Lose Weight by Tracking What You Eat
Trying to lose weight? Keep track of what you are eating. A new study finds that perfect tracking is not needed to achieve significant weight loss. Researchers found that participants only needed to track around 30% of the days to lose more than 3% of their weight and 40% of the days to lose more than 5% of their weight, or almost 70% of days to lose more than 10% of their weight. The key point here is that you don't need to track every day to lose a clinically significant amount of weight, but the more you tracked the more weight was lost.
A lot of times people feel like they need to lose 50 pounds to get healthier, but positive changes in blood pressure, lipids, cardiovascular disease risk, and diabetes risk are noted when people lose about 5-to-10% of their weight. According to the researchers, this can be accomplished if participants lose about one to two pounds a week, which is considered a healthy pace of weight loss.
Keeping a record of your food intake allows you to have a better understanding of your eating habits and provides you with valuable insights into your calorie consumption and nutrient intake. There are many digital apps that can help, which makes this easier than keeping a written food blog. One advantage of the food intake digital apps is that many also have the food brands and calories in the app, so the math is done for you.
Why Does Tracking Food Intake Help with Weight Loss?
Here are a few reasons why tracking what you eat can help with losing weight.
1. Awareness of calorie intake
Tracking your food intake can help you become more aware of the number of calories you consume each day. By having a clear picture of your calorie intake, you can make more informed decisions about your portion sizes and food choices, which can lead to a calorie deficit and weight loss.
When you track what you eat, you hold yourself accountable for your food choices. It becomes more difficult to ignore or forget about high-calorie foods or mindless snacking when you have to log them in your food diary. This awareness can help you make healthier choices and avoid overeating.
3. Identifying patterns and triggers
Keeping a food diary can help you identify patterns and triggers that may contribute to overeating or unhealthy eating habits. For example, you may notice that you tend to snack more in the evenings or that stress leads to emotional eating. Once you recognize these patterns, you can develop strategies to address them and make more mindful choices.
4. Better meal planning
Tracking your food intake allows you to plan your meals more effectively. By reviewing your food diary, you can identify areas where you may be lacking in certain nutrients or overindulging in unhealthy foods. This knowledge may help you to make adjustments and create a more balanced and nutritious meal plan.
5. Motivation and progress tracking
Tracking what you eat provides a tangible way to measure your progress. When you see the positive changes in your food choices and portion sizes, it can motivate you to continue making healthy choices and sticking to your weight loss goals.
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