Wellness Library

5 tips to make tracking easier
By Mayo Clinic Staff in Weight Loss

5 tips to make tracking easier
5 tips to make tracking easier

When you're trying to lose weight, tracking your food and fitness is crucial — but that doesn't mean it's easy. The good news is there's no wrong or right way to keep food and activity records. What matters is that you choose something that works for you.

Use a tracking system that's easy to use — not one that's so complicated that it becomes an obstacle in itself. It should also be something you can keep handy when you need it. Some good tracking tools include: online diet and fitness journals, apps, wearable devices, web or computer-based logs, or good old pen and paper logs.

Don't be afraid to experiment. If one tracking system ends up being too cumbersome — or not detailed enough — try another until you find one that's right for you. Once you've figured out your preferred system, use these tips to make tracking a breeze.

  1. Make over your mindset. Don't view your records as do-or-die objectives. Instead, think of them as experiments. You're testing what works and what doesn't.
  2. Write it down right away. You'll be more likely to keep accurate records if you log what you eat or do right after you eat and exercise.
  3. Remind yourself. If you have trouble remembering to write things down, set up a regular reminder. Maybe it's an email or a chime on your phone or computer that occurs at certain times of the day. Or better yet, do it right after you're done.
  4. Keep it simple. Your tracking system doesn't have to be elaborate. Just record key information that will help you determine if you're meeting your goals and targets.
  5. Don't fret. If one day you forget to jot down what you ate or what activities you did, that's OK. Estimate as best you can and get back on track. Just try not to let your forgetfulness become a pattern.

There isn't a one-size-fits-all formula. It comes down to what works best for you. No matter what method you choose, remember to be honest. The more accurate your records are, the more useful they'll be.

© 1998-2020 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). All rights reserved.

Subscribe to our newsletter for motivating wellness tips