Mindful eating, the act of paying attention to the experience of eating, is the foundation of any effective weight loss program. You can't change your food habits until you know what they are. Hyper-focusing or obsessing about the calories you are consuming or checking your weight several times a day is not healthy either. Calorie tracking apps are intended to provide gentle feedback regarding your food and eating habits.
Numbers don't lie. We might think we are eating healthy throughout the day because we started with a Chobani Greek yogurt for breakfast. We might also conveniently forget about the Starbucks run on the way to the office or the Big Mac special with large fries we had at lunch.
Food trackers let us enter this information to have a better awareness of what we are eating, when we are eating, and how many calories we are consuming at each meal/snack. Depending on the app we use, we may also be able to see how much of our calories are protein, fiber, carbs, or sugar.
Here are the top 6 benefits of food tracking apps:
Progress Not Perfection. Food plans that work require consistency and commitment. Apps are a great tool to show our progress over time.
Feedback for areas of improvement. Apps can show us what we are doing right and what areas we need to improve upon, such as decreasing the # of carbs we consume, in order to achieve our goals. Without this feedback, we might become frustrated and give up because we think weight loss is unattainable.
Free & Easy to Use. Most calorie counting smart phone apps come with a free version. So there's no financial commitment to learning more about the foods you are eating consistently, and your exercise routine. No free weights to purchase or gym memberships to sign up for. Just feedback about you.
Stress Eating is Mindless Eating. When your are mindful of your eating habits, it is much more difficult to stress eat or eat your feelings.
Privacy, Privacy, Privacy. No one but you needs to know about your eating habits. Your food choices are between you and the app.
Different Plans for Different Needs. You can decide how much weight you want to lose, and choose a plan that fits your lifestyle.
Sara Minges is a Health & Wellness Weight Loss Coach for women with 23 years of experience. She's the Founder of Wonder Woman Rising, Creator of the Goddess Plan, author, and a body positive motivational poet. She's been featured in Nashville Voyager, yahoo parenting, The Gifters and First Generations podcasts, and on iheart radio.