I’m a fan of feedback. Your scale tells you if you’re trending in the right direction, a step counter lets you know if you’re moving throughout the day, and calorie counters give you a sense of your diet. Read on to see if calorie counters are the right form of feedback for you.
I recently worked with a client who thought she was eating really well. She decided to do a food log through a calorie counting app, and what she learned surprised her. It turned out, she was nibbling more than she realized, and eating when she was stressed or irritated.
If you’re someone who doesn't mind spending a few minutes each day tracking what you eat, these apps can give you some good clues, and studies show that the very act of tracking helps people lose weight. It could be that you’re less inclined to have that half a bagel sitting in the office break room, knowing you need to account for it, and it might be that this form of accountability helps you make better choices in general.
Tracking can also provide good information about why you're eating (say, hunger vs. boredom or stress), and it can be a good way to spot where you might be loosening up, and therefore not seeing the results.
If food journaling seems like too much work, there are other ways to track your progress. Hopping on the scale, for example, is a quick and easy way to see how you're doing.