For most, the thought of meal preparation and tracking food is a nightmare.
But learning what we are eating and how much gives us priceless information about our nutrition. We can gain a real understanding of what we are putting into our bodies and ultimately how it is affecting our body composition, sleep and performance. The more information we have, the more adjustments we can make towards a calculated effort needed to achieve our goals. Otherwise, we are just guessing.
One major benefit of tracking our food is portion awareness. A very humbling experience would be to purchase a food scale (very inexpensive) and measure a portion of food based on the serving size given on the nutrition label. For example, you would be blown away to see the real amount of ONE serving size of cereal, pasta or coffee creamer. To further the conversation, weighing our food can tell us exactly what we are eating at each meal. Now we have an actual picture of the protein, carbohydrates, fats and ultimately; the total calories we are consuming.
The good news is that you don’t have to learn how to swiftly prepare meals, weigh your food and track what you eat all at one time. Start small and progress at your own pace. The best approach would be to pick what you believe you can achieve with the least resistance. If you struggle with taking lunch to work, prepare your lunches for the work week. If you struggle with portion control, buy a food scale and spend some time learning what an actual serving size looks like with different foods. If you like writing stuff on paper, start by making a food log. Keep it general and you can get a picture of what you eat in a day or week’s time. This will give you information on your eating habits without having to weigh anything and any information is good information while you’re starting out.
The ultimate goal is to get comfortable with the total process of meal prep, portioning and tracking your food in any capacity. If you know what you’re eating on a consistent basis, you can make adjustments. For example, you could be falling short consistently on getting adequate protein or maybe you’re over snacking. Now you have data to tell you that it’s happening and you can work towards accurately fixing it. Ask for help and learn this process in a way that is best for you. Remember, small steps are best and the process takes time. The payoff is worth it.
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Amber seeks to empower women and young girls in strength and to inspire them to not be afraid to step into the gym. Amber finds great joy in helping clients move, perform, look, and feel better! She believes that your training at the gym should transfer over into making your everyday life better as a whole, both physically and mentally.