Weight loss

Why food tracking works for weight loss

It's simple: tracking keeps you accountable and can help you lose and maintain your weight.
Published 27 May 2021 | Updated 6 October 2022

The importance of tracking

Tracking is one of the most effective strategies to use when trying to establish healthier habits, because it makes you more aware of what (and how much) you’re eating. Tracking will also show you the Points values you’re using, so you can make smarter decisions around what foods you’d like to eat.

You don’t have to track ZeroPoint™ foods on the WeightWatchers program, but it is important to track foods that have a Points value, when you eat and enjoy them.

Fact: Members who track 3 meals a day in the first 3 days of the week lose more weight.

How to track foods that have Points

  • Step 1. Type a food into the My Day search bar on the WW app, e.g. 'chicken thigh'. Or use our barcode scanner.
  • Step 2. Hit 'search' and select your item, serving size and mealtime.
  • Step 3. Click 'Track Food' - done!

How to track food

Find out how to track food in the WeightWatchers app.

Make tracking powerful

  • Be honest. Don’t worry, no one else is going to see it, so keep it real!
  • Be accurate. As often as possible. Measure and weigh those foods that have a Points value when you can, or use some visual techniques, listed below, to help you estimate portions.
  • Be kind. Do that for yourself. Tracking isn't about being perfect. It’s about doing the best you can. Miss a day? No worries: focus on small, simple things (like planning your next meal) and that’ll help you get back on track.

Track like a pro

  • Use the Barcode Scanner. Scan the barcode of almost any packaged food and it’ll automatically calculate the Points values for you.
  • Take a photo. Don’t have time to track? Take a picture of your meal and track it later. It’ll help you remember exactly what you ate.
  • Pre-track your meal. Planning ahead will help you know how many Points you have to spend and what you want to spend them on.

How to estimate portions

Because you can’t drag measuring cups or a kitchen scale with you everywhere, here’s a handy way to estimate portions:

  • Fist (or a tennis ball) = 1 cup
  • Palm (or deck of cards) = 1 serve of meat, fish, or poultry
  • 2 cupped hands = 1 serve of raw leafy vegetables
  • Thumb tip = 1 tablespoon
  • Fingertip = 1 teaspoon

RELATED: 21 genius hacks to help you measure and track your food

Fact: Spending 15-20 mins tracking food every day is linked to a 10% weight loss.

Need help downloading the app or have questions about tracking? Our WW Coaches are here to help. Or, ask questions you have using the 24/7 chat in the app.