I believe that, if you have a weight loss, bulking and/or body composition goal, it’s worthwhile and necessary to track your daily intake of food and nail your macro goals. Not doing so is like trying to navigate to a destination without a map (does anyone use maps anymore? Perhaps a GPS).
However, once you’re at your goal and are nailing maintenance, I think intuitive eating is a great strategy for the long term. If you’ve spent a few months or even years tracking, then you KNOW what your day of eating should look like. You’ve weighed and measured, so you’re good at “eyeballing” serving sizes. You are a pro at eating out without going off-plan. So, lean on the knowledge and consistency you’ve built, without whipping out an app every time to sit down to eat.
Why do I think intuitive eating is the goal? I’ve seen too many people obsess about their intake, to the point that it’s stressful for them. This type of constant, life-long tracking can actually be a bit extreme and lead to disordered thoughts and behaviors, like never allowing yourself indulgences and being too critical.
Believe me, I speak from experience. I had a history of disordered eating from college that took me years to kick. And, it’s taken me years to “let go” of my daily food tracking.
Not ready to give up your tracking app? A happy medium, which is something I do (because I can be a bit of a control freak), is track 50% of the time. What does that look like? For me, it’s tracking the first half of the day, knowing I’m not going to “blow it” for the second half. This is useful when you know you’re going to go out for a meal. Or, it’s tracking an entire day for a short amount of time if I feel like the scale has gone up a few pounds.
Don’t be the weirdo that is chained to your app. If you have a day where you enjoy a bit too much food, clean it up the next day. Celebrate special occasions without stress. If the scale is going in the wrong direction, track again for the short term before it gets out of control.
It’s all about balance and loving yourself – you got this!