More than a few studies have shown that people who keep track of what they eat on paper or in an app have better success at losing weight, managing their diet and sticking to healthy habits. Diet and exercise are only part of the equation when it comes to eating healthier and losing weight. The rest is in your head, and for many people, that’s where the real battle is won or lost.
To keep your head in the right place, consider keeping a food diary, or a regular log of what you’ve eaten and when. We don’t mean counting calories either (although that can be helpful too). The simple act of recording your meals forces you to think about what you ate, when you ate it and how large your portions were.
One study concluded that people who kept a journal were more likely to keep the weight they lost off, and another review of studies concluded that people who kept a record of their meals and kept up with diet and exercise lost nearly twice as much as people who didn’t keep a log (but did diet and exercise.) Once you start, you can go back at any time and see how you’ve progressed at simple goals, like shrinking your portion size or incorporating more vegetables and healthy foods in your diet.