The Importance of Tracking for Weight Management Progress

Research from Archer Daniels Midland found that 77% of consumers want to do more to stay healthier in the future. And whether trying to lose or gain weight, weight management is undoubtedly tied to good health. With more education and openness to trying new things, consumers are eager to use personalized nutrition and plant-based eating strategies.

Most people recognize that to maintain wellness and keep the pounds in check, changes in your lifestyle and dietary habits are necessary — alongside other factors such as regular exercise and adequate sleep. However, one often overlooked aspect here is the importance of tracking your weight management progress. Today, we’ll discuss weight tracking and how it can help you with your weight management:

Why keep track of your weight?

For most of us, weight goals can be challenging to achieve and maintain. But as with all other positive habits, we can overcome this hurdle by planning appropriately for it. Case in point, WeightWatchers’ effective weight loss plans work because they track and are customized according to the person’s food, water, activity, sleep, and weight trackers. Tracking is the biggest predictor when it comes to weight loss because it builds more eating awareness, so you master portion sizes and become more mindful of what you eat.

Tracking is also a good indicator of how different everyone’s weight journeys are from each other. When you keep track of the weight you lose or gain, you can get insights beyond just calories, focusing on complex nutritional factors and what needs to be changed in your diet for you to make more significant progress. We previously posted our Weight Gain Diet Chart to help you on your weight gain journey, where we discussed how tracking could help you determine necessary changes in your food intake. After all, gaining weight can be just as difficult as losing it, and doubly so when you consider that gaining weight without proper nutritional attention can be a negative thing for your body. Tracking can help you decide between incorporating more rice into your weight gain diet or red meat, depending on which nutrients you may be more in need of.

Another advantage of tracking is that it gives you a log of your weight progress. Many of us struggle with finding the motivation to reach our weight goals. One study published in JAMA Internal Medicine utilized monetary incentives for weight loss — to great success among participants. Having incentives to reach your weight goals can be a great source of motivation. The best motivation, however, will be the sense of achievement you feel along your journey. Tracking your progress gives you a visual overview of how well you are doing and what can be improved.

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Tips for tracking

Tracking just for the sake of tracking can put unnecessary and unhealthy pressures on you to reach your weight goals. It’s important to plan your tracking so that your weight journey remains holistic and health-focused in the long run. Some ways to do this include:

Using weight tracking apps

MakeUseOf’s list of weight-tracking apps and websites shows how these technologies come in various shapes and sizes today. Some are straightforward and allow you to track regular weigh-ins to check your progress. In contrast, others provide additional features, such as diet and health guides to supplement your journey and motivational messages to rid yourself of guilt. With the weight tracking and weight training apps available today, the best way to find one that fits your weight needs is by experimenting and figuring out the features you need.

Track your weight consistently

Most importantly, your tracking should become a healthy, positive habit, like your healthy diet. Routine and consistency can go a long way in forming habits. For weight tracking specifically, doing so regularly can help you see patterns in your eating habits that may need special attention. Having a regularly updated log of where you are on your weight goals journey can inform you of what occasions or events affect your eating, like whether eating out as opposed to dining at home is more beneficial for your body.