A Delicious Way to Diet

By Nicci Micco, January/February 2009

Learn how nine readers lost weight on the EatingWell Diet and how you can too.

"Sounds good hope it works for diabetics "

Step #3: Keep Track

Once you establish a calorie goal, record everything you consume—and the number of calories in these foods and drinks. “Writing down every single morsel that goes into my mouth forces me to reflect on portions and food choices,” says Lynn Fowler, 43, of Newtown, Connecticut. “Sometimes the idea of writing something down stops me from putting it in my mouth.”

Use a tracking system that suits you. If you’re always on the run, you might carry a small notebook or make entries on your PDA. If you have all-day access to a computer, you could design a spreadsheet, like Lynn did, or use an online tracker. Whatever method you use, be sure to tally the calories as you go. If you wait until the end of the day, you’re more likely to exceed your target.

To help ensure that your calorie counts are as accurate as they can be, measure or weigh your portions, at least for the first week or two. Most people tend to significantly underestimate the calories they consume. In one study, people underestimated the calorie content of restaurant dinners by as much as 956 calories! In fact, if you are eating out, look up the calorie counts before you go to help you to make better choices. For example, at McDonald’s a Premium Southwest Salad with Crispy Chicken and ranch dressing has 600 calories. The same salad with grilled chicken and low-fat vinaigrette has only 360 calories.

Get a full year of EatingWell magazine.
World Wide Web Health Award Winner Web Award Winner World Wide Web Health Award Winner Interactive Media Award Winner