Disclaimer: If you are new to tracking calories and macros and are working with a new nutrition coach, do exactly what they tell you to do, in exactly the way they tell you to do it. This article is for those who have been tracking their nutrition numbers for a while with some sort of consistency and are looking to make things more efficient.
I thought I would share my method and routine of tracking my food. It may not be the best method for everyone, but it sure works for me. Everyone has different lifestyles, personalities, and routines that make certain methods of food tracking more efficient. Maybe my way of doing things would be a good fit for you or someone you know.
First off, I think we can all agree that planning and food prep is key. Every Sunday, I pre-cook all of the meats and vegetables that I will be eating for the week and store them in large tupperware containers. This saves time by preventing me from having to cook every meal from scratch and it facilitates the weighing and measuring process; which by the way, it is best to weigh food in the state in which you’re going to eat it. For example: I eat ground Caninos Chorizo for breakfast every single morning. I love it. I never get tired of it. So every Sunday I will put multiple packages in a crockpot for several hours and then store the cooked chorizo in a large tupperware. That way, when I put together my breakfast in the morning, which includes 7.7 ounces of chorizo, I merely grab handfuls of chorizo and put it on the scale until it reads 7.7.
I do not track and log food as I go, everything I eat is planned ahead of time. I set myself a food plan and will stick to it (assuming it is working in terms of strength performance and body composition) for as long as I can until I am sick of it. I have zero desire to log into Myfitnesspal every damn time I eat something. I will get on Myfitnesspal once, fill in my food diary for one day, print it out, and stick it on my fridge (figure 1). This has made life very simple and efficient for me. Here is a list of ways in which having a pre-planned menu on my fridge has benefited me:
- It has made my grocery shopping quick and efficient since I have a list to stick to.
- I am able to spread my calories evenly throughout the day to avoid intense bouts of hunger. This also ensures that I am not overeating too early and starving at night, and vice versa; I’m not under eating early in the day and having to stuff my face late at night to hit my numbers.
- Everyday, I know with 100% certainty that my numbers are being hit. I love the consistency and regimented nature of this system.
- If my wife wants to make me dinner, she knows exactly what to make so that my goals aren’t thrown off. I can also do the same for her since her plan is on the fridge as well
This system does have its downside, and that is the lack of variety. I eat the same 3 pre-determined meals and snacks every day. If you’re the kind of person who needs much more variety in their diet then this system is not for you. If you’re someone like me however, and you enjoy consistency and routines, this may work well for you. You can switch it up every week, every two weeks, or every month. I personally can stick to a meal plan for months without changing it. I have found that I enjoy that consistency and have had great results from it.
As I said previously, I refuse to be constantly entering food on Myfitnesspal. It’s obnoxious to me and I refuse to do it more than I have to. This system allows me to avoid that and stick to a consistent plan that guarantees my goal numbers will be hit, every day, with minimal effort.