Making small changes over time is the best way to create lasting healthy habits, no matter your health goal!
How do I start?
The secret to reaching your health goals is tracking! While many theories on weight loss and fad diets exist, one proven tool to help with weight loss and healthy eating is tracking. Tracking food intake means keeping a record of everything you consume in a day. This includes food, beverages, candy… even condiments! A good motto to go by is, "if you bite it, write it! If you drink it, ink it!"
How does tracking food intake help me lose weight and eat healthy?
When you track what you eat and drink, you become aware of your habits. You also become aware of the nutrient breakdown, which is extremely eye-opening. This can help you realize how much you eat and drink in a day and determine what foods and beverages are the highest in calories, sodium, sugar, and fat. For example, maybe you order a specialty coffee drink each morning, but until logging you didn't realize that it added an extra 300 calories to your day! Paying attention to what you eat and drink helps you understand where you can make improvements. Studies have shown that people who track their intake lose twice the amount of weight as people who do not track their intake.
What is the best way to track my intake?
There are different ways to track the foods you eat and the beverages you drink, but the most convenient and sustainable way is to use a phone app, like MyFitnessPal. MyFitnessPal has a large database of nutrition information, allowing you to enter food with ease. Additionally, you can enter your own recipes to find out the nutrition information and save the recipes for future entries. You also get automated feedback on your nutrient intake for the day and can connect with others for a network of support. If you prefer to track using a computer, you can use the MyFitnessPal website.
How do I get started?
Create an account in MyFitnessPal. Use this guide to help you navigate the app. Don't forget that tracking is more than just recording calories – it's about the type of foods you eat too. Make sure you eat a variety of foods from all 5 food groups. Get a personalized nutrition plan with how many servings from each food group is recommended for you. Want more individualized feedback on your nutrition? Sign up for lifestyle coaching through Health Plus!
Choose three days this week to track your food and drink intake using any of the resources listed above. Pay close attention to the serving sizes and measure your foods if necessary. Did you notice anything about your eating that surprised you? Which foods or beverages provided the most calories, saturated fat, added sugar, and sodium? If you need assistance, contact Health Plus.
Crunchy Hawaiian Chicken Wrap
Prep Time: 20 minutes / Makes: 6 Wraps
6 whole-wheat tortillas (10-inch)
3 cups cooked chicken, diced
1 cup fresh baby spinach
½ cup canned crushed pineapple in 100% juice, drained
1 ½ cups shredded carrots
2 cups cole slaw mix
¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons honey
1/8 cup white vinegar
1 teaspoon poppy seeds
1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
1 ½ teaspoons onion powder
1 ½ teaspoons chili powder
- In a small mixing bowl, combine all dressing ingredients and mix well. Add chicken to dressing.
- Combine spinach, crushed pineapple, shredded carrots, and cole slaw mix in a large bowl.
- Place vegetable mixture in tortilla. Top with chicken and drizzle with about 1 teaspoon of extra dressing. Roll wrap in the form of a burrito. Enjoy!
**Note: Assemble wraps immediately before serving. Chicken/dressing mixture and vegetable mixture can be stored separately in the refrigerator up to one week.
Nutrient Information per Serving (1 wrap)
Calories: 335, Total Fat: 8 grams, Saturated Fat: 3 grams, Sodium: 351 milligrams, Carbohydrates: 38 grams, Fiber: 7 grams, Sugar: 13 grams, Protein: 28.5 grams
Adapted from USDA's Crunchy Hawaiian Chicken Wrap