Is tracking my food necessary?
I am trying to get back on Keto. I did great for my first 2 weeks then “fell off”. My concern/question is tracking everything that I eat. I find that it takes up too much of my time tracking every single gram and I was wondering if there is an easier way or a general guideline. I find I start to “obsess” over everything. I certainly felt so much better being on it than not. Any advise? Help
- Kani asked 7 months ago
- last edited 6 months ago
When I first started (4 1/2 months ago!) I tracked everything using Chronometer. For me, I needed to use something that helped me get my macros right. Particularly the fat. I think one easy mistake to make is eating too much protein and not enough fat. The Chronometer app works great for keto diets.
- I use cronometer daily it’s a brilliant app it also tracks your intake of vitamins and minerals. I need help at the moment with my macros still and until I can get it I will keep using conometer
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I have also found Cronometer to work for tracking macros and saving recipes. If I fall off the wagon then I go back to tracking for a couple of days just to get back on track. After a while your body knows what works and what doesn’t and you will also by the way what you eat makes you feel.
I use Carb Manager on my iPhone…you can customize all of your macros and daily caloric intake. They have tons of Keto recpies, a large database of food products, and the ability to either scan barcodes or manually add foods. For me, it’s a lifesaver! Oh, it has a water tracker too, so you can keep track of your hydration.
I find that I do need to track and use My Fitness Pal to do so. Even if I stay under on carbs, if my calories are too high, I do not lose weight. I think this will be individual for everyone but would at least start by tracking and go back to it if you are not losing.
Thanks for the question! While tracking your food forever isn’t necessary, I do feel it is important, at least in the beginning. I’d say for the first 2 weeks go ahead and track your food using an app or written down (although this takes a while.) Try apps like my fitness pal, senza or stupid simple keto. All of those are user-friendly! Once you have a grasp on how much of each thing you should eat, you won’t need to continue tracking. I currently do not track daily, however, I will go back to tracking if I see changes in my digestion or on the scale. (Just to see what is going on and what I may need to tweak.)
Does that help?
I started keto with a plan, so there was no tracking at all for me. I think that was a great bonus, but it seems to me, that tracking is necessary, if you don’t follow a set plan, where all the macros and micros are already calculated.
- Alexandra answered 6 months ago
I tracked every single bite on My Fitness pal. I find its the only way to keep up with my carbs and I am mainly watching those. The problem with MFP is that is doesn’t track Net Carbs and that is sometimes a problem for me.
Hope this was helpful,
- Marsha you would love Cronometer for tracking it’s really easy to use and tracks everything. A guy that did the Keto diet got it up and running so very Keto friendly.
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Track until you feel like you have an idea of what you’re eating.
I used the Lose it! app on my phone. I tracked everything for two weeks until I got an idea what my macros were. My goal is to keep the 70%, 15% 10% ratio. I feel I need a bit more carbs at night to fix my sleep circadian rhythm that got messed up. So, that’s like somewhere between 30-50g of carbs day, this is usually too much for some, but I still manage to stay in Keto if my macros are right.
After I got used to eating less carbs, I stopped tracking. Now every now and then, if I feel as if I’ve gotten off track, I’ll track for a day and count everything to see where I am at.
But the idea is:
not to count and not worry. DO NOT COUNT CALORIES.
There was literally a study where someone ate 5000 kcal a day for one month and lost 5 lb and like 2 inches because they had the right ration of HIGH FAT, Moderate protein, and low carbs.
Whenever I am in doubt that my carb content has risen, I simply coat whatever I am eating in butter and eat a piece of salami. 🙂
Eventually, your body will tell you what you’re eating and if it’s working. It took me like 6 months to finally get the whole “listen to your body” down, but now, it’s loud and clear when I have too much of what it doesn’t like. You’ll get specific reactions.
- Diana answered 6 months ago
I am going on my 3rd week on keto woe now. I feel great and don’t feel like I am neglecting myself. I track most of what I eat through My Fitness Pal, simply because certain foods add up the carbs/protein really quickly. I really need to track my eating because I have always had a bad habit of boredom/stress eating. This is a way for me to keep myself accountable and show everything that I am eating in a day…
- Michelle answered 6 months ago
Hi- I started the Keto diet about 6 was ago and I have lost a little over 10lbs. I hate tracking food, a big part of it is that I am lazy and like you said it takes up a lot of time. I have been on so many diets and I have never had as much luck as I have with Keto.
I did not track my food. I guessed a lot. If I knew I hadn’t come anywhere close to my fat intake I would grab a fat bomb or eat a tablespoon of ghee. If you feel like you need to track untill you can get a good idea of your intake I would for a few weeks. When I would track I used my fitness pal. It’s a great app. Not sure if this helped but you will be able to guess soon. If you aren’t loosing weight and aren’t tracking then definitely get back to tracking
I have been tracking every morsel of food for the past six weeks and WOW! I can see a huge difference. I have been doing Keto for years but would “fall off” every now and then. Since tracking I have dropped 10 pounds with ease. It really holds me accountable. I have been pretty strict on ,y macros, too, 80% of the time. I’m eating 140 grams fat, 65 grams protein and less than 10 grams TOTAL carbs. Works beautifully..
- Elizabeth Howard answered 6 months ago
My Name is Katrina, and I have lived my whole life with Epilepsy. I have been on a lot of meds over the years but was using ketogenic diets on and off from 1982. Today I help people understand their bio identical needs on Keto not from the new in thing that seems to be on the market but life experience. I understand the med side efects and depletion. Ways to jump back into Ketosis when life caused You a detour. Tools like MCT, monitoring using glucomitor, changing nutritional intakes to off set your transitions and challenges. I used to track everything but only do it personally every 1/4 for a few weeks but use glucomitor regularly. When I start with new clients I have them do a food journal for 2 weeks before looking at the challenges for clarity. Thanks and Great Health Journey to You all.
You need to be aware of what you are eating, which doesn’t necessarily mean using a tracker. Aim for 20g net or total carbs per day, 0.6g of protein (according to Dr. Rosedale) per kg of lean body mass and the fat until satiated at each meal / snack (better not to snack). Until you can do this by sight and habit I suggest keeping a little notebook to do some basic tracking until it’s a routine.
Tracking may help if you have a stall so you can look back at what you were eating that might have caused it – for some it’s overeating nuts, dairy or sneaking in more carbs.
I tracked for a year because so I could compare my blood work and other tests to diet, but I was comfortable with what and how I was eating long before that.
ps. You didn’t fall off the wagon – you jumped! 🙂
- Don answered 6 months ago
I track every bite that goes in my mouth through My Fitness Pal. I feel it is very important because I am no longer chasing calories, but watching carbs. That is more important to me because they are low and they were my main problem before. If you keep your carbs within your macros, your health and weight will align and be much better. I started this journey on January 15th. Today, April 4th I am down 18.2 lbs. and have reduced some of my medication.
Best of luck on your journey.