Should I track everything I eat?

Food tracking can be a valuable tool for weight loss.

There are many reasons why people want to lose weight. Maybe you want to fit into certain clothes for an upcoming event or you want to have more energy. There are many health related reasons for maintaining a healthy body weight. We know that being overweight or obese can raise the risk of illness from high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and arthritis. And according to the CDC, less than half of Americans are at a healthy weight. 

However, losing weight is difficult. Knowing that losing some weight would benefit our health is not enough to change our habits when it comes to what we eat. But after a decision is made to take action, what can you do to help ensure success with weight loss? Many studies have found that there is a link between losing weight and tracking food.

The main reason to track what you eat is to make you aware of habits that are associated with eating and to help you understand the trends in how you eat so you can make changes over time. Here are some benefits of tracking what you eat:

  • You will have a record of what you actually eat; it is easy to underestimate or forget what or how much you eat if it isn’t tracked.
  • When you track what you eat, you become aware of the “extras” that add on calories, such as a refill on a sweetened beverage.
  • Being accurate by weighing and measuring provides you real information, not an estimate.
  • You can record your feelings along with what you eat; food is often connected to stress or other emotions.
  • When you have a record, you can identify opportunities to improve and where you are doing well.

When you decide to track your food, there are many choices available including a multitude of online tracking tools. Online tracking tools can provide you with many additional resources and information which can be overwhelming. Using a pen and paper to track what you eat is simple and doesn’t require any technology or online connection, but you will need a book that lists the calories of a variety of foods. So which food tracking system is superior? The one that you will consistently use is the best one for you. 

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