The premise of most diets is you either track what you do or you don’t.

There’s no middle ground.

Tracking is necessary for progress. There’s no other way around it. But tracking should be used as a tool to achieve progress. Not as something that can make you obsess over food or exercise performance.

Obsessive tracking misses two points:

  • You are not living in a kitchen or inside a gym
  • You won’t always be able to track everything by the book (there’s no flexibility in that)

For you to be able to progress without obsessing over tracking, you need to be able to transition inside or outside of it.

But before you are able to transition away from tracking, you need to build awareness of it. It’s the same as building awareness of your internal cues (hunger, appetite) or autoregulating your workout using the RPE scale.

The goal of tracking should be to help you build awareness of food nutrition and exercise performance. Once you understand how they affect your body, tracking becomes something you can use only when needed.

Imagine your body and exercise as a game with levels. You practice eating and training to gather experience and level up. At any given moment, you are at a certain body fat and training level. Each level needs a certain amount of control (tracking, planning, calculating) so you gather the right experience.

The goal of this “game” is to reach a high level of awareness.