While I don't advocate for counting every last calorie, there is merit to keeping tabs on your food intake.
(+) Food = energy. Keeping track of how much and why type of energy you have to burn is generally a good idea. Think of how it would be if your car didn't have a gas gauge!
(+) Varying nutrient levels. There are so many different vitamins and minerals out there ! Taking notice of what you eat can keep you clued in on which nutrients you're getting plenty of... and which nutrients are being neglected.
(+) Helps with variety. I've noticed that since I've started keeping a food diary (I used the one attached to my FitBit), I'm much more able to see if I'm getting a good enough variety. For example, if I steam carrots for a morning smoothie, I'll stick to something green for lunch. Or if I have a banana with breakfast, I'll use an avocado in my post-gym smoothie.
How I handled it...
|My wonderful Vitamin & Mineral |
list lives in the kitchen!
I copied and pasted it into a word document and then highlighted the foods that are extremely prevalent in my diet. Many of those foods ticked off several nutrient categories. For example, eggs are included in: Vitamin A, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, Folic Acid, and Biotin. Seeing many highlighted foods in a certain nutrient category tells me that I don't need to put forth any real effort to ensure I'm consuming adequate amounts of that nutrient.
According to my chart, I'm totally set with Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Magnesium, and Potassium. However, I don't regularly eat any of the foods in the Selenium category and I only regularly eat1 of the foods on the Zinc list. This means that I need to make an effort to incorporate other foods on those lists.
It is totally worth it to know what nutrients are in which foods. Copy this list, paste it into a word doc, make it pretty, and put it somewhere where you can easily take a peek when you're thinking about your food for the day! I went as far as laminating mine!