If You Bite It, Write It! | The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans LLC


We’ve all heard it over and over.  If one is trying to lose weight, studies have shown that people who keep a food journal/diary are more successful at not only losing weight, but at keeping it off if they continue to track their food consumption.  In fact, a 2008 study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine showed that dieters who kept a daily food diary/journal, lost twice as much weight as those who did not. Wow!

Personally, I made a decision on Christmas day to give myself fully to my weight loss efforts on Weight Watchers.  For me, this meant finally committing to writing down my daily food intake rather than just trying to keep track of my daily points target in my head each day.  I decided if I really wanted to be successful, then I needed to do the things I know help bring me success.  I’m proud to report that I have tracked everything I’ve eaten since Dec. 26 without missing a single day.

I have to admit, my weight loss has been far more consistent since keeping my journal faithfully.  In fact, I truly believe I owe my success of losing over 13 pounds during the Power of One challenge to the fact that I was keeping my food diary every day.  I think one of the biggest reasons for this is because when I’m faithfully tracking, I’m also more likely to weigh and measure my portions rather than guesstimating them in my head.  Doing that really helps prevent that whole “portion distortion” phenomenon from creeping up on me.  So, the two really go hand-in-hand for me.

In this wonderful world of technology that we now live, there are lots of high-tech ways to track your food in addition to the old skool pen and paper method shown in the photo above.  I generally track my food using the Weight Watchers Mobile app on my iPhone. I love it!  It’s just so convenient because I always have my phone with me and it syncs right up with my eTools account on the Weight Watchers website.  Since I pay using the Monthly Pass option, both eTools and the mobile app are included free on my account.

For those who are following a plan other than Weight Watchers, there are plenty of high-tech options for tracking your food intake.  Here are just a few of the more popular free options:

  • Lose It – This originally started as an iPhone app, but there is now a web-based version as well for those who don’t use an iPhone.  You can use it to track not only your calories consumed, but also your calories burned through exercise.  When you go through the initial setup of the app, it will actually recommend a daily calorie target based on your input.
  • Spark People – This is an incredibly popular service.  It offers not only the ability to track your food, but also provides meal plans, recipes, workout plans, tons of informative articles on nutrition, exercise, etc.  They also offer a mobile app for iPhone, BlackBerry, and Android platforms.
  • Livestrong MyPlate (formerly The Daily Plate) – This is another incredibly popular online tracking tool.  It includes a huge database of foods that is constantly expanding since the user community can submit items for inclusion.  This is a site I use quite often to find the nutritional information I need to calculation the PointsPlus™ value of something I’m eating.  They do offer apps for the iPhone/iPad and BlackBerry platforms, but they cost $2.99.  Tracking on their website is free.

As I said, these are just a few of the vast array of tracking tools available online and for smartphones.  There are lots of others out there as well.  With a little research, I’m sure you can easily find one that’s the perfect fit for your program.

If you aren’t already tracking, perhaps this would be a good time to start.  Perhaps you could make that a goal for our new Spring In2Action challenge that kicked-off yesterday.  Have you signed up for it yet? If not, you can still go here to take care of that.

Do you keep a food journal already?  If so, do you think it’s helping your journey?  Do you track with pen & paper or one of the more high-tech options?  Do you have favorite online tracking tool or app that you love?  If you aren’t keeping a food journal already, have you ever considered it?  Please leave a comment below and share you thoughts on food tracking.

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