I’m torn on writing this post.
On one had I think it’s crucial to track your caloric intake in order to make adjustments that better align with your goals. On the other hand, I feel if you have any sort of disordered eat, counting calories is actually a hindrance.
What on earth do I mean by that?!
Well, if you truly don’t know how much you’re eating or just how many carbs you’re actually taking in; you might want to track your caloric intake – without making adjustments – for a week or so to determine you’re regular eating pattern. Once you do that, if you cannot find an area where adjustments are needed, bring your results to ME or another Registered Dietitian. An RD can take a deeper look at your intake and help you make a few adjustments.
Do you need to track caloric intake forever? No, not really. Honestly, once you get the hang of a new Way of Eating and you’re consistence with the weight loss or strength gain you desired, you can stop tracking. Some people might say to continue tracking – even I would have said that if you asked me that a few months ago – but honestly, it doesn’t do much good. I’ve been tracking my intake for 325 days and it’s just stressed me out.
Tracking can actually promote disordered eating. Yes, that’s right. I know you’re wondering how…but let me tell you. Let’s say you want to lose a pound a week and you plug in your information and you eat your recommended amount of calories and lose weight. What if that gets “too easy” and you’re confident you could “do better”? All you have to do is open that app and say you want to lose 2 pounds a week OR adjust your daily requirements to a lower amount of calories. I know because I did that.
So my recommendation is to track for maybe a month or so – probably 4-6 months tops. And then just Let. It. Go! (Unless you’re a completive athlete working with a coach who needs to see your info at all times)