Why should I track what I eat on keto?
Writing down what you eat is like seeing a day’s worth of food laid out before you. You can identify your good habits (such as eating three daily meals and choosing healthy snacks) and your bad habits (such as unhealthy snacking). You can write it down on paper, track on a computer spreadsheet, take notes on your phone diet-tracking website or app.
The advantage of an app is that it tracks portion sizes, food weights and measurements and/or calories are typically calculated for you. And most importantly for all of us on keto, net carbs. And with the right APP like Cronometer or Carb Manager, your net carbs are already figured out for you on most foods and that’s super helpful!
In fact, the first thing I recommend for anyone starting off their keto journey is to track their foods. Until you learn how to best hit your ratios properly, tracking is the key.
Not only seeing what I eat but when I eat can be beneficial. So a food log combined with tracking my food can be helpful as well. Combining that with journaling about my feelings at the time of eating or my mood surrounding my eating behavior can be beneficial to help me in reevaluating my eating habits and dietary choices. Believe me, this really helps when trying to work on the “why”…but that’s an entirely different post.
Each time I turn to my personal trainer or doctor complaining about a weight loss stall the first thing they ask me is, “are you tracking what you are eating.” Most of us do not realize how much we are eating on a daily basis. Tracking on an app gives me the data I need to determine exactly what I need to meet my ratios or calorie goals. And if the stall continues, the first thing they ask me for is to review “what” I have been eating. Maybe the types of food are the problem and being able to show them exactly what I’m eating is very helpful. I never know when I may have an intolerance for a specific food until I’ve tracked what I’m eating and associated it with an ongoing issue.
By reviewing and evaluating how you ate, you can adjust and move forward. Tracking can help you control your hunger and reduce your calories if needed. The number one reason I love using a tracking app is also the key to success when eating out. By planning ahead and using a tracking app, you can determine what to eat before you’re faced with choices, good and bad.
Now let’s talk about what tracking app is the best to track on keto.
We all know Chris loves the Cronometer, he’s talked about it on the FB Live broadcasts as well as written a great post about it [read about it here]. Many of our staff at Keto Chow are fans and use this app. He has a lot of valid reasons why this app continues to be among one of the best around. Many people love the ability to share recipes. They have verified foods, rather than user submissions on Cronometer as well. For me, I thought it was a bit challenging to use and didn’t really appeal to me upon my initial use of it. When I first started using the Carb Manager App I fell in love with the dashboard that showed my current ratios at a glance. It also gives food an overall grade (I’m all about simple). I find it’s very user-friendly and I like the water tracking feature the best (I like visually appealing things…aka cute).
And of course, we’re curious and wanted to know what our Keto Chow customers are using to track their foods. So we posted this last week on Facebook and Instagram and we received some awesome feedback.
The majority of those that replied seemed to be using the Carb Manager App, although a few sounded like they were switching over to Cronometer after reading some of the comments. Here are some comments:
Julia Carrasco-Kendzora I use carb manager mainly for scanning labels when my weight loss stalls, then I count total carbs.
mytinyketolife I 💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙 Cronometer!! It has a Keto option that I can edit & has an amazing amount of food options. I can also make my own recipes.
A few of our friends even compared Cronometer and Carb Manager against each other and posted this feedback for us:
Lindsey Marie Austin While I was using both apps the macros almost NEVER matched up! Cronometer seems much more reliable to me.
Then much to our surprise some of you listed some other keto tracking apps we weren’t even aware of like Keto.app – Keto Diet Tracker, Keto diet & Ketogenic recipes App, Lose It! and Total Keto Diet App. We didn’t have time to download these and test them against one another. Maybe Chris can analyze them in his spare time. And with keto gaining popularity I’m sure you’ll see a lot more Apps becoming available.
Now I’m not recommending you track your foods forever. It doesn’t hurt to evaluate what you put into your body. Your body is one of the most amazing machines ever made and understanding how to best fuel it is a science.