If you are working hard and seeking weight loss success yet not seeing your desired progress it might be time to start tracking your results. Keeping a food diary or logging what you eat into an app such as my fitness pal has proven to be a beneficial and effective weight loss tool.
Why is tracking what you eat so effective when it comes to weight los
1.Tracking keeps you accountable.
Whatever goes in must be written down! This includes the biscuit on your way out, or the bite of your children’s dinner or the extra syrup in your Starbucks coffee. Knowing you have to write everything down actually encourages you to make smarter, healthier choices. A lot of us may just be mindlessly eating without either really needing the extra snack or just simply without thinking. Boredom eating also plays a huge factor here. Documenting this can make us aware of our unhealthier habits so we can work towards correcting them.
2. It helps you flag hidden calories
You might be feeling frustrated if you believe to be eating a healthy breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack and still not seeing results. Recording the little bites here and there can help you recognize where there might be a trend; such as snacking on the kids’ leftovers and help you reveal and correct unhealthy habits you were not even aware of.
3. It helps you overcome plateau
If you have found yourself stuck at a brick wall with your weight – loss journey, tracking is essential to help you get through this. You may find you are eating more than you are burning off. To really kick – start your weight – loss process you should be aiming to be in a calorie deficit. More on that here…
How To Keep A Food Diary For Weight Loss
When it comes to tracking what you eat there are certain best practices to ensuring success. You can track using an app such as my fitness pal or simply jotting down with a pen and paper. Here are some tips to get you started:
- Log as you go. In order to avoid forgetting bites here or there it is really helpful to jot down what you have eaten right away. It can also be helpful if you are using an app to plan ahead and log what you plan to eat that day – this is a great way to stay on track.
- Include EVERYTHING – that’s right… the butter on your bread, the syrup in your coffee, the salad dressing and the sugar in your tea… ALL IN!
- Write down your emotions. Were you really hungry or just bored? Are you feeling more/ less energetic when you eat something specific. Tracking your mood can be a great indicator of what works best for you and what you should implement more of or remove moving forward.
- Keep yourself accountable. You might want to keep this to yourself and that is completely fine, BUT you might find sharing what you plan to eat, what you have eaten with an accountability buddy or a group (such as our niix FB community) helpful when it comes to staying on track and sharing/ comparing ideas!
Logging everything might seem like a daunting task at first, but the more often you do it the easier it becomes. It is also worth mentioning that this should NOT dictate your life… If you want to have a treat now and again that is more than fine and taking a day or two off tracking will not hurt. But if you are really serious about digging deep and shifting some stubborn weight a food diary can be hugely beneficial. It can also shed some light on your dietary routines and help you adopt some healthier habits along the way!