The Importance of Tracking

Tracking helps you lose weight
Published January 3, 2017

Tracking makes you aware of what you’re eating, and how much you’re eating. And it helps you stick to your SmartPoints Budget by helping you
decide what foods are “worth it” to you. It’s one of the most effective tools for successful weight loss.*

But tracking is not about being perfect, it’s about doing the best you can. If you’re not sure how many SmartPoints are in that sandwich, a rough estimate is good enough.


  1. BE AS ACCURATE AS YOU CAN. But even if you’re just guessing the SmartPoints value, that’s good, too.
  2. TRACK “IN THE MOMENT.” It can be hard to remember what you’ve eaten by the end of the day, so track as you go or snap a pic for tracking later. If you don’t manage to track immediately, just try to get back to it the next time you eat.
  3. BE KIND TO YOURSELF. Not every day is going to be perfect. And that’s OK. Focus on small, simple things (like planning your next meal) and you’ll be right back in the game.

The Importance of Tracking

How does tracking what you eat and drink help you lose weight? Tracking makes you aware of: 

  • what you’re eating
  • how much you’re eating
  • and how many SmartPoints® values you’re using, so you can decide whether those foods are "worth it" to you. 

Here’s how to track what you eat:

1)    Type a food name into the app or My Day
2)    Hit enter or Search
3)    Select portion size and meal time
4)    Click Track. Done!

And here’s how to make it powerful:​

Knowing how much you eat is as important as tracking what you eat. But 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 serving of meat, fish, or poultry
Thumb (or lip balm) = 1 serving of hard cheese 
Cupped hand (or light bulb) = 1 serving of pretzels or nuts
Thumb tip = 1 tablespoon
Fingertip = 1 teaspoon

Wondering if you should bother tracking 0 SmartPoints-value foods? 
Here are three great reasons why we think you should:

1. It’s easier to track everything rather than just some things. 
2. Seeing all the fruits and veggies you’ve eaten can reinforce your healthy choices.
3. It can help you spot patterns in your energy, hunger levels, and weight loss. For example, if you’re overdoing the bananas, you can see it clearly and pull it back a bit next week. ​

Remember to track your activity and weight!

Tracking your exercise is incredibly motivating. It’ll show you whether you’re hitting your weekly FitPoints® goal and if your fitness is improving. You can enter your activity into My Day or the app, or if you’ve got an activity device, like a Fitbit® or a Jawbone®, connect it to your WW account so that your FitPoints are calculated and added automatically. 

Lastly, make sure you weigh yourself at least once a week. Nothing is more motivating than watching the numbers go down as you get fitter, stronger, and healthier!

*Burke LE, Wang J, Sevick MA. Self-monitoring in weight loss: a systematic review of the literature. J Am Diet Assoc. 2011 Jan;111(1):92-102.