December 6th
 

theresa albert - my friend in food

 

Comparing Diet Tracker Systems

tweet what you eat logo

There is no getting around it, tracking one’s food intake and physical output spells weight loss success.  Unconscious consumption leads us to overeating and weight gain.  Lest you think you aren’t affected, know this: we all lie to ourselves about how many cookies we ate.  Having to keep track of it keeps us honest.  There are a couple of tried and true systems as well as some new ones that are worth exploring.

Diet Tracking Systems

Jenny Craig

This system was recently named the #1 diet in terms of long term success.  Its reporting method may have been a titch disingenuous in that the people being tracked were provided the food delivered to their home for free for 2 years.  Removing the effort and cost element of a diet does indeed make weight loss easier but is it realistic and helpful in the long run?

Pros:

  • Easily implemented and food decisions removed (and therefore temptations in the short run)

Cons:

  • Relies upon packaged foods to control portions which means a heavy reliance upon processed foods
  • The learning element could be overlooked causing old habits to creep in as soon as the weight loss period has ended.

Recommendation:

If you love food, this is not for you. If you enjoy cooking, be prepared to be denied the sensory pleasure.  If you need to come back to this process once a year to keep off those extra 2 pounds, so be it. Just find another way to manage your real life.

 

Weight Watchers

This tried and true method has kept up with the times while leaning on its basic community tenet.  Weight watchers was about community before the digital world took it over.  Their simple counting systems teach portion control, high water foods and fibre fillers so you can apply the principals in your real life when you get to where you want to be.

Pros:

  • Sensible, realistic and slow approach to weight loss
  • Portion control, learning and support throughout the system

Cons:

  • Beware of the yoyo.

Don’t rely on artificial sweeteners to cut calories; it’s not a good long term approach.

 

Recommendation:

Some develop a mentality of “oh, I can cheat for months and just go back to weight watchers” but it gets harder to lose the weight each time. Try to incorporate what is learned into a lifestyle.

 

Tweetwhatyoueat.com

This online tracking system allows you to tally all you consume for the day right into your twitter stream or into a private account.  A good way to keep you honest.

Pros:

  • Assuming that you are already on twitter, this is a great way to track your actions without missing a beat.

Cons:

  • If you are a calorie counter, know that this system depends upon crowd source or guesstimates.

Recommendation:

It is helpful for you to track your habits but you may want to go the extra step of assessing a day or two in another nutrition data program just so you know where you are.

 

www.myfitnesspal.com

A mobile app and desktop website that easily tracks every calorie you nibble or burn.  If you are tech savvy and numbers hungry, here is an option.

Pros:

  • Tracks calories and activity while you are on the go or at your desk
  • Scans QR codes of some products to provide instant choice information

Cons:

  • Any online program is only as good as its user.
  • If you are not mobile savvy, this system becomes less usable

 

Recommendations:

Commit to a weight loss goal, learn how to use the system and stick with it.  If you are a mobile whiz, the usability of this app is a game changer!

 

 

 

 

Theresa Albert

Theresa Albert

I love food, try to watch my weight, know more than I want to about healthy living (sometimes I wish I knew less so I wouldn’t feel so guilty when I stumble), am a daughter, sister, friend, mom and wife who worries and scurries the meals onto the table. It is for all these reasons that I completed my nutrition, RNCP designation, wrote my book, hosted my Food Network show, consult with food companies to urge them to get it right (or at least better), constantly write about it, research it, all of this so I can cut through the nutrition and food “news” clutter. Happy to share with friends!

 

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