It’s simple: if it goes in your mouth, write it down — immediately. According to Karey Northington, BSN, CISSN, CPT, owner of Northington Fitness and Nutrition, “keeping a food journal and using a food scale is the best strategy to lose weight.” But don’t rely on your memory to keep track in the journal. As you eat each meal, you should be tracking your food intake.
“It’s extremely easy to underestimate portions and over time inadvertently gain weight,” said Northington. “After portions are in line, focus on the energy you are expending using a step-tracker. Increasing your steps per day will increase the number of calories burned without spending hours in the gym. Every little bit of movement adds up in a big way. Weight loss is a marathon, not a sprint.”
Once you get in the habit of tracking what you eat, you can add in other factors such as when you ate it and how it made you feel. This can help you focus on not only what you’re eating, but its benefits.