Track Your Way to Success

Keeping a food log is one of the most effective ways to manage your weight loss and performance goals. Whether you are struggling to change your poor eating habits or lose those last stubborn 10 pounds, you need to know what you're putting in your body on daily basis. Here are the top 3 reasons why you should be logging your food and training:

1. Accountability No one can help you but YOU! Having a great support system around you is very important, but no one is going to make the changes for you, not your trainer, not your doctor, not your kids, ONLY YOU. Only you can decide to make a change and follow through with it. By tracking what you are doing, you have a clear record of what is working and what is not. Your good and bad habits are staring you back in the face. Every time you eat something, log it! Look back on your logs on a daily and/or weekly basis to see how you've done. Who knew those mindless snacking habits at your desk was the problem? Or that one extra latte every morning is throwing your entire diet plan off by an extra 400-500 calories!

2. Motivation Ever hear of the snowball effect? The snowball effect is a figurative term for a process that starts from an initial state of small significance and builds upon itself, becoming larger and of more importance or significance. Well that's what can happen when you are tracking your progress regular. Small steps like eating a healthier breakfast or attending boot camp 3 days a week instead of 2, build upon one another. As you see yourself achieving each small goal, the bigger goals become easier and easier to achieve. 1 pound becomes 5 pounds of weight loss, a 1 mile run becomes 5 miles, etc. As you set goals for yourself, you can look at your logs and be sure that you are doing all the things necessary to achieve them.

3. Knowledge Knowledge is power. Many people have no idea what is healthy and what is not. With all of the resources out there for diets, exercise, supplements, and more it becomes very difficult to know what to follow and what will work. Using a tracking system can take a lot of the guess work out of your plan. As you log your food, you will learn how many calories are in certain foods, what's high in sugar, what a good source of protein is, etc. Knowing how many calories you should be eating per day and what you are doing now may be very different. Often times we fall into such a routine, we may be feeding ourselves way too much or way too little. It's rare that without proper knowledge of nutrition people are eating exactly the right amounts of healthy foods.

One of the best resources out there to help you with this is LIVESTRONG.COM. Click the link below and set up a FREE account with MYPLATE.