Did you make a New Year's resolution to lose weight? If so, this should interest you: Research shows that people who track what they eat and their physical activity are more likely to lose weight.
As a dietitian, I have found this to be true. People who track what they eat and drink lose weight easier than those that don't. This is true, in part, because the act of recording something raises awareness, which usually leads to action.
You can record everything you eat and drink, as well your physical activity, the old-fashioned way by writing things down on paper — in a notebook or on a calendar, for example. Or you can use one of the many online tools or apps that help you track your food and activity.
SuperTracker, from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is an example of a free online tool you can use to plan, analyze, and track your diet and physical activity.
Once you have created your profile, you can begin tracking your food intake and physical activity on the My Journal page under the My Features tab at the top of the SuperTracker site.
|Sample journal page.|
The site also contains two pages linked from a drop-down menu under the Track Food & Activity tab that will help you record your food intake and physical activity:
- The Food Tracker page lets you check the calories and nutrients in the foods you eat, so you can enter those in your journal. The “Food Tracker” page also lets you view how your daily choices stack up to your food group targets and daily limits.
- The Physical Activity Tracker page lets you view how your activities stack up against your targets.
|Food Group report in numbers....|
|...and food group report in graph form.|
Give SuperTracker a Try
Set a New Year's resolution to do one or more of the following:
- Go to the SuperTracker site and set up a profile.
- Track the foods you eat and your physical activity for at least three days.
- Take it from there — either continue using SuperTracker or try out another app. Remember writing down what you eat on a piece of paper works too!