Tracking what you eat is a lot like budgeting: You have a certain amount of calories or nutrients to “spend” throughout the day. Planning is key, which can be a little nerve-wracking: What if I spent too many calories on breakfast? Will I be hungry at dinner?
So here’s a tiny hack that applies no matter what your goals are (including if you want to eat more of something and are afraid that dinner will have to be a monster portion): Track dinner first.
Instead of counting each day in your tracking app as going from morning to night, consider it a 24-hour period that goes from afternoon to afternoon. Say you start tracking on a Monday:
Ignore breakfast and lunch. Log your dinner on today’s (Monday’s) entry.
Wake up the next day, eat breakfast, and log it on yesterday’s (Monday’s) entry.
At dinner time, start tracking on today’s (Tuesday’s) entry. You’ll fill in the rest of that entry tomorrow, on Wednesday.
Now, lunch becomes the easiest meal to budget: you know how many calories or macros you have available. If you mess up and end up having to eat a smaller meal than you planned, you won’t be hungry for long—you’ll reset to the next day’s entry in a few hours.