Tracking Calories, Nutrition

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Why Track?

I’ve felt disappointed for years in so many diets. Completely relating to the celebrity doctors and nutritionists who try so desperately to move people away from fad diets and towards balance, I feel their pain as they plead with viewers to count calories, fat, sugar, and fiber.

Nutrition Counters are Easy and Valuable
There are many free options on the internet (probably like you, I've tried many). FitDay's desktop version is my favorite because it's clean and you can search foods high in specific nutrients.

It is more than just counting calories to lose weight – counting NUTRITION to avoid malnutrition can transform your life! Fortunately, you can consolidate calorie and nutrition counting so there is no extra work to tracking it all.

By monitoring what you eat, looking up foods high in the nutrients you simply aren’t getting, and supplementing the rest will propel you into a life you’ve never enjoyed – yet. Keep a food journal, adjust your eating throughout the day, and you can

1. Lose weight and maintain a healthy weight
2. Think more clearly
3. Have more energy – you’ll FEEL like doing all your “should’s” like exercising
4. Become free of at least some of those expensive and toxic medications
5. Have gorgeous skin and hair.

If you, your kids, your grandkids were at risk of being malnourished, you would definitely do something about it . . . right? Of course you would. “Malnutrition is a medical term that refers to the condition that develops when your body does not receive enough nutrients. According to the National Institutes of Health, malnutrition can be caused by an unbalanced diet, digestive or nutrient absorption problems or some medical conditions.” I think it’s fair to say that if we aren’t checking in, at least occasionally (ideally regularly), we are at risk of being malnourished. Are you?

“And when you’re paying for your pharmaceutical medications in the latter part of your life because you didn’t eat healthfully, you’re going to really be paying for it.” Dr. Mark Hyman in his article, “The UltraSimple Diet FAQ: Part 2” UltraSimple Diet Challenge. He goes on to say, “I wrote a chapter on dietary influences on health for The Textbook of Functional Medicine. In that chapter, I cite 350 medical references. I outline, step-by-step, how food is not only calories, but also information. I also discuss how food talks to our genes and turns on messages of health and weight loss. Real, whole, high-quality food may help us to avoid the deep-rooted conditions that lead to disease. This is firmly based on science. I also have my own data from my medical practice.”

After Googling “why track nutrition” and scouring through many articles, I kept coming back to the information from Dr. Hyman.

We are an affiliate for his store, but since it is such a gold mine of supporting documentation for the value of counting NUTRITION vs. just calorie counting, I’m going to include a link to his book referenced here.

When you consume processed foods, calorie intake goes up. Why? Processed foods tend to lack fiber and be higher in fat, both of which make them denser in calories. They are also deficient in many nutrients, so the body continually craves the real nutrition it’s not getting. Feel hungry? Are you lacking CALORIES or NUTRITION? Then calorie out part of the equation also suffers, since with low nutrient levels, it’s difficult to have the energy to be active and burn calories.

Malnutrition Effects

So, let’s track it.

Here’s the three steps I took.

Step 1. Track every single thing, every day for two weeks.

Step 2. Track three days a week – for four weeks.

Step 3. Track once a week (as often as possible).

Step 4. When I get off track, I start over at Step 1.

Don’t forget to add things like the olive oil on your salad, or that you cooked your eggs in. The good news is that it will not only show up as calories – it’s an essential fatty acid that your BRAIN thrives on.

Are you on the computer daily? You’re on it right now. Why not enter everything you can remember for today? Tomorrow you’ll be so glad you already started! You can do it!

Sources

GOOD FOOD VS. JUNK FOOD, the Foodbank of Southern California

The UltraSimple Diet FAQ: Part 2, Dr. Mark Hyman

Malnutrition: Not Just for the Poor Healthy Eating Politics

Malnutrition in College Shannon Hyland-Tassava has over 16 years experience as a clinical health psychologist, wellness coach and writer.

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