Food-Tracking Tips for Weight Loss & Maintenance

Feb 22 2019
One of the best ways to maintain smart eating habits and a healthy body weight is to track your food -- all of it! Think of a food journal as your own personal accountability buddy... It’s as if present you is providing valuable info to future you. If you're not sure where to start when it comes to food tracking, we’ve got you covered!

1. Pick your medium: a food journaling app or a notebook for food tracking. 
You need somewhere for all that info to live! And since you want to be able to access your food journal anytime, anywhere, your smartphone is an ideal option. We’re big fans of MyFitnessPal, which you can access via the app or a computer. As you log your food, MyFitnessPal will track the nutritional content. Prefer to record your food intake the old-fashioned way? Write it down in a notepad or a food journal like this one. Track the foods (and beverages!) themselves as well as the amounts and the approximate calorie counts. In a rush? Jot down your food in the Notes app of your phone or scribble it onto a piece of paper. Whatever gets it done!

2. Write down everything you eat. Yes, EVERYTHING. 
The main components of your meals are obvious, but don’t forget about condiments, coffee creamer, and unplanned bites, licks, and tastes. If you eat it or drink it, it goes in the journal. Not only will this help you get a more accurate snapshot of your eating habits, but it’ll make you think twice before mindlessly munching. After all, who wants to write down that they ate 8 handfuls of popcorn, 3 1/2 Oreos, and 2 spoonfuls of peanut butter after dinner?

3. Start planning your food for the upcoming days. 
Meal prepping can make food tracking even easier… and more effective. Choose your meals for the week, make a grocery list, and do some prep to make day-of food assembly a cinch. Make note of days you know you’ll be dining out, and maybe take a peek at the restaurant’s menu online in advance. By taking the time to plot out what you're going to eat, you’ll be less likely to get derailed by impulse choices. Once you get in the habit of planning ahead, logging your food will be super simple! Here are some make-ahead recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and beyond.

4. Review after you chew! 
At the end of the week, look at the data you’ve compiled, and assess what unfolded. Skipped breakfast on Tuesday and then went overboard at lunch? Planned to snack on a portion of pretzels that turned into 3 cups of the salty twists? Felt sluggish all week, and just now realize you barely had any protein at lunchtime? Knowledge is power, and who knows what you'll discover! Identify any roadblocks, and correct them for the next week. You got this!

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Chew on this:

Yum, yum… It's National Cook a Sweet Potato Day, February 22nd! This BBQ Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potato is a tasty and filling meal for one.

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SmartPoints® value* not what you expected? We follow the same method as WW (formerly known as Weight Watchers) when calculating the value of a recipe: We add up the SmartPoints® values* of the individual ingredients using the Recipe Builder, not the calculator. (Many foods have a value of zero and remain zero in recipes.)

*The SmartPoints® values for these products and/or recipes were calculated by Hungry Girl and are not an endorsement or approval of the product, recipe or its manufacturer or developer by WW International, Inc., the owner of the SmartPoints® trademark.