According to a study released this week, Britons are under-reporting their calorie intake.
In an article for the BBC, SmithaMundasadreports that scientific studies ‘show people are eating about 1,000 more calories a day per person than surveys would suggest. National spending figures also suggest we are buying more food than we report’.
So what does this actually mean? Perhaps we’re being dishonest about our eating habits out of embarrassment, but, more worryingly, it could also be a sign that we don’t really understand what we’re eating.
With big brands and supermarkets finally responding to demand for freefrom foods, it’s easier than ever to get supposedly ‘healthy’ pre-packaged meals and snacks. Whilst it’s great to have access to healthy options, don’t be fooled into thinking that picking the dairy or gluten-free version of your favourite snack means you’re automatically buying healthier foods.
All of this free from labelling and marketing can be misleading – anyone with an allergy or specific dietary requirements will know that healthy eating doesn’t mean the same thing for everyone.
To guarantee that you’re following the healthiest diet for your individual needs, it’s important to understand nutrition and your own dietary requirements, whilst also keeping track of everything you consume.
Learning More about Nutrition
If you’re serious about understanding how food fits into a healthy lifestyle, then you could always complete a professional qualification in nutrition. But if you’re just interested in gaining a deeper understanding of the basics in order to manage your own diet then you can also complete various shorter nutrition courses.
This might seem like a big commitment, but understanding nutrition is key to eating and living healthily. Learning the science behind healthy and unhealthy foods will allow you to recognise your own dietary requirements and take back control of your body.
Keeping Track of Your Daily Food Consumption
Once you’ve done your own research, and taken on board any necessary medical advice, you can make sure that you’re sticking to your diet plan using a food diary app like MyFitnessPal.
Often these kind of apps are designed to just count calories, but MyFitnessPal goes one step further. Each food entry can be as detailed as you like, with separate areas for various nutrients so that you can keep track of exactly what you eat throughout the day.
Combining the latest mobile barcode scanning technology with a food database of over 2,000,000 items, it’s really easy to update, and even allows you to create and upload your own favourite recipes. It’s loved by amateurs and health and fitness professionals alike, so it’s definitely worth a look.
If the recent study aboutineffective calorie counting has left you feeling concerned about your ability to properly track your diet, then follow our advice and be proactive – educate and monitor yourself and you’ll soon feel confident that you’re doing all you can to be as healthy as possible.