|Livestrong.com's calorie tracker, which takes|
into account your physical activity in
an easy-to-read format.
As evidenced by this statement, I am by no means an overly obsessive calorie counter. However, I feel like the ability to track my meals and view my nutrition totals for the entire day, week, or month has been an extremely helpful tool for me to make better choices about what I'm putting into my body.
Like most of my fitness journey, my love affair with Livestrong.com, the Lance Armstrong Foundation's "healthy lifestyle destination," began while I was trying to figure out just what I should be eating after spending four months in the land of Mystery Meat (aka Russia). I was toying with vegetarianism, and wanted to be sure that my meals included enough protein. I was also curious how tracking my meals would be helpful in terms of my weight loss goals.
I don't know much about Lance Armstrong (besides the whole Tour de France + Cancer + possible performance-enhancing drug abuse deal), and I don't particularly care to, but I'm a big supporter of his meal and fitness tracker, which allows users to search for brand name foods and track all their nutritional info. For numerically challenged people like myself, it even can multiply serving sizes, which saves a lot of time. My favorite thing about using it has been that I will sometimes consider eating a below-average food in terms of nutritional content, but after searching it on Livestrong's MyPlate and getting the facts, I look around in the fridge for something healthier. It's a good deterrent.
|One of my breakfasts, tracked, and all its nutritional info,|
as presented on Livestrong.com.
It also is probably not as helpful for someone in the process of cultivating better willpower; rather than making healthy choices to lead to my 1693 recommended calories a day, I could drink seven bottles of Coke and deprive myself of real nutrients, and still get by with Livestrong. Instead, for someone who needs a little more structure, I would recommend Self's "Drop 10" meal plan and calorie tracker. They provide tasty choices within the plan, while giving participants a little leeway so that they don't feel totally entrapped.
Overall, I would say tracking my meals has been a huge help in beginning to make healthier choices. For those of you not interested in weight loss or gain but still want to eat healthier, I would suggest keeping a little diary of your eats- you might be surprised at how little nutritious food you're putting into your body, and you might just have to do something about it!
What online tools do you use to help reach your health and fitness goals?