Hi! I hope everyone had an amazing holiday season and New Year! I know I haven’t been around in a while… I’ve been busy making the most beautiful human being in the world (couldn’t resist adding a picture). I brought my adorable son into the world in September and my life has been a wonderful whirlwind of love and chaos since then! In the midst of this chaos, one huge hurtle I have faced is trying to lose the baby weight while breastfeeding. Everyone always talks about how breastfeeding helps you lose the weight, but the hard part is not overeating. You need enough food to support your milk supply, plus it’s so easy to overeat because you’re starving! The only thing to do was to start tracking my intake to be sure I didn’t go overboard.
So many of my clients ask about tracking as well. Is it important? Should I do it? Should I stop doing it? What app should I use? What should I track? My response is very individual. Some people should just not ever track. If you have an obsessive personality, tracking could be a rabbit hole for you, so find another way to lose weight. However, if you’re someone who is completely unaware of what or how much they eat in a day, tracking can be very helpful. If you’re a grazer, tracking is a great tool to help you cut down on that as well.
So what’s the most successful way to track your intake? Here’s the key- use your tracking tool (MyFitnessPal, Lose It, Weight Watchers, etc) as a way to PLAN your food for the day. Planning ahead is such an important part of any weight loss plan and is essential for success. You could track as you go, but that means never knowing what you’re going to eat or how it’ll fit into your diet until after it happens. If you wake up and don’t have a breakfast planned, you’ll end up at Dunkin Donuts or eating the bagels left in the conference room. Even if you have access to healthy food and make good choices throughout the day, tracking as you go could lead to accidentally going over your allotted calories/points. If you plan ahead and plug everything in as you do, you have the ability to adjust BEFORE you go over. So each night, plug in your planned meals and snacks for the day, adjust to make it fit, and prepare whatever you’ll need to have available to make it happen. Make sure to add anything you eat that was unplanned during the course of the day.
More Dos and Don’ts:
- Leave off food because it wasn’t planned or is unhealthy
- Save all of your calories/points for one meal
- Underestimate your portions
- Track everything you’ve eaten, even if it was just grazing, was unplanned, or if it makes you go over
- Spread out your calories as evenly as possible throughout the day
- Measure your portions
- Choose foods from all food groups and balance each meal and snack