The debate is big on this one, and has been for years — should you track calories?
For the most part, no. It’s not necessary if you eat a mostly whole foods diet with lots of vegetables, leafy greens and fruit, nuts and seeds.
However, having said that, I do track my calories, lightly. Using the MyFitnessPal app (free version), I keep track of what I eat. On one hand it’s like keeping a food diary that helps hold me accountable. But what I found most useful when I first started using the app, that opened my eyes (wide!), was getting a snap shot into how many more calories I was consuming than I thought. Even when eating healthy. Tracking my calories has taught me a ton about portion size.
I actually think it’s a good idea to have a check-in on what your eating on a semi-regular basis. It doesn’t need to be daily, but even seasonally for a week or two, or a random day here and there, can give you a reality check on where you are with regard to nutrition and portion sizes.
Steve Meyerowitz in Food Combining and Digestion states that many people could live off of one third of the food they consume. That’s pretty astounding. I’m not saying you should cut what you eat to one third, but it may be worth paying close attention to what you consume and how much of it. Are you getting the best bang for your buck when it comes to calories?Meaning, are you eating the most nutritiously dense food (vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds) that your body needs, for the least amount of calories possible?