Tracking calories can be really eye-opening in terms of your diet. Calorie consumption and weight gain have a direct relation to each and when it's paired with lack of movement, our bodies don't need much food to survive. Unfortunately, food is readily available, calorie dense and going straight to the waistline.
If you're tracking and in a deficit, but still not losing any weight, go through this check list to make sure you're being as accurate as possible!
If you're ordering out, find the highest calorie option in your food tracking app and add 20%. The reasons for this: you don't know what ingredients the restaurant used. 4 tablespoons of oil can really add up and you might get knocked out of your deficit by those added calories.
2. Add up the ingredients individually. You might not see you're exact meal on the tracking app. Then it's time to add each ingredient to the meal. It might seem like a pain, but what's worse? Taking an extra two minutes per meal or waiting three weeks to see you still haven't made any progress and not know why?
3. Check the serving sizes. The label might say 100 calories in big bold font, but just above it you'll find the package is 2+ servings. Make sure that you're either sticking to the serving size or that you're tracking the accurate amount of servings you've had.
4. Track your condiments, oils and butters. They might not seem like much, but those items are jam packed with calories for small amounts. If you ignore them, you might be underestimating by hundreds of calories per week.
5. Track your beverages. Just because you didn't chew it, doesn't mean it doesn't count. Also... Don't forget about alcohol!
6. Track everything. Little bites can add up in a big way. A few extra chips here, a little bit of chocolate there, hundreds of calories unaccounted for...
7. Double check you're portion sizes. It's not uncommon for us to underestimate how much food we have. If you don't have a scale, you can estimate pretty easily with your hand.
Some food items like chips and nuts also give you a portion estimate based on the amount such as '7 Chips' or '20 Almonds'. Count it out!
8. Use measurement tools. This doesn't mean you need to run out and get a scale, but using measuring cups and spoons, even temporarily, will give you an idea as to how much a portion is.
9. Don't use measurements that you're unfamiliar with. If you don't have a scale, don't use grams. Estimate with cups or other tools that are more easily identifiable.
10. Track while you go. Trying to recall meals at the end of the day or days later means you're going to forget something whether its the tricky condiments, misremembering the portion size or blacking out on entire meals. Remember: just because you didn't write it down doesn't mean you didn't have it.
If you're tracking and struggling, try these tips and see what happens. The more accurate you are, the more likely you are to see success!