Is losing weight on your 2019 agenda? Here is a suggestion that’s simple, convenient, affordable, and proven to help. We know that people who track their food do better with weight management. The research tells us it’s easy… no need to measure, or count, or drill down to the nitty gritty details of how many grams of carbs are in each bite. Just jot down the basics. Track all of your food and drinks, track every day, and stick with it over time. Keep tracking even when you get to the point of weight maintenance, and you’re more likely to keep the weight off.
The National Weight Control Registry is a registry that keeps track of people who have lost a lot of weight and have also kept it off for a long time. These are successful weight managers, and we study them to find out their secrets to success. One thing these folks do is track. They track what they eat even if they are creatures of habit, and don’t have a lot of variety in their food. There seems to be something about capturing this data that keeps us honest, and perhaps motivates us to think twice before putting that generous scoop of mashed potatoes on our plate.
Want to take your food tracking to a new level? Try tracking your planned versus your actual food intake. In my practice, I find that people do best when they plan their food. If you know you’re having eggs for breakfast every other day and steel cut oats with chopped nuts, cinnamon and apples the other days, write it down and commit to it. Then you can use your planned food side of the tracker to make your grocery list. Pick up what you need (and only what you need) for the week, or at least for the next several days.
Once you’ve planned out all of your meals down the left side of the page, it’s time to mark on the right side how you did. Put a check if you ate on plan. If not, write out what you did eat. It’s okay to change the plan, it’s okay to be flexible, but if you start with a plan, and obtain the food you need to follow that plan, you’re less likely to veer off course.
You can track on paper, in a cute notebook, on a google doc, an excel spread sheet, a word document, on your phone in the notes section, or on any of the fantastic apps out there. Many of my clients use My Fitness Pal or Lose It. Track any way that appeals to you, so you’ll be more likely to stick with it.
Give it a try!
Thanks for listening.
I wish you the best of health in the new year.
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