If you’re trying to lose weight, the process can sometimes seem overwhelming.
Not only are you adopting a new diet by adding healthy items to your meals, but also sticking to that regiment day after day.
However, there is new research that suggests that monitoring what you eat may help you keep those pesky pounds at bay. And, it takes less than 15 minutes every day.
If You Bite It, You Write It
This new study published in the Obesity Journal asked 142 people to log their daily food intake over a 6-month period of time while they were trying to lose weight.
The most successful participants ended up losing 10% of their body weight and spent just under 15 minutes a day writing down what they ate.
Although 15 minutes may not sound like very much time to hold yourself accountable, many people may find it a bit daunting at first.
You have to have your food journal with you, you have to accurately remember everything that you have eaten that day. And, you have to face the facts when you eat that huge piece of chocolate cake at the end of the day.
But, let’s face it. How much time do you spend scrolling through Facebook, or mindlessly binging on Netflix? Probably more than 15 minutes!
In addition, self-monitoring has proven to be a highly effective strategy for losing weight. The main reason is that it helps you become crystal clear about exactly what foods you are eating day in and day out.
And that awareness helps you become much more conscious about your food choices and, as a result, can help you stay on track.
Why Tracking Your Diet Keeps You on Track
The simple act of writing down what you eat can be a positive reinforcement for making healthy choices. And it makes you think twice about eating that candy bar.
When you actually see that the healthy food choices you are making manifest into weight loss, it is very rewarding.
In addition, monitoring your food intake helps you make smarter choices both in the moment and in the future.
There’s an App for That
So, what’s the easiest way to record your food intake?
Obviously, you can simply put your pen to paper and write it down the old-fashioned way.
Or, if you perform a quick Google search you will find dozens of apps that are designed to give you the tools to record and measure your weight loss.
The good news is that you don’t have to spend tons of money or time on these apps. Many of them are free and quite simple to use.
For example, the free app Lose It! is a simple way to track the foods that you consume.
Fooducate is another free app that allows you to track what foods you eat on a regular basis. It even assigns grades for common foods. (A Coca Cola is assigned a “D” rating – obviously a food you want to avoid.)
It’s not so important whether you use a simple piece of paper, a notebook, or an online app, you just need to find what works for you.
Finding the system that makes you most comfortable ensures that you will actually do it.
Self-monitoring what you eat on a daily basis has proven to be a highly effective way to lose weight and keep that weight off. While it may seem overwhelming at first, remember that it only takes 15 minutes every day.
So, find the tool that works for you and start recording! Your waistline will thank you.