Is tracking your food worth it?

Keeping a food diary has become a trend in recent years, but does it really work?

The verdict? Food logging is absolutely worth it. Studies have found that sustainable weight loss and tracking your diet go hand in hand. Plus, monitoring food is key to prevent regaining weight back — the ultimate challenge in weight management.

Kaiser Permanente’s Center for Health Research recently affirmed the well-known myth: keeping a food diary works magic when it comes to losing weight. According the lead author of the study, Jack Hollis, “Those who kept daily food records lost twice as much weight as those who kept no records. It seems that the simple act of writing down what you eat encourages people to consume fewer calories.”

Nutritional counseling in combination with a platform for easy food tracking scales up initiatives to change diets. Healthie’s platform was built on coupling the accountability of traditional food logging with the accessibility of a nutritional professional. Picture-based logging encourages mindfulness and empowers patients’ awareness of their own unhealthy eating habits and dietary choices. This triggers users to reduce risky behaviors, e.g. it prevents mindlessly reaching for something in the refrigerator or pantry.

Two further suggestions based on recent studies are particularly important for those seeking to keep off the weight: don’t stop tracking and use a smartphone. Findings published by the American Heart Association found that people who stop tracking their diet after 4 months tend to gain reweight weight previously lost, while those who continued managed to keep the weight off. Another recent study found that adherence to food monitoring was significantly higher for those who used smartphones rather than traditional pen and paper; 62% of phone diary users adhered to recording at least 50% of the calories on a daily basis, compared to 34% of paper diary users.

Through studies, it is now know that keeping a food diary is a powerful mechanism to encourage weight loss. Healthie’s photo logging system is a vehicle to ensure patients’ do not face barriers in this mission.

The effectiveness of keeping a food diary ensures is a valuable task for the success of nutritional counseling. Healthie’s photo logging system is ideal for such a mission — its telehealth platform eases this process of tracking and through accountability mechanisms, it has proven to be a prime way to jumpstart this daily habit.

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