Friday, May 21, 2010

Bite It and Write It

Writing down what you eat is one of the best ways to help you on your weight loss journey.  It is a bit tedious, but by writing down what you eat there is no counting in your head all day.  It makes you accountable for what you eat and gives you a record of your eating habits for certain weeks in relation to how much weight you lose.  A food journal lets you see in black and white what your eating habits are like, so you can see what changes could be made to your diet.
The first few weeks of tracking takes some getting used to, but you eventually get into a groove, so take the time to form the habit of writing down what you eat.  I found that planning or having some kind of idea of what I was going to eat for each day to be helpful.  I am not saying you need to have a meal by meal schedule, but have a general idea of what meals you can and want to eat.  This allows you to have options to choose from instead of just grabbing snacks.  Tracking is really one of the biggest things you can do for your weight loss journey because people who track really do see better results when they get on the scale.

What to track with?  You want to choose a tracking system that is easiest for you so that you continue to write down what you eat.  It can be a small notebook in your purse, an app on you smartphone, journal pages you print out, or a website you can visit.  I would recommend having boxes so you can check off water, fruits and veggies, proteins, whole grains, milk, and oils and space to write down yor exercise.  I began simply with the little journals they give you at WW meetings, then moved to etools for awhile because I was always by my computer, and now I have a small food journal that I can keep in my room or bag to write down what I eat.  
Some good online journals are etools on weightwatchers.com, which you pay for with WW membership.  They have a database full of recipes and foods that you can easily add to your tracker.  Sparkpeople.com, fitday.com, and thedailyplate.com also have trackers, which are free to use if you just register for the site.  Some good apps for your iPhone are Lose It!, WW Mobile, Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker by MyFitness Pal.  There are tons of other food journals to be found out there as well, but these are just a few that I have looked into and heard good things about.
So find the system that is going to work best for you and get to writing down what you eat!