We’ve all heard it before, the number one tool for weight loss success and maintaining that weight loss is TRACKING! And I can say that is one of the reasons I have been so successful on this journey, I tracked food, every meal, every day. Studies show that people who tracked their food lost twice as much weight as those who didn’t over a 6-month period.
Tracking helps in so many ways. If you are just starting out tracking helps you to see patterns in your eating habits, what works and what doesn’t work. If you have “fallen off” tracking is a great way to see where the problem lies. When I started I bought a pretty journal, kept it out on my counter and I wrote down every time I ate and exercised. I also used the journal to write down motivating quotes, recipes I wanted to try and anything else that inspired me. If you are not a paper and pen kind of person and more tech savvy there are many apps out there that you can use to track your food intake, like Lose it or My Fitness Pal. At this point in my journey I am committing to trying out, Lose It . I will keep you posted 🙂
Ideally you should write it down as soon as you eat it. Keep track of what you eat, the portion, when you eat and how you feel. However, with your busy schedules it may not be possible to write it down every time you eat. In that case schedule 2xs a day when you will write down everything you have eaten. The more often you can track the less likely you are to forget about what you ate.
I think that the number one reason tracking is so beneficial is that is holds you accountable, to yourself and to anyone else you show it to. At JeniFit we are happy to take a look at your food diary to help keep you accountable. Sometimes just knowing that someone else is going to be looking at your diary keeps you more honest. Tracking also makes you aware of what you are eating. It helps eliminate that mindless eating, we can all get trapped into doing. It is a track record for you to see what works and what doesn’t. After about 2 weeks of tracking you can begin to see patterns in your eating and really see what works and what needs to change. Once you are aware of these patterns you can come up with an action plan to change what is not working. Also tracking helps keep you motivated. I know I think twice about overindulging if I know I have to write it down.
When tracking, remember to be honest, in order to be successful everything needs to be written down whether it is healthy or not. Be accurate, read labels and measure your food. By not being accurate you are only cheating yourself. Lastly be consistent and complete. Track daily and take notice of the times you eat and how you are feeling. Are you eating out of hunger or habit?