If you’re looking to lose weight, but struggle to get the results you’re hoping for, you may want to try tracking your food intake.
Research conducted on individuals who have the greatest success maintaining long-term weight loss success have identified a few shared traits. At the top of the list is that individuals who are able to lose a significant amount of weight and keep it off keep an eye on how much food they eat each day.[1,2]
This is one of the main reasons we created the 1UP Fitness App -- tracking your food intake has a tangible and significant impact on your ability to effectively lose weight.
What Makes a Food Diary So Effective for Weight Loss?
When you track your food, you hold yourself accountable. There’s no more taking nibble’s of your kid’s or co-workers treats. If it crosses your lips, it gets tracked. No ifs, ands, or buts about it.
A vast majority of people go through the day mindlessly munching, never realizing or giving a thought that all those tiny bites or quick tastes affect their daily energy intake.
However, when you make the decision to start tracking your food intake, you start to become more aware of what you’re eating, which can help you to avoid mindless snacking and ultimately overeating.
Utilizing a food tracking app, such as the 1UP FItness app, not only helps keep you accountable for what you eat during the day, but also helps to identify what foods you’re eating and when you’re eating them.
For instance, after tracking your food intake for a week or two, you may notice that you tend to have an extra snack right after lunch on certain days of the week. This could be due to the fact that you had a particularly hard workout or that you had a particularly stressful day at the office.
Either way, by consistently tracking your food intake, you’ll identify trends in your daily/weekly dietary habits, which can help keep you on the lookout for potential pitfalls that can hamper your weight loss progress.
Bust Weight Loss Plateaus
To circle back to the beginning of this article, the biggest benefit to using a food diary is that it can help shatter weight loss plateaus.
Remember, weight loss is about managing calories in versus calories out. If you find that you’re at a sticking point, diligently tracking your calories can help you see if you’re actually maintaining a calorie deficit or not. If you have been consistently tracking calories and not seeing improvements, then it may be time to adjust your calorie intake during the day.
How to Manage a Food Diary
To start a food diary, all you need to do is download the 1UP Fitness App or pull out a pen and piece of paper and write down what you eat during the day. It really is that simple!
Here are a few other pointers to help get the most out of your food diary:
#1 Track As You Go
Don’t delay when it comes to tracking your daily food intake. You’ll have much greater accuracy (and ultimately weight loss success) if you track your food intake as you eat it. The reason for this is that if you wait until the end of the day to log your food intake, there’s a greater chance you’ll forget or misremember exactly what you ate, or how much you ate.
It may even help to pre-plan what meals or snacks you’re going to eat during the day. This eliminates the guesswork come mealtime and helps you stay on track with your calorie intake goals.
#2 Don’t Forget the Extras
As we said above, if it crosses your lips, it gets tracked. This includes all the little “extras” you may have during the day that you might not even think about tracking -- cream in your coffee, butter & jam on your toast, etc.
All of these foods (no matter how seemingly insignificant they may appear) contain calories and count towards your daily intake. As such, they should be tracked (at least if you’re trying to be as accurate as possible with your tracking).
#3 Record Your Mood
As you go through your day, it can be helpful to also write down how you’re feeling both going into a meal as well as how you felt after eating it -- were you stressed before you ate? Were you satisfied after your meal? Stuffed? Sleepy?
Keeping track of your mood and energy levels before and after eating can help you identify how portion sizes and even particular foods affect your body and mind. This can help you optimize your diet so that you’re maintaining steadier energy levels during the day, which not only helps you manage cravings but also increases productivity!
#4 Consider Sharing
You don’t necessarily have to blast your food diary across social media, but some individuals may find it motivating or encouraging to share what they eat during the day with a friend or accountability partner as it helps keep them accountable.
If you’re not used to tracking your food intake each day, it can seem daunting, but the reality is that after a few days, managing a food diary really takes little time or effort, especially if you use a smartphone app like the 1UP FItness App.
We’ve specifically designed the app to make it as user-friendly as possible, helping individuals overcome one of the greatest challenges when it comes to weight loss -- consistency.
We also include suggested calorie intakes as well as training programs based on your age, sex, experience levels and goals.
And, once you’ve gotten the hang for tracking your daily energy intake and looking to take your results to the next level, you can check out our extensive line of weight loss aids, including our men and women’s fat burners (Pro Ripped Max and Make Her Lean Max, respectively) as well as our best-selling appetite suppressant.
- Han M, Rhee SY. Effect of Adherence to Smartphone App Use on the Long-term Effectiveness of Weight Loss in Developing and OECD Countries: Retrospective Cohort Study. JMIR Mhealth Uhealth. 2021;9(7):e13496. Published 2021 Jul 12. doi:10.2196/13496
- Shuval K, Marroquin EM, Li Q, Knell G, Pettee Gabriel K, Drope J, Yaroch AL, Chartier KG, Fennis BM, Qadan M. Long-term weight loss success and the health behaviours of adults in the USA: findings from a nationally representative cross-sectional study. BMJ Open. 2021 Jul 14;11(7):e047743. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-047743. PMID: 34261685; PMCID: PMC8281097.