Should you track your calories? In my opinion everyone working towards a specific goal should have some method of tracking their food intake and making sure they are getting enough or not over indulging in their macro nutrient targets.
Macro nutrients are protein, carbohydrate and fats.These make up your overall calories. Most of the more popular weight loss programmes on the market have some method of counting calories such as awarding points to certain foods and giving the individual a points target to hit each day. While this is fine for losing weight most people especially the people I work with are more concerned with dropping body fat as opposed to overall weight and this is where I personally feel that tracking macros as opposed to calories is a better method. A point scoring system is not focusing on how much of each macro nutrient the individual is getting and this can be quite bad for long term weight and more specifically fat loss.
I cannot stress the importance of getting enough protein when trying to drop body fat. Too many programmes out there fail to address this which is why I have all my clients track their calories for at least the first 3-4 weeks of working with me. I understand this method is not for everyone and I am certainly not saying everyone needs to track calories everyday. I think once you have done it for a few weeks if you are confident enough to have a general understanding of how much you are eating then maybe you can stop tracking. In my experience the clients who track their calories long term generally make the fastest results. Furthermore, I believe the benefits of tracking by far out weigh the negatives. It will allow you to be able to include some of your favourite foods while staying on track with your goals, makes it a lot easier to adjust the calories when progress stops or goals change and adds extra accountability when you can see how much you have eaten.
Calorie tracking doesn't have to just be for when you are trying to drop body fat either. Many of the men I meet trying to add some muscle mass eat a lot less than they think they are and only realise this when they start to track their calories.
You can track your calories/macros using online apps such as my fitness pal. Its very simple to use and the database has pretty much any foods you can think of. Why not download it and track your calories for a few days. You may learn quite a lot about your current diet.