How 30-Day Food Tracking Challenge Ended

Back in September, I wrote about this challenge for me to track my food intake for 30 days. The reason I wanted to do it was because 1. I’m struggling to get my weight down (and have been struggling for a long time) and many people say how tracking the food intake helps in getting it under control, and 2. I was trying to eat low-carb and putting all the things I ate in an app was supposed to help me check how many carbohydrates I consumed. Then, a month ended – and I haven’t written about the results yet.

Let me tell you from the start – I did not succeed. After an initial good start, where I put things in the app and followed the IF protocol, I fell off the wagon. Partly because a friend of mine that teaches in another city came over to Nanjing and I discovered it was difficult for me to track the food while hanging out with someone. It wasn’t necessarily that I wouldn’t find time to write down what I ate, it’s just that since my friend and I were eating outside more often, it felt like a lot of hassle to try to find similar foods in the app. If I’m eating something I made myself I know all the ingredients and amounts, and I can easily find them in the app; but if it’s in a restaurant and we’re eating, for instance, a Chinese dish called 鱼香肉丝 yúxiāngròusī (shredded pork stir-fried with spices usually used to season fish in Chinese cuisine), it takes more work to find all the ingredients in right proportions (like bamboo shoots, wood ear mushrooms, pork) and all the ingredients that the sauce contains. It’s not impossible, but the hassle of it prevented me from doing it.

Also, I ate a pizza; but I only eat pizza like once a quarter.

Then things got even more difficult when I went to Poland for 10 days – I wasn’t planning to do IF during that time but I was eating out more and in the end also did not want to search for the things I ate in the app. And I wanted to enjoy myself and eat as much tasty food and drink as much tasty beer from my country as I could.

The idea for how to counter the problem of tracking food when spending time with someone else/traveling could be that when I feel overwhelmed with the amount of stuff I have to put into the app, I can take a picture or write down the content I ate and deal with it it later (or not, if the purpose is to just keep track and not measuring the macronutrients). Nevertheless, currently I’m kind of questioning the need to keep track of everything and feel rather unwilling to do it.

I did, however, go back to IF. I did it on and off after coming back from Poland, but for the past 2-3 weeks I have been doing it pretty consistently. I feel like there is some effect on my body, even though the scale does not reflect that yet. So even though I cannot say that the experiment was successful, I do think that there is some value in the fact that I am sticking to the intermittent fasting protocol. Now I ‘m trying to improve it one thing at a time – after shortening the feeding time during the day, the next step is to limit sweets/processed food/foods high in carbohydrates.

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