My clients seem to fall into two main groups when it comes to tracking food. They are either focused on numbers or their plate. Let me explain the differences:
Numbers: If you're a numbers person you are probably already naturally tracking something - like your budget, steps per day, or hours of sleep. Number’s tend to be pretty methodical and seems to prefer schedules and daily routines. For this person, giving them an initial calorie goal, an app to track and they are off and running. I can check in 2 weeks later, and they have recorded everything they ate and drank, while staying within goals.
Most people are not numbers people…
Plates: Telling a plate client to count calories is like telling them to go shovel sand off the beach…I usually have to promise that I will not make them record calories before they will even agree to sit down! If you’re a plate person you prefer flexibility over routine. You like variety within your meals and want a method that feels sustainable. The plate group wants to look at their meal and see a vegetable, a protein and a starch and feel like they are on track.
Is there a method that can blend both groups? Yes - count food groups instead of calories. Based on your specific needs, I provide a suggested amount (usually a range) of servings to aim for, from each food group. See the example below.
Now, here is the best part - you can track this in 60 seconds or less…!
Once you have how many servings to aim for, you can tally each one on a piece of paper, a sticky note, or on a napkin for all I care!
This shows that you have hit 2 of your 4 servings of veggies so far for the day, meaning that you now have (at least) 2 left - guiding you to think about how you will plan to get your remaining servings for the day. Make sense?
What do my clients love about this approach? Well besides the fact that it is a form of counting calories, but in less time, it actually helps show what foods you still need to eat! You may start to see a pattern of foods you’re overeating, which could be sabotaging your efforts.
I also feel like this is a more abundant approach to shifting eating patterns. So many people associate eating better with lack of food or having to give up types of foods. However, this 60 second approach focuses on filling your plate with healthier foods.
What works best for you? If you would like a personalized plan, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org