Tuesday, March 23

Accuracy for the Win!

For the sake of today’s blog, we’re going to assume that you read yesterday’s, and—instead of whining about how you’d like to lose weight—you’ve started meal tracking to help do something about it. Now that you’ve simply started writing down what you’re eating, let’s chat about a few details that will help you keep a more accurate food journal.

Weigh everything. If you want to keep an accurate food journal, weighing your food is the key to truly knowing how many calories you consume. This isn’t to say you can’t simply measure you food. Just let me know which you think is more accurate once you’ve tried to squeeze apple slices into your measuring cup.

Know your serving sizes. If you’re weighing your food, then you might wonder why you need to learn about serving sizes. But it’s not always possible to weigh your food. Trust me: I’ve tried to squeeze my scale into my purse to take to restaurants. It’s these times you need to be able to look at your plate and estimate the amount of food you’re eating. There are lots of sites out there that can give you an idea of serving sizes, but I like Web MD’s interactive.

Get familiar with calories. As you’re entering food into your journal, you’ll want to start tracking your calorie intake. The best place to find this information is on the packaging of the food you’re eating. For foods that aren’t “packaged” (like fruit and veggies), there are a lot of sites out there that can help (About.com has one of the easiest to use). After a while, you’ll find that you know the calories of certain foods without even looking them up!

An accurate food journal is an important key to your success in not only losing weight, but staying healthy for the rest of your life! You won’t have to keep your journal forever, but keep it long enough that you can begin making healthy choices (or even not-so-healthy choices, but the right way) on your own.

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