Tenets of Effective Weight Loss #6 – Track your food intake

As mentioned in a previous tenet, weight loss is simply about taking in fewer calories than you burn on a daily basis.  Your body has a resting metabolic rate of calorie consumption and also needs calories to perform the activities of your day.  Food intake is the fuel for your machine – your body. 

I recommend that you track all your food on a daily basis, for a couple reasons:

  • Monitor the number of calories you have eaten – does this coincide with what your weight is doing over time?
  • Be able to identify how certain foods affect your weight, e.g. water balance, so as not to get frustrated when you accidentally have a carb-heavy day.
  • Instill a sense of discipline regarding eating – you’re less likely to want to indulge in something if you force yourself to enter the nutritional information in your database.

There is a very easy-to-use online daily nutrition tracker called FitDay.  It has a large database of common food items and serving sizes including some brand-name products, but also allows you to customize food entries.  It also tracks many vitamins and minerals, and allows you to track your daily weight and analyze it in a graph format (an example below).

fitday11208.jpg

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