Sure the nutrition tracker has helped me. I suspect it helps most people.
Way back, before Spark, before alli, before I buckled down and got into getting healthy, before, before, before, before, back when three quarters of a bag of potato chips would disappear and I wouldn't know where it went, before and back to when someone in college dared me to eat a whole large pizza and I did, and back to cleaning my plate and all of that, back, back, back, somewhere in there portions were lost.
And in their place came greed, and stuffing, and piling. Dinner wasn't dinner, it was excavating layer upon layer of fat-sugar-salt-carbs, over and over again. Sure, sometimes fat-sugar-salt-carbs was Mexican. Sometimes it was Greek. Or Italian. Or kosher style. Or Chinese. But it was always fat-sugar-salt-carbs.
Sanity had to return. The dinner plate had to stop looking like a strip mining operation in Morgantown, West Virginia. It had to turn back into pieces and care and choices and waiting.
Yes, waiting. I don't mean waitstaff, although that's a part of it. It's the feeling of not so instant gratification. Of anticipation. Of small delays, and how they improve the process.
And it was about experimenting with flavor, with things that didn't strictly fit into the old fat-sugar-salt-carbs mold. Things like fresh vegetables, and fruits, like dairy and proteins and spices. Yes, cinnamon!
Tracking all of that has a meaning that goes beyond calories or carbs or points. It is a diary of what you did, how you felt, how you took care of yourself. There is still excavating, yes. It is still an archaeological expedition. But it's not to the base of a seemingly bottomless mass of food. Rather, it is a trip through nutrition, all laid out for all time and all to see, a record of accomplishments and, yes, of slipups and poor choices sometimes. For they are a part of all of this.
It is a journey into the self.