How To Track Food Intake

Many dancers struggle with getting through a long day of rehearsals, doing their best during a difficult class, and so on.  Nutrition is one of the most vital aspects of solving these problems.  There is one key tip I have to help you better your nutrition for ballet – and I will talk about it today.  I hope you find this helpful!

What Is Food Logging?

There are a few different techniques to log your food intake.  You can use a program, invent your own system or just jot things down simply.  I prefer to use a computer program (or App) so that I can automatically see results, charts and graphs of what nutrients and food groups in which I need to improve my intake.

However, if you are looking to take a simpler approach, only using a document or a few sticky notes can work, too.  One of my friends writes down her intake on an index card and then puts it into a flashcard holder, separated by month.  This is a great system if you prefer not to use technology.

For the logging itself, basically you just put in what you eat and drink every day.  If you wish to take it further, you can then analyze graphs containing information about food groups, nutrients, calories, sugars and more, but you don’t have to take it that far.  It can be used merely as an incentive to eat better and improve your food choices.

It is crucial that you are honest with yourself.  If you begin to lie while you are tracking, your data will be inaccurate and you won’t learn anything from the results.  So, don’t be emotional about it: make sure to record all the food you ate, even if it wasn’t the best.  Remember that you can learn from this experience and try to do better next time. Don’t forget to write down what you drank!

The SuperTracker System

For a school project, I was required to track my food intake for 2 weeks using the USDA’s online system called SuperTracker.  I really liked the experience and it showed me a lot, so I’ve stuck with it.  You can start using SuperTracker by clicking here.

The system provides graphs showing you did with the balance between the five food groups (grains, vegetables, fruits, protein, and dairy) as well as calories eaten. It also tells you which amounts you had throughout the day of items such as added sugars, sodium and saturated fat.

Added below are a few examples of SuperTracker in use.

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There are many other features as well to put in use.

Sorry for the shorter blog post today, I have a lot going on!  In the meanwhile, I hope this post initiates some thought about nutrition and I that you’ll take a look at Supertracker. There are a lot of food journal options out there!  If you have a food tracking system, make sure to post it to social media with #gouletballet and @gouletballet.  I’ll see you on Sunday – have a great weekend!

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