Tracking your calories – using a food diary or a Mobile App like MyFitnessPal and MyPlate are proven methods to help you track your diet, count calories and stay accountable. You can note all food intake, note down your energy levels after eating meals, track your mood swings, note hunger bouts and keep a track of your Macronutrient percentage and even your water intake. But, who really does track their food, and what is the point?….

Turns out thousands and probably millions of people have tracked their calories at one point to help them lose, maintain or gain weight. From elite athletes to the average gym user, it is a common practice and a handy one at that.

Ever hear of The National Weight Control Registry? No? Well, The National Weight Control Registry (NWCR) in America is an ongoing research study that has included 10’000 individuals (aged 18 years or older) who have lost at least 13.6 kg (30 lbs) of weight and kept it off for at least one year. What did they discover? They found that successful individuals who kept the weight off were actually vigilant trackers and monitored what they ate regularly. This discovery turned out to provide these individuals with a better understanding of just how much food they were eating. In addition, this allowed the participants to stick to their diet plan and maintain accountability.

Is it practical to carry a diary around…No! but using an App is.

I use the MyPlate App and sure, it was time consuming and frustrating in the beginning but it has helped me tremendously in terms of my diet. I have a better understanding of calories, food choice and my body’s reaction to food. I actually get my clients to track calories at least for one week.

With the app I was able to gain new insight into the struggles and obstacles of dieting. I actually ate more of the foods I wanted to eat [thanks to flexible dieting]. And I am proud to say that I have successfully been using the App for over 2 years now. Can you believe I actually used to drink double cream when I was trying to ‘bulk’ up (Yeaaah, don’t judge me lol I don’t recommend this)!

An example of the App MyPlate. You can set your calories, your rate of fat loss per week and your desired weight, the App helps you get there and calculates your calories. Extremely handy.

I hope this article has helped open your world to tracking calories. Obviously, there are extremes in everything and if you need someone to talk to about your diet please reach out to your GP and/or a qualified professional.

Please leave a comment if you have picked anything up. I would also like to hear from you on whether or not you have kept track of your food and how you found the experience.

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