You're listening to episode number eight of the Fat Fueled Female podcast.
Welcome to the fat fueled female podcast. I'm your host Marja Chow, a holistic nutritionist, personal trainer and proud dog mama of two. I am obsessed with helping women achieve their goals, feel confident in their skin, and become empowered health advocates. This podcast is designed to help ambitious women thrive on a low carb, high fat lifestyle. So tune in each week as we talk all aspects of nutrition, improving your fitness, enhancing your mindset, so that you can take inspired action, and live your best life all starting from the inside out.I'm so happy to have you here. Now let's get started.
Hello, hello, and welcome back to the Fat Fuelled female Podcast. Today we are going to talk about tracking your food should you track your food or should you not track your food.
So most people who track or log, are tracking their food, use the app, My Fitness Pal, there are other apps out there. But the main one most people are familiar with is my fitness pal.
So in this episode, I will go over five points that I think you should consider when it comes to tracking your food and let you decide if you think you should or shouldn't track.
So I 100% see a lot of value and tracking, which I will go over. However, I think it can also become unhealthy and possibly obsessive. And we will talk about that as well.
So let's start point number one, it's really hard to improve what you can't measure or can't see.
So for example, I have had old personal training clients of mine, when I asked okay, "So where are you at in terms of your nutrition?" And they say, "Marja it's really good."
And I'm like, Okay, what does that mean? Good in the sense you eat organic food, or you eat lots of vegetables, or you cut back on your sugar or good in the sense that you eat three meals a day, or maybe you fast and eat two meals, like everyone's definition of good is going to be very different.
So those answers are really don't tell me much from a metabolic or energy point of view. So it's really hard to improve what you can't measure or can't see.
So the first two questions I will always ask new clients are, how much are you eating? and what does your diet consist of?
And for many people I have found, they really don't know how much food they're eating from a numbers perspective, or how many calories they're consuming each day, unless they track.
So what I found is that many women think they are eating enough, when in actuality they are not. And they don't figure that out until they actually kind of track the nutrition for a week.
They may think, okay, yeah, I'm eating around 2000 calories, when in actuality it's like 1300 1400, or they're eating really low, like 1000 or 1200.
And then this light bulb clicks and they're like, Oh, that's so I have low energy and feel constantly tired. And you know, weight loss is a struggle.
But many women may not even be aware of how little of food they're actually eating until they track righ. Like I have worked with women eating 800, 900, 1000 calories. And metabolic adaptation is a real thing.
So what metabolic adaptation is, for example, say you're eating 1000 calories, your body becomes efficient at running off of 1000 calories.
Say you're eating 3000 calories, your body becomes efficient at running and burning 3000 calories.
It's not a good or bad thing. It just is, your body adapt, your body is intelligent. It adapts to the environment and the amount of food and calories you are ingesting.
So if you're eating 1000 calories, you're not thriving in life, you're basically just like surviving, right? You got to build that metabolism up each week. And by tracking, you can slowly and strategically increase your food each week and build that Metabolic Fire up.
And it can be really scary to be told you need to eat more to lose weight and be healthy, especially if been a chronic dieter or it's like there is so much fear around adding more food and adding more calories.
And I completely understand that. In my late teenage years and early 20s I was surviving off 1200 calories. And then I started working with a coach and I eventually got up to 2200 But I was terrified of eating that much.
2200 That number scared the crap out of me. I'm like you want me to eat how much but you know, I had a specific game plan. And I slowly fed my metabolism more and more each week, like anywhere from 100 to 150 calories a week.
So for example, I was eating 1200 calories at the begining of the month, by the end of the month, if I was doing 100 each week, I would be up to 1600.
So you do it in a very methodical way that you build up the metabolic fire. And you can get, you know, sustainable weight loss feel good and have so much more balance, right.
But it takes time. So if you are coming from a place of really eating low, low, low, low food, it can be really scary to start eating, eating more food, like I completely understand that and when you track and you can just like slowly, each week, build that metabolism up, start integrating more food, it becomes a lot more easier mentally I feel for women to go through that process.
So moving on to point number two, I say a look at tracking as a tool in your toolbox.
So see how your body is responding to the amount and type of food you're eating. So tracking will provide you data for the ratios of macronutrients. So if you don't know what macronutrients are, they are fat, protein, and carbs. And then your micronutrients are your vitamins and minerals.
So say someone is like I'm eating such a bombass diet I'm eating all organic, ethically raised meats, you know, no inflammatory oils, not really anything refined or processed.
Fabulous, right? Then say they actually track their food. And you look at it. And it's like, I'm just making these values up it's like 80% carbs, 10% fat and 10% protein. So these macronutrient ratios of carbs fat and protein are not an ideal percentages are not are not in ideal percentages, to build muscle or lose weight.
So when you track and use my fitness pal, it breaks everything down into percentages and grams of food you are consuming.
So when you log your food, you become more educated. You're like, oh wait, my diets 80% carbs, yeah, that's probably not ideal, right?
And you become more educated about nutrition macronutrients and vitamins and minerals.
So for a lot of my clients, when they start there, like one of the one of the big things is they're like what brussel sprouts and kale have carbs in them. And you know, you'll you'll become more familiar with like vegetables,the amount of you know, carbs, and vegetables and fruits, and you know, anything else.
And you know, or like avocados, they're loaded with fat. They're also loaded with fiber, or raspberries right there low in sugar and high in fiber.
Like, you become so much more educated about nutrition opposed to someone being like, here's your meal plan, this is what you eat. That's all follow it, right? Like you're actually tracking, you're seeing the graphs, you're seeing the percentages, you're seeing the ratios, and you're seeing the you know, the micro and the macronutrients in the nutritional choices you're making.
So another reason why I think tracking is great is you have that data and you can reference and be like this is how much I'm eating. A
nd this is how I'm feeling eating this much fat eating these many carbs. This is how my sleep is following this type of nutrition. This is how my clothes fit. This is how the scale is moving or not moving. These are what my measurements are like following this.
So when you track you have data that you can tweak. So really putting on your scientists cap, and testing things out in the chemistry lab, AKA your body.
So again, when you have this data, you can look back and be like, okay, I think I feel good at like 50% fat, or maybe it's 60 Or maybe it's 80 or whatever, you know, every one and every body is going to respond differently, right.
So it's just about tweaking and testing and seeing what works for you and where you feel your best.
Okay, moving on to point number three. Point number three is tracking is very helpful when you are adapting into a high fat ketogenic lifestyle. So going into ketosis is a metabolic state. You can get a Keto meter, prick your finger, test your blood and see how much beta hydroxy butyrate BHB. See how much of that ketone is in your blood to see if you are in nutritional ketosis. So the most effective way to do this is to reduce the total amount of carbs you're eating.
So by tracking, you're going to be able to see how many carbs you were actually eating daily, instead of kind of just like guessing, right? And it will give you a breakdown, a snapshot of how much protein and how much fat which are important. values to understand and know as well, I really think of tracking as a way to help bridge the gap of where you currently are, to where you desire to be and the steps necessary to get there.
So for example, if you have a desired goal to lose 30 pounds, in order to bridge the gap between the two, you know, you have to have a starting point. And you have to understand where you are with your current nutrition. And then let's figure out where you have to go. So in my signature program, the fat fueled female method, also known as the triple F method, I teach the three phases and cycles of weight loss, which are called phase number one is foundation. phase number two is fasting. And phase number three is fuel up.
So I look at tracking as a way we can measure progress, and get a clear indicator of how long you should stay in each phase, and dependent on your health or your weight loss goals.
You will be in different phases for a different duration of time than anyone else, right. So with the when you track, you just have that feedback and that data for you to make more of an educated decision of where you want to move. Okay, let's jump in to point number four.
So, point number four is tracking is not something you have to do forever. I like to use this analogy. When you first when your kid and you're first learning to ride a bike, you have your training wheels on okay. And then when you're like, Wow, you can balance you can steer, you know, you're feeling pretty confident on that bike, you get rid of those training wheels, and off you go, you're good to go.
So look at your food choices. And look at tracking as a way of learning, you know, you will learn so much about nutrition yourself and your body when you track. So I would suggest doing your best to track for at least six to eight weeks, and then decide if it's working for you and see how you are feeling with tracking.
Reflect on it. Is it helping you hit your goals? Are you getting results? Are you having more awareness around nutrition? Is it providing more information for yourself? Are you becoming more of your own health advocate, and then you decide where you want to go after just know it's not something you have to do forever?
And look at it in look at it as a tool in your toolbox. If someone told you, hey, you need to track for one whole year, you'd be like what might stress a lot of people out.
But if it's like, okay, I can do this in a cycle I can track for you know, six to eight weeks. And then I can reevaluate if it's working for me, or if it's not working for me, right?
Your brain is going to be able to manage that timeframe, as opposed to be like you are tracking for 12 months. Like that's a lot.
So point number five. Let's examine your past dieting history and see if tracking is right for you.
Check in with yourself and be honest with yourself. See if tracking is going to help you or it's going to hinder you.
So questions to ask yourself, when and if you tracked before, what was the experience like for you? How were you looking at tracking? How were you using it? Were you using it to make sure you were eating super, super low? Or were you using it to you know, take more inventory on yourself build up that metabolic Fire? How did you feel when you are tracking? What was your relationship with food while you were tracking? How did it help with your goals? And how did it affect your mental health?
So those are really important questions to ask yourself if you decide to start tracking or start tracking again.
So from my personal experience, I used to be obsessed with my fitness pal, especially when I was bodybuilding. It became a very unhealthy, obsessive relationship. And I wasn't listening to my body at all right? It was just like, you can't go over these calories. You can't go over those macros. And if you do, you're a failure.
And I was really, really, really hard on myself and I didn't have a healthy relationship with my body. Myself. And you know, a big part of it was my nutrition was super imbalanced, like it was really high carb, really low fat and I was overtraining and under eating right so what I want you to consider is you know, you don't want to have that relationship with tracking.
What I want you to consider is say you map out eating 70 grams of carbs, okay, you're like this week I'm going to you know, reduce my carbs are gonna be around 70 grams. And then you look at you know what, you're eating your 80 grams. It's like, is the world over? It's like, No, you had a little bit more carbs like no At the end of the world.
Let's let's not be dogmatic about this, think of tracking and logging as a blueprint, something for you to follow something for you to have a guideline with, but not something we want to be crazy and obsessive.
And, you know, think we're a failure, if we had 10 grams of carbs, like, that's okay, you know, you can still get results by having 10 more grams of carbs.
So, today, I do not track, I'm in a place where I'm not trying to lose weight, I'm happy with the amount of muscle I have and I'm just in this maintenance phase.
You know, some days, I'll track just for fun and see where I'm at. But I'm not using, you know, my fitness pal right now, because I don't need to use that tool right now.
I'm in this maintenance phase. And that's kind of the goal of where we want to get, we want to be able to maintain our weight, have a healthy metabolism, where we're able to eat a lot of food and feel good still get results. And, you know, not be dogmatic or obsessive about our nutrition.
But that's not to say I won't use the tool and track again, you know, if I actually wanted to strategically put on more muscle mass, yeah, I would jump on the app and get the data of where I am and figure out where I need to go.
And I'm planning on being a mom one of these days. And after I have a baby, I'm not sure how my body's going to respond postpartum.
Some women it takes they think bounce back after six months, or eight months, or nine months or a year, a year and a half. And I'll most likely start tracking, have realistic expectations, because I would have just birthed a human, and then see where I am at and bridge the gap of where I want to go.
Right. So again, really looking at tracking as a tool in your toolbox.
So let's recap. Try tracking your food to get clarity on A). how much you are actually eating B). the breakdown of fats, protein and carbs. C)., so you have more knowledge around nutrition, you become more educated, and D). so you have more data on yourself, and you can tweak it and make changes.
So these are my recommendations that have worked for myself and my clients. And you can choose to implement tracking into into your nutrition journey. Or you can choose not to maybe you know your past history with dieting, and it's just not healthy for you to track, it's going to trigger something.
So really be honest with yourself, and don't track or maybe you really didn't like tracking. But after listening to this episode, you have a new perspective on tracking and you're like, hey, I actually want to, you know, build that Metabolic Fire up and be more intentional and more intuitive with my body and see how I'm reacting and responding to adding more food.
Or maybe you really now understand that tracking can be a tool and looking at it from a scientists point of view and putting your scientist cap on.
But you won't know any of this until you try, so no one and no one can you know make this decision except yourself.
So that is everything my friends for today's episode. I hope this episode gave you some insight and clarity on tracking and how it really is a tool in your toolbox. So thank you so much for hanging out with me and spending time with me today. And I will catch you all next week muah!
Thank you so much for listening to today's episode. If you enjoyed what you heard, make sure to subscribe to the podcast. And if you feel you got some extra value from this episode, it would mean the world to me. If you could head over to Apple podcast or whatever service you're listening to this podcast on. Drop a five star review and let me know your thoughts on the show. This helps more people like yourself find the podcast and if you're not already following me on social media right now is the time you can find me on Instagram at Marja Chow for all your nutrition tips, tricks and inspiration or visit my website at bat fueled female.com where you can download my free seven day keto meal plan with recipes. Thank you so much for tuning in. I will catch you next week.
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