Why tracking what you eat helps you lose weight

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Might seem a chore, but tracking every little thing you eat and drink is a surefire way to make you more aware of what you’re eating. And that’s going to help you lose weight. 

One of the first bits of advice usually given to anyone who wants to lose weight is to keep a food diary. Whether it’s online, on your phone or on good old fashioned paper, making a note of everything you eat and drink is an important first step in changing your eating habits. But why does it work so well for weight loss? 

IT MAKES YOU AWARE OF WHAT YOU EAT 
Sounds obvious, but one of the main reasons food tracking works is because it makes you fully aware of what you eat in a day. If you’re the type of person to sneak a snack here and there, it’s easy to overlook this when thinking about what you eat. 

But these little extras can soon add up, meaning you could be consuming hundreds of extra calories you’re not even fully aware of. When you’re tracking what you eat, you’ve got no choice but to own up to the trip to the office biscuit tin or finishing off the cold fish fingers left on your kid’s plate, keeping yourself accountable. 

IT’LL HELP YOU SEE WHERE YOU CAN MAKE CHANGES
If you’re keeping a food diary but you’re gaining weight, being able to look back at what you’ve eaten over the week is a brilliant tool for figuring out what healthy changes you can make. 

Look for anything that stands out for adding unnecessary calories, and come up with a plan for reducing them. 

For example, if you’re eating too many takeaways, find recipes for your favourite dishes and make them at home. If you’re having a few too many beers, pledge to cut down or switch for lower-calorie alcohol options like spirits. If you’re falling victim to high calorie coffee shop drinks, invest in a travel coffee mug and make your own at home, or swap milky lattes for a black coffee. Being able to chart this in a food diary is a great step to lasting change. 

IT’LL HELP OTHERS HELP YOU
It’s so easy to underestimate what we’re eating, especially when we’re describing our eating to other people. But if you want your MAN v FAT Football coach to help you figure out why you’re not losing weight, it’s important to be honest about what you’re eating. If you want to know whether you’re on the right track, ask your coach to have a quick look. If you’re using MyFitnessPal, you can also send them the link to your food diary. 

A food diary is an easy way for them to see where you can make improvements, and a fresh pair of eyes on what you eat can identify unhelpful eating habits and give you new ideas for making healthier choices.

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