Nutrition Tracker : An Essential Feature for Optimal Wellness
Making healthy food choices while being a foodie does not come easy. The extra calorie we burn while walking or exercising is gained back once we eat that giant godfather burger. We would not even realize how much nutritious food we consumed in a day unless we kept a proper track of our diet. Tracking our diet is however, only possible with the availability of a good nutrition tracker.
It is not necessary to track our nutrition only when we want to lose weight. It is also not important to have a health goal to keep a nutrition diary. Maintaining a food log is more than that. It is about learning about our daily food habits and patterns, and making ourself aware about them.
What is a Nutrition tracker?
The concept of a nutrition tracker is pretty simple. Collecting and analyzing our food intake patterns is what we call a nutrition tracking system.
We eat all kinds of food in our everyday lives. And amid all the food intake, we often fail to understand the amount of nutrition we consume daily. Protein, carbohydrates, fat, and calories have a specific impact on the human body.
To stay healthy, one should eat healthily. And to eat healthily, one requires having a good knowledge of the various nutrients and their benefits.
That is possible with a good nutrition tracker. Nutrition tracking comes in multiple forms. Some people use their hands to measure the food as portion control, while others keep a virtual record of the nutritional breakdown of the food they eat. However, tracking our diet manually on paper or digitally has the same intention.
Nutrition tracking app is time-saving.
Why is it important to Track your Nutrition?
The first wealth is health. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
These days, we are very casual regarding our food habits. We eat anything and everything without thinking twice about the adverse effects of the same. Junk food is our go-to option for almost every occasion, making it one of the primary reasons for obesity.
Yes, obesity is a severe health problem prevalent nationwide. Excess of everything is terrible, and the body suffers when we eat food without knowing its nutritional content. This brings us to why food logging is important to lead a healthy life.
Diets are not enough; a lifestyle change is necessary.
The main goal of tracking our food is to gain knowledge of the nutrients our meals comprise and further keep them in check.
This is essential considering we are pretty terrible when it comes to keeping a meal count.
Like, do we even remember what we had for lunch yesterday?
No, right. But once we have a food database, we can check for ourself. And the problem is solved.
There are several preservatives present in the food to make it taste better or preserve it- sugar and sodium being two of them. If fitness is the target, one must possess the required information on what to eat and whatnot. Limiting oneself from consuming food rich in carbohydrates might help. But, to do so, we need to know how much carbohydrates our current diet plan includes in the first place.
A diet tracker can assist with that. Tracking nutrition is what helps with identifying the nutrients we eat. Once we can track and distinguish between bad and good food habits, we will eventually develop a healthy lifestyle. Infact, it will boost mindful eating.
Supplements cannot replace real foods.
Recommended Article: 8 Nutritional Supplements That Everyone Should Know About
- Things a daily nutrition tracker helps with-
1. Weight Loss
I always lose a little weight on the road, so I constantly have to be on top of my nutrition and hydration. – Matt Cameron
If losing weight is something we are hell-bent on doing, tracking nutrition is a must. This way, we know what is entering our body. Whether we exceed the required calorie intake or not- the nutrition tracker can act as an eye-opener and bring us in control.
The process of losing weight, regaining it and dieting again is called yo-yo dieting.
2. Balanced Diet
How are we supposed to know if we are on a balanced diet when we have no record of the same? It will be more of a blind hit.
We might eat more protein, vitamins, and minerals without even knowing how much we should be taking any of these. But when we have all accurate nutrition information about the food we consume, we prepare meals with the right nutrients- taking the healthy ones in a larger proportion and cutting off on the meals rich in carbohydrates and fat.
Diet is the essential key to all successful healing. Without a proper balanced diet, the effectiveness of herbal treatment is very limited. – Michael Tierra
For our nutrition goals to be achieved, we must first know about the consumption pattern.
Added sugar is detrimental for your health.
3. Mood Swings
Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are. – G.K. Chesterton
It is not well-known, but food has much to do with moods. There are days when we feel tired, sleepy, or cranky at work. And there exist certain nutrients, which, when consumed more, can make us feel sluggish.
If we are having such a day, we can go to our nutrition tracker and check what causes the condition not to repeat the same thing.
4. Cholesterol Reduction
An optimist is a person who starts a new diet on Thanksgiving Day. - Irv Kupcinet
As much as cholesterol is needed for building healthy cells, high levels of it lead to serious health issues. And today's food culture ruins our healthy habits by making us explore popular restaurants. There we hog on the food without even giving it a second thought.
But this can be easily fixed as a meal tracker shows us the nutritional details of the food and give us a reality check.
Recommended Article: National Nutrition Week: Top 5 Foods To Enhance Your Diet
Most people don't have a problem going on a diet. The problem is being consistent on their diet. – Karen Sessions
Once we start maintaining a food diary, there is accountability for every food intake. Accountability to ourself. And this further makes us guilty enough to consume food that has a high chance of spoiling our good dietary behaviors.
There might be occasions where we have to eat a variety of food- both healthy and not; obviously, that's fine. But when we have a diary to maintain, we will be at least a little in control.
Our conscience will drive us to do the right thing for our health.
6. Calorie Counter
It takes five minutes to consume 500 calories. It takes two hours to burn them off. - Anonymous
A calorie is something which people are most concerned about as it is present in almost every food. And calories matter, for it is a vital substance that contributes to the body's proper functioning.
Also, there is a minimum calorie intake necessary for every individual. However, too many calories can drive our car on the wrong road, leading to weight gain.
The food nutrition tracker can, therefore, keep our calories in check.
And with the present-day calorie counter app, we can focus on calories gained from food and the ones burnt, thereby making the relationship between us and our calories transparent.
Nearly 1 in 3 children and adolescents are overweight or obese in America.
If you keep good food in your fridge, you will eat good food. - Errick McAdams
Tracking our food does not always mean identifying the unhealthy contents on our plate. It also shows us the healthy food items we consume, making us feel good about ourself and our lifestyle.
We might be eating more vegetables than required and drinking water regularly. Knowing about these habits will further encourage us to keep going with our healthy eating behavior.
Likewise, the tracker will also point out the flaws in our diet to inform us to work on them.
8. Food Intolerances
Processed foods not only extend the shelf life, but they extend the waistline as well. – Karen Sessions
Keeping a food log not only helps balance our diet but also assists us in identifying the impact of individual food items. There can be certain dishes that fill us with gas or bloating. Maintaining a health diary will easily let us recognize those foods and motivate us to remove them from our diet chart.
Moreover, it is not normal if we suffer from an upset stomach every time we eat something. A daily tracker will help us figure out why as with its help, we will be able to keep notes of our dietary patterns and connect the dots without panicking.
Tracking helps you understand your body better.
To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art. – La Rochefoucald
When we do not keep count of our food intake, we might tend to forget what we eat, how much we eat, and how frequently we eat. Having awareness is the most important thing because only then can we proceed with the accountability and balanced diet.
If we have no idea, we will think we are eating better than we used to.
But how can we be sure?
When we start tracking, we get the facts, which makes us aware and help us to be mindful of our diet.
Recommended Article: Debunking Common Nutrition Myths: The Truth Behind What You Eat
Today, more than 95% of all chronic disease is caused by food choice, toxic food ingredients, nutritional deficiencies, and lack of physical exercise. – Mike Adams
Many of us might try to follow a healthy regimen, while others might not. If we have a health goal or wish to maintain a healthy lifestyle, a nutrition tracker can assist us in making our job easier.
The tracker can be aligned with our goal. Whenever we eat something, we would know the nutritional value of the food and hence can use that information to reach our goals.
We can easily follow our routine that way and plan our meals accordingly, knowing not to exceed the calorie limit.
How to track Nutrition?
To track nutrition, you need to be fully equipped with nutritional info. The moment you have it- you are good to go. If you are fond of writing, resort to a food diary and start putting up numbers against nutrients. Make a pie chart too, if possible. But this is time-consuming.
As a result, multiple online trackers are getting launched daily in the market. You can easily choose one and see it for yourself.
What is the best way to track Nutrition?
As discussed, one of the best ways to do nutrition tracking is through an effective meal tracker. However, that's not all. One must take care of a few other things before starting with the entire tracking game.
Nutrition intervention: It is a planned action to positively change a nutrition related behavior, environmental situation, or aspect of health status for an individual or community.
1. Setting up Goals
It is very healthy when you keep tabs on your food intake.
But you know what's better?
Attaching an end goal to it. When you have a purpose attached to some task, it is always more effective. For instance, weight loss is your goal. Simple. In that case, you will know exactly what part of the nutrient to consume less for you to fasten the weight loss process. And accordingly, you can prepare for your dietary routine.
Having a reasonable goal will make you choose what nutrients to track, what tools to use, and how long you should be involved in tracking to achieve the desired goal.
2. Point to that one Nutrient
People who are fitness conscious might count nutrients as part of their everyday lifestyle. But those people are few in number. Most of us are not health freaks but are often concerned with one problem, say, a fat belly. In this case, we have to focus on our carbohydrate intake.
Doing so, when we maintain our tracker, carbohydrate counting will be our priority. So, we got to decide what is our main purpose behind wanting to track our nutrition.
3. Identify the most convenient Tool
Sure, one might love to write but admit it, in between work-life balance, there is no time even to maintain a proper journal, let alone a nutrition one.
And after a long workday, who would even want to note their nutrient intake in a diary?
There are several tracking tools available where we can log our meals and water intake, thereby turning them into a food journal. Furthermore, these applications will store the details, provide us with the nutrient mark sheet, and give us good instructions on how much more nutrient one should consume against their goal.
And with wellness being one of the priorities, many corporates rely on wellness tools for their employees. So, if you are an employer, what you should do is research properly and go for the most reliable nutrition tracking tool for your employees.
Types of Nutrition Trackers
Tracking nutrition has become part of a healthy lifestyle. The major role of a nutrition tracker is to help users monitor their food intake and make healthy diet decisions. Now, nutrition trackers come in a variety of forms.
Some platforms or apps count only calories, whereas others assist with meal planning and journaling. Let's find out about a few of them.
Calorie counter- This kind of tracker asks users to log in to their meal activities and provides them with the net calorie intake.
Food journal- These apps enable users to keep a record of their food intake. It acts as a health diary or a journal wherein one can look back and monitor the consumption pattern.
Macronutrient tracker- These trackers are useful for people following a diet plan. They help you track specific macronutrients like protein, fats, and carbohydrates.
Barcode scanners- Some trackers let users scan the barcodes of their packaged foods and provide them with nutritional information.
Meal planning apps- Some trackers assist you with your dietary goals by suggesting grocery list recipes per the plan.
Fitness trackers- Certain fitness and activity trackers also include nutrition-tracking features. These platforms allow you to track your physical activities and log your meals and water intake.
- All-in-one wellness platforms- Certain wellness platforms also have apps with inclusive features like a step tracker, calorie counter, and squat tracking, among other things. These apps also track nutrition and give insights into various food items' nutrients. Such platforms are comprehensive and enable users to track their overall well-being.
Features to Look for in a Nutrition Tracker
Before deciding on a specific nutrition tracker, certain criteria must be filled out. You cannot just settle for any other tracker on the market. It would help if you did proper research.
Let us help you determine the features you should look for in a nutrition tracker for a seamless experience.
Food database: It is one important feature every tracker needs to possess. Because when you are tracking your meal patterns or calorie intake, you must have the food data correct. This is why an accurate food database with a wide range of foods and beverages is necessary.
Scanner: A barcode scanner is required to determine the accurate nutritional information of those packaged goods.
Nutrition tracking: The tracker should be able to categorize the macronutrients and display detailed nutrient information like protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.
Meals log-in: The tracker should provide a meal log-in feature for logging breakfast, snacks, lunch, and dinner throughout the day.
Meal planner: You need to opt for a tracker that plans meals and helps you create a meal plan aligned with your nutritional goals.
Goals: The tracker must have the feature of allowing users to set calorie goals as per their dietary requirements.
Water intake: The ability to track your water intake is a significant feature of every nutrition tracker.
Syncing: The platform must sync data across all devices, like smartphones, tablets, and computers, for convenience and easy access.
User-friendly dashboard: The tracker interface must be easy and intuitive to use regularly.
Display: The dashboard must have an interesting display of graphics and charts offering insights into eating patterns.
Offline: Offline access is required in places with zero to no connectivity.
Privacy: The privacy settings must hold a strong place with effective security measures.
Support: Good customer support should be in place for technical issues and questions.
Reviews: Before choosing a particular tracker, ensure they have several website reviews and ratings for making an informed decision.
Top Nutrition Trackers in 2023
It's 2023, and our life is filled with technology-driven products. There are various wellness platforms and fitness trackers available at our disposal. These platforms motivate us to adopt a healthy routine and follow it.
Plate Joy is a meal-planning platform that offers customizable meals for individuals based on their preferences. It also provides a wide range of recipes, starting from vegetarian, vegan, and even Paleo, and is suited to various cooking times.
It aims for a broader wellness approach by suggesting healthier food choices that align with different dietary requirements.
Eat This Much
The Eat This Much platform provides meal planning and recipes according to your dietary preferences, goals, and limitations. It enables users to log their daily food intake and accurately get nutrition information.
Noom is a digital well-being solution focused on helping individuals achieve their health and wellness goals. It offers a range of programs, particularly in weight management, healthy eating, and physical fitness.
NuMi is a digital nutrition tracking and weight loss platform by Nutrisystem, a weight loss and meal delivery program provider. The app is customized to Nutrisystem's meal plans with one-touch tracking, among other features. It is similar to other calorie-tracking apps, with a huge food database to choose from.
NuMi is a free app that is not exclusive to Nutrisystem users.
DoFasting app is a fasting tracker that simplifies intermittent fasting for beginners. Intermittent fasting is a dietary strategy involving cycles of eating and fasting during the day. A popular method is 16:8, allowing you an 8-hour eating window within a 24-hour day.
My Net Diary
My Net Diary is an easy-to-use platform for meal tracking that allows you to keep track of calories and macronutrients, find new recipes, and more. It serves as a meal-tracking app, a nutrition tracker, and a fitness tracker, among other features.
Cronometer is a well-liked and comprehensive nutrition tracking app and website that assists users in keeping track of their daily caloric intake, physical activity, and general wellness. It offers a variety of tools to aid users in making wise food decisions and efficiently managing their nutrition.
Besides being a corporate wellness platform, Vantage Fit is one of the most well-rounded tools for tracking nutrition. It has everything from logging meal plans through a calorie tracker to having step trackers and other fitness activities like squat tracking and meditation sessions.
Lifesum is a widely used health and fitness app that helps you monitor your nutrition, exercise, and overall well-being, making healthier living more accessible. This app suggests the best diet plan per your lifestyle and preferences and helps you prepare a 7 to 21-day meal plan.
My Fitness Pal
My Fitness Pal is a health and fitness application with various features for tracking nutrition and exercise. It suggests a daily calorie intake for your weight loss journey and several free features, like a food diary and database.
Vantage Fit- The Comprehensive Digital Wellness Solution
Having said so much about going for reliable and convenient nutrition trackers, we have one such app in mind- Vantage Fit.
Besides being a corporate wellness platform, Vantage Fit makes one of the most well-grounded tools for tracking nutrition. It has everything from logging meal plans through calorie tracker to having step trackers and other fitness activities like squat tracking and meditation sessions.
The interface is also simple to understand. The health diary feature keeps a daily record of the meal plans and water intake for every employee to look back, see the improvements, and plan accordingly. It basically includes everything you would want a food diary to do.
As mentioned above, besides being a nutrition tracker, Vantage Fit has a step tracker and an activity tracker which enables users to count their daily steps, distance, do other exercises like yoga and swimming, respectively, and many more. There are even mindfulness exercises accessible in the application ranging from 5-18 minutes.
This all-in-one platform provides organizations with a seamless experience in terms of wellness. Companies can leverage the platform to host their wellness programs for employees from all over the world. Vantage Fit is a digital wellness solution aiming to bring the workforce together and promote healthy living worldwide with the accessibility of various trackers like nutrition trackers, activity trackers, and squat trackers, among other things.
The nutrition tracking feature in Vantage Fit enables users to log in their daily meals and water intake. One gets all the food items listed in the platform. You need to select the portion and name of the dish you consumed for breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner.
Once chosen, the calories will be counted against each food and show you the total calorie intake against the required calorie intake as per your weight. Also, the calories burnt while doing other activities like walking, running, cycling etc. are showed too. Besides, you can log your water intake too.
Tips for tracking nutrition accurately
Enter your meals as soon as you eat. Do not wait for the food to set in; you might forget later. In fact, log in before digging into that dish.
Make sure you log in the right amount of food you consume. Use standard measuring spoons-the serving sizes to measure the portion. Because otherwise, the entire nutrition tracking plan would go in vain.
Ensure you crosscheck all the nutritional information about your meals. Log the correct values for accurate measurement.
Log everything you eat. Even a small piece of candy should be logged in.
Be honest. There might be days when you exceed your calorie intake. That's fine, and you can make up for that the day after. But do not skip that in order to escape the guilt. Just remember, everything is okay and can be fixed.
Last but not least, do monitor your loggings every now and then to see if every meal is logged in correctly and without any errors.
Make sure you hydrate yourself at all times.
A nutrition tracker is important. However, in its presence, one should not forget about physical activity, which is as important as the diet plan. Good health results from exercise, movement, and a diet filled with healthy nutrients.
Thus, you should exercise and be on a healthy diet while simultaneously tracking all kinds of food you consume and following a healthy routine.
Vantage Fit - A complete AI-Powered Solution for seamless implementation of your Corporate Wellness Program to nurture a healthy and engaged workforce