Why food tracking works for weight loss
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 SmartPoints® 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 WW program, but it is important to track foods that have a SmartPoints 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 SmartPoints
- 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!
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 SmartPoints 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.
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
Remember to track your activity, weight, sleep and your mindset
Don't forget that food isn't the only thing that you can track. Tracking your physical activity is incredibly motivating. You can enter your activity into My Day on the WW app. Or if you’ve got an activity device, sync it to your WW account so that your FitPoints® are calculated automatically.
Then there’s your mindset – yep, it’s a good idea to keep track of that, too. Your mindset can have a big impact on your life and your success on the program so remember to keep track of things like your mood, thoughts, your stress levels and also if you feel like you’re using food to manage your emotions. This can all be done when you complete your weekly check-in on your weigh-in day.
Check out the sleep tracker in the app. It’ll help you find solutions to whatever is getting in the way of a good night’s rest. Why? How well you sleep directly impacts your choices—including what you eat.
Fact: Spending 15-20 mins tracking food every day is linked to a 10% weight loss.
Track like a pro
- Use the Barcode Scanner. Scan the barcode of almost any packaged food and it’ll automatically calculate the SmartPoints values for you.
- Take a pic. 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 SmartPoints you have to spend and what you want to spend them on.
Need help downloading the app or have questions about tracking? Our WW Coaches have heaps of experience and are here to help. Or, ask questions you have using the 24/7 chat in the app.