Increase Your Weight Loss with Diet Self-Monitoring

My Bariatric Life Health Guide
  • In the U.S.A. in 2014, food is not hard to find. The quality of the stuff may be questionable, but the availability of it is not: Grocery stores, convenience stores, restaurants, farms, orchards, vending machines.


    Food is everywhere. It even lines our dumpsters.

    Forty percent of food in the United States goes uneaten. That’s 165 billion dollars of edibles that end up in the garbage. It didn’t used to be that way. Once upon a time, man struggled. Food could be scarce and whatever was available is what was eaten.

    Not so anymore. As I mentioned, food is everywhere and, as I mentioned, a great deal of it is something other than good for us. As a matter of fact, the something others that are not good for us are making us fat. Unfortunately, our bodies are still genetically wired to eat when food is available. Ready availability of food plus poor food choices equals obesity. This of course translates into one of the great American pastimes. We’re going on a diet.

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    Successful Dieting
    An important component of a successful diet is self-monitoring or the recording of how much we eat and how much we exercise.

    Monitoring food intake is known to help people increase awareness of how much they eat and drink. Tracking body weight and physical activity helps in preventing weight gain and improves outcomes when trying to lose weight and maintain the weight loss.

    Seven studies conducted in the United States and Japan resulted in six of the seven studies showing that diet self-monitoring was associated with greater weight loss. The studies varied in size from 42 to 588 participants that included both men and women. 

    USDA SuperTracker
    In order to help advance healthy eating, physical activity, and weight management the USDA developed the SuperTracker program.

    SuperTracker is meant to assist in the development of personalized nutritional and physical activity plans, track food and physical activities, and get information to help make healthier choices.  

    SuperTracker includes: Food Tracker, Physical Activity Tracker, and My Weight Manager, as well as other useful features. Personal profiles can be created and dietary intake can be saved across time. A general diet and exercise plan is also available. In addition, tips can be accessed from a virtual coach and as many as five personal goals can be selected.

    Users can search the SuperTracker database of food and drinks to monitor what and how much of each they have had. Favorite food lists can be created, meals can be copied, and what was had for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks can be noted. Calorie intake can also be accessed. 

    SuperTracker is free and is a useful tool in monitoring daily intake, making users more aware of what they eat and drink and how much they eat and drink. It can also help improve eating patterns and control body weight.

    Suggestions about ways to monitor your weight loss progress will be made in my next post, “Keeping Diet and Exercise Diaries.”   


    Living life well-fed,

  • My Bariatric Life

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    NRDC Issue Paper 
    US Department of Agriculture 
    Weight Watchers 

Published On: April 26, 2014