FitnessFoodTechnology

What Do I Track?

There are a few things that I track. These are things that each day I look at and check up on to ensure I am progressing or doing the correct thing. It’s hard to know whether you are progressing if you are not tracking but it is possible to become too obsessive with it. You can take days off or not track everything during the day. Sometimes, with the food during the day I will ensure that I am on track and allow myself to relax when I know that I won’t hit my calorie limit/go over in the evening.

All of these things should be taken with a pinch of salt and I don’t think they are all 100% accurate because a lot of factors come into play. Sleep, in particular, is difficult to track without professional equipment, but it can give you a rough outline of where you are at.

Furthermore, if you are out for dinner and are enjoying yourself or even have people cook for you. It’s difficult to track your calories and macros because you don’t know what is going in to your food. This is why I will track up until that point and then just allow myself to enjoy the meal.

Calories/Macros

These two are very important to track. Currently i’m trying to drop some weight to get into the correct weight category for a competition in December. Doing this, I find, is a great way to give myself a bit of freedom and actually, I find it very interesting to track my food to see what I eat.

Sticking to my macros also gives me motivation to make betterĀ  food choices and not just all the carbs. I feel much better eating properly and my energy levels are much higher.

I use MyFitnessPal to track it, if I am going out for dinner I will keep my calories lower during the day or even fast up until lunchtime so I have more calories available in the evening and can enjoy myself.

Even with my “diet” I find I am still going out for dinner a few times a week and having treats regularly.

My macronutrient split currently is roughly 40% carbs, 25% protein and 35% fat. I am fairly sedentary during the day so any more carbohydrates for me I find unnessecary as I will not utilise them properly.

My Weight

Let me start by saying this, tracking your weight isn’t neccesary. How you look and how you feel should be your main concern. The only reason I track my weight is for my upcoming competition, I need to know whether i’m moving towards my target in my weight category. Currently, I have 1kg left to drop.

I will track my weight a few times a week just to see whether my weight is going up or down and from this, I can adjust my calories accordingly. I try to measure it at the same time, every time, after i’ve woken up and before anything to drink.

I will continue to track my weight every now and then out of pure curiosity once I am past the competition to see whether my weight is increasing at a good pace and to make sure i’m not eating too much and gaining too quickly.

It can be tempting for some people to weigh themselves each day, but unfortunately, weightloss/weightgain isn’t linear. You will fluxuate up to around 2kg a day depending on what you’ve eaten the day before, if you’ve trained and have DOMS and so many other factors. Don’t get caught up if you don’t change for a while or seem to have stalled. If your weight remains the same for 2-3 weeks, then drop or add calories accordingly.

Sleep

This is a new one for me and I am still unsure on the accuracy of the tracker. I use my fitbitĀ and put it on just before I go to bed. It gives me a rough breakdown on my sleep cycles (which i’m not 100% convinced on) but more importantly it’s quite interesting just to see how active I am during the night.

However accurate the sleep cycles are, I do definitely feel a difference when I haven’t slept properly.

This could be a placebo effect entirely, and I may just make myself feel worse when I see that I haven’t slept properly. But this is definitely something I want to look into further in terms of sleep tracking. It would be very interesting to see how the results differ on a more advanced sleep tracker.

Because the fitbit is done on your pulse rate and movement, it will not be as accurate as it would be if you were to find a tracker that measures skin temperature and movement.

Sleep can also be looked as similar to your calories across a week. It should be an average time across the week and I am an advocate of making up my sleep time in the days following or leading up to a lower sleep night.

Weights In The Gym

Progressive overload. That’s the name of the game. How do you know if you’re getting stronger without keeping track of your weights? The last few weeks I have been doing circuit training to increase my cardio. Strength is still an aim of mine but it’s taken a back burner. Strength wise, I track my weights for the back squat and my kettlebell swings. A notepad can be brought with you into the gym or even your phone can be a useful place to keep the information.

When I am coming out of my weight category I will be working towards a hypertrophy goal. Tracking my weights will be a good habit to get in to so I can ensure progressive overload and making sure my muscles have the stimulus that I need to gain the right weight and not just fat.

This can be similar about my cardiovascular goals too, am I less out of breath in the gym? Is my recovery time inbetween sets quicker? I think, I will try to track a few more things soon including my heart rate too see what how it changes throughout the training session.

Conclusion

There are literally endless amounts of things you can track throughout the day. Personally, you should find the ones that are least intrusive to your life and the ones you will get the most information out of and stick to them. Be consistent and you will find it over time starting to improve your quality of life.

 

Have a healthy week,

Duncan.

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