On Tuesday February 19th, I got on the scale as part of my morning routine. It wasn’t a huge surprise to see that I was out of my weight range.  Between the holidays and the cook-a-thon in my kitchen during the snowstorms, I had put on 5 pounds.  Just like I would encourage others to do, it was time to get back to self-monitoring by tracking my food choices. Yes, even as a dietitian, there is great value to tracking!

Self-monitoring means that you are observing and recording your eating and exercise patterns. It has been shown in many studies to be helpful for losing weight and maintaining weight loss. Some strategies for self-monitoring include food logs, self-weighing, and exercise trackers, like pedometers.

When I’m working with someone who is not where they want to be with their food intake or their weight range, my first recommendation is daily food tracking. This can be done electronically with smart phone apps or using paper logs. I prefer the Baritasic app*. The ease of being able to scan bar codes of food products and speak into my phone to create recipes makes this task simple.

Here are some reasons to give food tracking a chance:

  1. Weight Loss – People who tra