Keeping Track of What You Eat...Do I Have To?

There are many of you who want to lose some body fat as one of your health and nutrition goals. I am often asked if writing down what you eat is really necessary. All the time, the thought process, the energy it it really worth the effort?

Studies have now shown that the people who are the most successful losing weight and keeping it off are using some type of food journal as an important piece of their success. Yes, I know there are a few people I have worked with over the years that seem to have an ability to monitor their eating without having to keep track, but they are a minority. There is no question that the vast majority of people will have better weight loss and have more success keeping it off if they keep track.

Why Does Tracking Help?
  • Increases awareness of what you are eating.
  • Make better choices, many times: I won't eat that if I have to write it down!
  • Creates focus on food and nutritional balance.
  • Honesty. So many people have told me they are more honest about their food consumption when they commit to writing it down.
  • Better weight loss. The proof is on the scales. Most people see better body fat loss when journaling.
What Are Your Tracking Options?
  • Spiral notebook and pen. Simple, easy, affordable, proven record.
  • Fancy Blank Diary. Create your own and make it special.
  • Food Journal Diary. Purchase a ready made journal diary from bookstores or weight loss groups.
  • Download Food Journal Pages. Find one you like, and print it off.
  • Keep track online. There are many places where you can keep track on your computer now. What's your favorite?
  • Mobile Aps. A reader showed me her iphone Log It! ap, which is a free download. I don't have an iphone, so I had my husband download it and he's using it for me to preview. Wow, I really love this one! He's finding it fun, innovative, and rather like a game, enough so he's totally into using it. It's absolutely perfect for him!
We need to know what recording method you have found that really works? How are the computer versions and other aps that you have tried for food recording? Let us know!

A little note: if you were working one on one with a dietitian, the first week's assignment would be to write everything you eat down. A written record is invaluable sometimes. So, the message of today is....
If You Bite It, Write It!
(or record it somehow :)