Looking to drop some holiday weight? You’re not alone. This time of year marks the largest amount of people trying to shed those extra pounds that have crept on over the holiday season. One of the easiest and most effective ways to begin is to simply track what you eat. A 2008 study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine indicated that those who maintained a daily food log lost twice as much weight as those who kept no records at all. Keeping a food journal seems to have a big impact on the amount of food consumed as people are much less likely to overeat when they commit to recording their intake.
To assist Americans in their effort to lose weight and make healthier choices, the USDA has developed a completely free online tool that provides a quick way to track your foods and physical activities. The program is called SuperTracker and it complements the already released MyPlate nutritional education program.
Whereas MyPlate was developed to help Americans put together appropriately balanced meals based on the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the new SuperTracker takes the concept one step further by offering users an opportunity to track their dietary intake and physical activity while providing feedback and analysis via reports to bring you closer to your goals.
Once you begin tracking food intake, you’ll not only see what you’re eating but gain insight as well into the relationship between what you eat, when you eat, and how it relates to your weight loss. Sometimes when we make New Year’s resolutions, we build a process that is so demanding we are doomed to fail. Keeping your weight loss efforts simple by monitoring what you eat and gaining an understanding of the role of food in your life, you will lose the weight not with a short term diet but with an effective lifestyle change.