Mindfulness and monitoring are the two ingredients for successful weight management, whether you want to lose a few extra pounds or maintain your current weight. Dietitians will tell you to write your food intake down, keep track of it. Sounds easy. But it’s not. It takes discipline and time. And yet, it does work.
Luckily, there are some great tools available to make the tracking and mindfulness easy. The tool I use and highly recommend is the Lose It! app. There is a website component to this app too, but I use the app. This app tracks your food intake and computes the calories for you. You can set weight goals and it will compute how many calories you are allotted each day in order to reach your weight goal; you can even have it calculate your caloric allotment for maintaining your existing weight.
What I like about this tool is that once you start using it, it takes you less time to record your food intake because you can easily log a previous meal, or enter a specific recipe rather than individual ingredients each time. It also has major food brands and restaurants embedded, so you can track your dining out calories.
The value in using an app like Lose It! Is that you learn portion control and the impact of substitutions. The app makes it easy to see how you can pretty much eat what you want as long as is in moderation. Over time, you will get used to seeing what specific measurements look like so you quickly learn what a half a tablespoon of olive oil looks like or a half a cup of brown rice… You do this long enough and it becomes habit… making weight loss and maintenance much easier and achievable.
My personal tip: manage the overall calories on a weekly basis (though I do enter them in daily). This way I allow myself some days to go over goals as long as some days I am under goal, and I get to splurge a bit.