What are the pro's and con's of tracking your calories?

Food tracking apps are making an appearance on more and more people’s smartphones every day but are they really useful and should you be using one? 

Here at Packed Meal Prep, we have tried to make tracking your food as easy as possible so take some time to consider whether it is the right choice for you…

Pros

  • Mindfulness

We’ve all been guilty of mindless eating, whether it is stealing a bit of cheese while grating or licking the spoon after baking! However, tracking your intake forces you to confront your eating habits and highlights any problem areas. Research has shown this encourages you to eat more healthily by opening your eyes to what is really in your food. For example, did you know a tablespoon of soy sauce contains more than a third of your daily salt recommendation?

Top tip: Make sure you are honest or you are only fooling yourself! This will mean weighing that generous dollop of peanut butter you put on your porridge and including the latte you grabbed on your way to work. Using a meal prep service can be an effective way to ensure accuracy as it prevents any unwanted calories from slipping in.

  • Easily Accessible

These days you don’t have to be a dietician to track your food! There are lots of free apps which calculate your intake and the order page of our website works out the nutrition in every meal you place in your basket. We have also made it simple to understand what your dietary requirements are through our personal plans.

Top Tip: Start by calculating how many calories you need to achieve your goals and then make a plan from there.

Did you know that Packed Meal Prep now offer personalised meal plans?

  • Guaranteed Success

At the end of the day, if you create a calorie deficit then you are going to lose weight and it really is as simple as that! 

Top tip: make sure to focus on your nutritional needs as well as getting your daily calorie intake. Getting all of your calories through a slab of cake may be delicious but it is certainly not a balanced diet!

Pro's and con's of calorie counting Packed Meal Prep

Cons

  • Time-Consuming

The main reason why a lot of people don’t track their food is due to how time-consuming logging every bite can be. This will get easier after a while as you get to know how many calories are in foods you eat regularly and what portion sizes are appropriate to your needs. You may quickly realise that a single serving of dried pasta is about 75g, not a whole saucepan! If you order from Packed Meal Prep then we have done all this work for you as all meals come labelled with their nutritional content.

Top tip: Order Packed Meal Prep and we provide a full breakdown of the macros in every meal.

  • Obsession

It can be easy to become obsessed with tracking your food and stop listening to your body. Make sure to allow yourself time off on special occasions or select one day a week when you will eat freely and intuitively. Once you become comfortable with what your body needs then you may even choose to stop tracking altogether and maintain the habits you have developed.

Top tip: Make sure you are still listening to your body and enjoying the things you love when you are tracking.

The Final Verdict

Whatever your health goals are, tracking food can be a useful way to create healthy habits that last a lifetime and bridge nutrient gaps. However, if taken too far it can lead to ignoring your body’s natural signals and a fear of unplanned calories. Ultimately, it is your choice how you achieve your idea of ‘healthy’. Ensure you listen to your body and do whatever is best for your physical and mental wellbeing.

Overall, if we can be certain of one thing, it is that with Packed Meal Prep, everyone has time to create healthier habits that last a lifetime.