the time you can find the item you are wanting to record. It even breaks down your macros for you. However, If it doesn’t have what you want, and you do have a nutrition label to gather information, then you can manually enter that information and add it to their database, which will not only help you but everyone else who might be looking for that same item.
So you can see if the items is in their database or has a nutrition label where you can manually enter the information, then the process for logging your food is pretty easy and painless. My biggest frustration, however, is the food items that don’t have labels. What about when you go to the bakery and that case full of cupcakes, pastries and donuts is calling your name? With no label the sweet delicious treats seem super harmless! As far as I am concerned it’s pretty much counted as a “free” food (no label, no calories)!
The other day was my 5 year old’s birthday, so I found myself in the Publix bakery selecting cupcakes for his special day. I couldn’t believe my eyes. The bakery had every bit of yummy goodness in that display case labeled with their oh so not-yummy calorie count. My “free” food is not so “free” after all. In fact, it is awful, and makes me really question if I want to eat another cupcake ever again! I’ve been logging food for years, and was still super surprised to see one simple, harmless, little old cupcake had 730 calories in it. When I spoke to the women in the bakery she said that as of January 01, 2017 all food will now require the calorie count. Although a bit disappointing, I am happy too see the “free” foods are now going to have to have some accountability. When you really realize what you are putting into your body it doesn’t seem so appealing after all.