Healthy Ways to Use Food and Fitness Trackers
As part of your fitness journey, you can expect to receive some absurd (and often contradictory) advice. You’ll hear things like, ‘get enough sleep, but not too much,’ or ‘increase your protein intake, but too much protein is bad for you.’ Then, of course, there’s the oversaturated market of products, programs and information (and misinformation) bombarding you – it can all just be a bit overwhelming.
Finding your healthiest lifestyle is all about finding balance. It’s about incorporating solid self-discipline with realistic self-acceptance and a healthy dose of common sense. Of course, we understand that finding that middle ground can be difficult. This is especially true when it comes to food and fitness tracking. On the one hand, a total lack of awareness can create a sense of denial and an unhealthy lifestyle. On the other hand, if you put too much focus on tracking, you can torpedo your fitness goals by obsessing and self-defeating. So, how can you use food and fitness trackers in a healthy way to help you find balance?
When going through periods of food and exercise tracking, you should use caution while aiming for specific goals. Here’s what we suggest:
Track in Short Bursts
For most, it only takes about three to seven days to get a solid hold on your eating and fitness habits. So, if you’re tracking for extremely extended periods of time, this might be crossing over into unhealthy territory. Remember, perfection isn’t the goal when it comes to achieving a healthy lifestyle, nor should that word ever even be associated with health.
The real point of tracking is to aid in your routines, choices, and habits. In other words, what are you doing with the information? With this information, you should:
- Make a realistic routine and plan: Based on the information you learn from your tracking, create a realistic fitness routine and a nourishing health plan that works for you. So, if after seven days of tracking you find that you’re not getting enough protein, you can fix that. If you find that early morning workouts aren’t working for you, switch it up, and opt for evening workouts. You want tracking to open up solutions that you can work with, not create guilt.
- Find and solve your weak spots: Again, tracking is not a means to attempt total perfection. It’s to help you work on bettering those weak spots. For instance, you might find that you struggle with overeating in the afternoons, or turning to junk food late at night, or not knowing what you should eat for breakfast each morning. Initially, you may even learn that you don’t actually get much exercise at all. Addressing these sorts of weaknesses mean so much more than counting the exact number of grams of sugar in your salad dressing. It’s about finding ways to improve each preventive aspect of your daily routine. That is what will ultimately help you reach your healthiest lifestyle.
- Consider involving a professional: Instead of the all-too tempting task of “competing” and comparing yourself to others, consider working with a licensed, educated professional. They can help you better understand what your tracking results might demand as well as help you make realistic goals, provide accountability and set boundaries.
- Remember that tracking is a tool, not a solution: Make sure you’re using the tool of tracking, and that it’s not using you. If after a certain amount of time you still don’t know, say, how many steps you take on an average day or how to plan a nourishing meal, then the tool is using you; you’re not using it. Tracking is designed to educate, so learn from the information being provided. After all, it’s your job to create the solution. Tracking won’t do it for you.
When used correctly, food and fitness tracking can help you achieve a healthier, more active lifestyle. It’s all in the way you choose to learn from the information gathered and how you set goals that realistically accompany your everyday lifestyle. So, give it a try. You just might learn the very secret you’ve been searching for to achieve your healthiest lifestyle yet!