Authored by: Sarah VanEerden, RDN
Nutrition apps can be an informative, educational window into diet quality or an exploration of healthy relationships with food. Going digital isn't a one size fits all solution, nor is it right for everybody, but if you're exploring apps, try these tips to maximize your experience.
Close Enough is Close Enough
While food tracking might help us solve nutritional problems or maximize our diet's potential, it's important to remain balanced and know that it's an estimation, and that's OK. Each apple will not be the exact same amount of carbs and fiber, but tracked in the context of the whole diet, we understand its impact on our total nutrition for the day.
Short Term Tracking for Long Term Success
A great benefit of tracking is that it helps us becoming "calorie wise.' The goal is not to track food forever, but to input meals and snack to better understand which foods bring the body healthy fat and fiber, which add sodium and saturated fat, so we can make informed decisions in the future. Remember to leave guilt at the door!
Personalize Your Log
Make the most of your time by adding favorite foods and frequently prepared recipes. When you can select and input quickly, tracking isn't such a hassle. Or, find a food log that looks beyond calories. Some apps help you explore mindfulness, a healthy relationship with food, or tracking experiences around food.
Calories Don't Take All
Sometimes tracking our food can lead us to believe calories are the most important thing. Remember to check reports on other nutrients, like type of fat, iron, potassium, sodium and of course, fiber. These reports are sometimes hidden, and it will pay off to remember food quality matters.