If you’ve chosen to give a food tracking app like iTrackBites or Weight Watchers a try, YAY YOU! I wish you all the success in the world! Here are my top 10 tips to help you experience the greatest success possible and make it as easy as possible.
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- Before you jump into tracking your food, download the app you chose and walk around your house (or the grocery store) scanning EVERYTHING. Save the scanned foods to your app in case you need to track them later. This will save you a ton of time down the road.
- Choose the day you will start tracking. It doesn’t have to be today but don’t put it off too long. Make sure it’s not a day you will be abnormally busy (if that exists?). Ok, maybe just don’t make it a day when you’ll be traveling with an infant and you have three connecting flights, deal?
- Stock up on plenty of lean proteins and fresh vegetables as your base for healthy meals. Think ahead for healthy snacks and have things like hard boiled eggs or carrots and hummus ready to go.
- On your first day, weigh yourself in the morning before you eat breakfast to get a baseline and enter your weight on the app. I suggest using something like this Weight Watchers digital scale that measures in 0.1lb increments. Every ounce counts!
- Also on your first day tracking, eat as you normally would in terms of your habits and portions. Track as honestly and accurately as possible. This will help you learn what needs to change and what doesn’t need to change. You’ll start to become familiar with what portion sizes are right for you. I highly recommend purchasing this food scale, especially for measuring things like meats and cheeses. Ease into it, mama.
- Find another Kinda Healthy Mom to go on this journey with. You can join an accountability group in our online community or find someone you already know and get them on board! Having a safe space to share your experience makes you more likely to stick with it.
- Drink PLENTY of water! Staying hydrated has many benefits but one benefit of drinking water prior to eating is that it helps curb your appetite. I highly recommend this 40oz Pogo water bottle to make sure you’re always stocked up on plenty of water. (And it’s totally spill proof so you can just toss it in your diaper bag and be on your way.)
- Have a plan. Even if it’s a loose plan! Your house is now stocked up on lean proteins, veggies, fruits, and healthy snack options. Make a quick note on whatever random receipt you can find to write on and list some meal ideas. Having any kind of plan in place will automatically make you more successful. You can check out my Pinterest for kinda healthy meal and snack ideas!
- Go into this knowing that you can absolutely have enough self control to make the right choices. You may need to continually remind yourself of your goal in order to conquer your habits. Are you trying to lose weight? Have more energy to run after your kiddos? Your goal is worth it. Feel free to share your goal in the comments so we can cheer you on!
- Most importantly, show yourself grace. Your personal health journey isn’t meant to be a perfect journey. Giving up all of the foods you love will not make this sustainable for you so you have to embrace the occasional indulgence not as a failure, but just as part of the process. The beauty of using a flexible dieting option like tracking your food is that you can plan for the foods you love. For me, there isn’t any amount of money in the world you could pay me to give up my hazelnut creamer in the morning. I plan for it, I track it, and I move on! Oh, and that piece of chocolate you just ate out of habit? No biggie, track it and move on. You’ll learn what is worth it and what isn’t.
Your mindset going into this means everything. If you go in demanding perfection of yourself, you will most likely come up short. We are not made for that level of expectation, we are Kinda Healthy Moms! Allow yourself the room to still be you, to still have that glass of wine at night, to still go out with your mom friends and enjoy that queso with chips. That is the key to sustainability and sustainability equals long term success. After all, what’s life without queso anyway?
If you haven’t already, check out these benefits of tracking your food for some extra motivation and practical tips on how to get started.