Keep track of what you eat.
I don’t care how you do it. If you want to lose weight, it’s one of the easiest ways to stay on target.
Studies show that people who logged their food regularly lost weight, even if they weren’t trying to. Think about that for a second. They weren’t even trying to lose weight…they just wrote down what they ate. And the scale went down!
Once you start doing this, you’ll understand why it works. You’re suddenly aware of what you’re putting in your mouth.
And you’re accountable to yourself (or others, if you have someone look at it weekly…you know, like a weight loss consultant…wink, wink).
Either way, when you start writing down or typing breakfast as “4 oreo cookies, 1 cup chocolate milk, 1 boston crème donut, and 1 apple fritter,” you know things have got to change (at least, I hope you know…if you don’t, that’s an entirely different conversation).
Honestly, this can be as complicated or as simple as you want.
For the easy way, take a notebook and jot down what you eat all day, every day. Make a conscious decision to improve gradually, and I’m guessing you will.
If you want to get a little more creative, add calories/ fat grams/ carbs/ and proteins, or whatever you’re interested in keeping under check. If you dine out, look up the nutritional information online and see how you did. Even better, look it up before you dine out. You’d be surprised what you can learn that way.
To take this a step further, download a calorie counting app, or use one of many websites designed to keep track of your food and help you determine your nutritional balance for your day. I recommend this option, but I know it’s not for everyone. In fact, some people try it and get so overwhelmed that they throw their hands up and eat a cookie, or five. If that’s the case for you, grab a notebook and a pen and don’t stress it. It’s not worth it.
One of the main benefits to using an online program is learning what the food you typically eat looks like. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve typed something in and found out it was considerably healthier for me than I thought…or more typically, the opposite.
Websites I’d recommend:
BodyMedia – This is my personal favorite but it is a paid subscription. You’ll notice that I reference BodyMedia a lot in my writing, mostly because I’ve been using their products since February of 2011. I suggest their armband to anyone serious about losing weight on their own.
The monthly subscription for their downloadable program is about $7 a month. What’s nice about logging your food on a subscription program like this is that it’s not muddled with entries from other people so the food you log is more likely to be accurate.
Livestrong and MyFitnessPal – Both of these are free and user friendly. Because they’re free, they’re a little more cluttered, but some people like that more anyway.
Please comment below if you’ve used any of these and want to share your experiences, or if you have another program that you recommend. I’m sure there are many sites or apps I’ve never encountered, and the more options available, the easier it is to find one that works for you!
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