Over the years I have learned that when individual track their food intake they become so much more aware of what is going into their body. The primary reason why people lose weight when they food track is because so often we eat and really have no idea what we are eating. Another reason is that you become more aware of portions sizes and how much you are eating.
An important part of food tracking is to make sure everything that goes into your mouth is recorded. I call those “BLT’s- Bites, Licks, and Tastes”. When individuals graze or snack mindlessly through the day it is hard to think that those calories count into your total calorie intake through the day. People who are accurately documenting their food intake most often eat less cause it is too much work to write down all those small amounts.
When doing an online food logs such as My Fitness pal, it allows individuals to learn about food and how many calories are consumed with specific items. This comes in really helpful for those that eat out often. They learn very quickly which foods inhibit or assist in weight loss.
Lastly I talk a lot about behavior changes. When you change a behavior you much first become aware of what the behavior is and what triggers the overeating. Food logs can be helpful in figuring out if there is a certain time of day, an emotion or feeling that results in eating. Food logs are a tool to keep in your toolbox for long term success. It I good to start with food tracking, you may quit once you get established in eating better, but if you feel like things are getting off track or you are gaining weight back again, foods logs become a tool to start up again to get you back on track.
We want to encourage you to start with one week of food tracking. See how it goes, and if you can, keep going. The knowledge and habits that can come with food tracking are forever helpful in your weight loss journey.