6 Steps to use a calorie tracker effectively

Submitted by: Danny Smith

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To diet and lose weight it is important to know the amount of calories you eat. You cannot simply estimate the amount of calories in a meal, you have to identify the food items and track the exact amount of calories each food item contains. We recommend using a calorie tracker or food journal, such as Careot – the app that cares, to perform the following 6 steps to help track your calories.

1-Track everything you eat
Accuracy in tracking the amount of each food or drink item you eat is important as it impacts your total calorie intake. Track meals on weekdays and weekends, as eating patterns can vary based upon your life style patterns, such as when you visit the ballpark or theater. Download the Careot app onto your iPhone to easily take pictures of every meal you eat and then enter meal names and track specific nutrient values. You need to also include the little snacks, such as chips, candy bars, peanut butter sandwich, and salad dressing. Remember to include sodas, wines, and beer too.

2-Use visual cues to ensure portion control
The most effective way to measure what you eat is to weigh your food. However, this is not easy to do all the time, each and every time you eat. Studies have shown that most people do not guess their portion sizes accurately. They typically under count the calories and end up not losing weight as they cannot figure out what is causing the high calorie intake.

Instead, follow recommended portion estimates, such as only half your plate should have fruits and vegetables, a quarter should be carbohydrates and the remaining quarter protein. When you sit to eat the visual of your plate should reflect the above mentioned guidelines. Take a picture of your meal with Careot to make sure you are sticking to the plan and not overloading each portion, especially the food items you like. We recommend taking the picture before you start eating so you include your wine, juice or soda, which also add to the calorie intake.

3-Take a picture to easily track everything you eat during a day
For effective dieting and weight loss it is essential to track everything you eat and drink during the day. However, this is not easy to do. With Careot you can make this process easier by either taking a picture just before you consume a food item or use the GPS tracker to pull up previously eaten meals from a specific location. At the end of the day review the list of meals and record the calories for each food you ate using the Careot nutrient database.

4-Total calories for each meal, day, week and month.
Maintaining a healthy diet requires ongoing discipline. Careot makes it easy to not only total the number of calories for a meal but also over a day, week or month.

5-Analyze your calories over time
Careot makes it easy to track, total, and trend your calorie intake over a specific period. The app also provide you with user friendly graphs on your dashboard to help you monitor and stick to you plan to live a healthy life style.

6-Stick to the plan – Make it fun
Sticking to a diet for a long time is very difficult. Most people will go on a diet for a short period of time but then get tired of constantly doing all the steps required to stick with the plan. Careot allows you to invite friends or join a community of dieters who can encourage each other to stick with the plan, compete on calorie intake and weight loss, or share ideas to improve eating habits.

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