If you’re new to food tracking or perhaps have heard the concept but not sure if it actually works for weight loss, consider the body of research that attest to its success. A review of 22 studies by the American Dietetic Association revealed significant positive relationship between self-monitoring and successfully losing weight. Here are some more reasons tracking what you eat bodes well for shedding the pounds and keeping them off.
Keeps ‘healthy eating’ top of mind.
Very often we eat mindlessly, without thinking about what we put into our mouths. Who actually counts calories when we stop for that glazed donut? The act of documenting our meals keeps us aware that we are actually making important dietary choices, even when just merely grabbing an afternoon or midnight snack.
It sets you up for success
Food tracking works better if you actually make changes in your diet. It makes it easier for you to create those changes, too. Sure, you know now to reach for whole grain cereal instead of your usual storebrand favorite. But on top of that, when you actually see what goes into your daily meals, there is a bigger impact, as you’ll know where to make helpful improvements.
Helps you understand how you eat
Monitoring not just the food you eat but also things like your mood while eating can even teach you about your attitude towards food. Do you eat only when you’re actually hungry, or do you just have frequent cravings? Or does that weekly intense performance meeting at work get you running for the snack bar quicker than any hunger pang? Then you’d know: if you can’t get away with stress eating, you can just prepare a more substantial snack for that day.
Technology makes it easy
The American Dietetic Association study also concludes that technology advancements like apps for food logging helps people better in adhering to this practice, simply by making the process easier. Applications, such as HAPIcoach that lets you upload photos of your meals, makes the job much detailed, quicker and easier. And on top of that, it also makes information available for actual nutritionist, so you know what you’re actually doing when grabbing a bite.
So before you press the dismiss button on yet another diet reminder, you may want to try this simple and straightforward approach.