2. You’re Not Keeping Track of What You’re Eating

You’re Not Keeping Track of What You’re Eating

1. You’re Not Keeping Track of What You’re Eating
Awareness is incredibly important if you are trying to lose weight. Many people don’t have a clue how much they’re really eating.

Studies show that keeping track of your diet helps with weight loss. People who use food diaries or photograph their meals consistently lose more weight than people who don’t (1, 2Trusted Source).

SUMMARY
Keeping a food diary can be helpful when you are trying to lose weight.

2. You’re Not Eating Enough Protein
Protein is the single most important nutrient for losing weight.

Eating protein at 25–30% of calories can boost metabolism by 80–100 calories per day and make you automatically eat several hundred fewer calories per day. It can also drastically reduce cravings and desire for snacking (3Trusted Source, 4Trusted Source, 5Trusted Source, 6Trusted Source, 7Trusted Source).

This is partly mediated by protein’s effects on appetite-regulating hormones, such as ghrelin and others (8Trusted Source, 9Trusted Source).

If you eat breakfast, be sure to load up on protein. Studies show that those who eat a high-protein breakfast are less hungry and have fewer cravings throughout the day (10Trusted Source).

A high protein intake also helps prevent metabolic slowdown, a common side effect of losing weight. Additionally, it helps prevent weight regain (11Trusted Source, 12Trusted Source, 13Trusted Source).

SUMMARY
Low protein intake may bring your weight loss efforts to a standstill. Make sure to eat plenty of protein-rich foods.
3. You’re Eating Too Many Calories
A large number of people who have trouble losing weight are simply eating too many calories.

You may think that this does not apply to you, but keep in mind that studies consistently show that people tend to underestimate their calorie intake by a significant amount (14Trusted Source, 15Trusted Source, 16Trusted Source).

If you are not losing weight, you should try weighing your foods and tracking your calories for a while.

Here are some helpful resources:

Calorie calculator — Use this tool to figure out how many calories to eat.
Calorie counters — This is a list of five free websites and apps that can help you keep track of your calorie and nutrient intake.
Tracking is also important if you’re trying to reach a certain nutrient goal, such as getting 30% of your calories from protein. This can be impossible to achieve if you’re not tracking things properly.

It is generally not necessary to count calories and weigh everything for the rest of your life. Instead, try out these techniques for a few days every few months to get a feel for how much you’re eating.

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