Most people meticulously analyze their food intake (calories, carbs, protein, and fats), which results in bewilderment. They become unaware of how to cope with their diet, allow their emotions to get the best of them, and devour sweet-and-sour pork with white rice, and finish the meal with a satisfying stop at the chocolate fountain. Start accounting for your calories the proper way.

Here’s a new thought to consider: Don’t worry about changing anything. Begin tracking everything you consume. There’s no reason to limit your dietary restrictions by counting. Write down every single meal, including drinks—every single day. Start writing a food journal, find an app that works well for you, write letters or e-mails to yourself after every meal. The point is to immediately take action!

Believe me, simplicity has a deep impact. Here are some reasons why you should implement tracking macros today:

1 – Evidence-Based Science

Kaiser Permanente Care Management Institute’s Weight Management Initiative conducted a study with more than 1,700 men on how a food diary correlates to weight loss.

The research demonstrated the best indicator of weight loss didn’t rely on specific foods in their diet, but how often each person updated their food diaries. Those people who recorded meals every single day lost twice as much weight as those who decided not to.

The mere act of writing down what you eat motivates you to stay on track and eat less

2 – Understand Portion Sizes Better

When you sit down at the table to eat, it may not seem like a dramatic difference to eat a pencil-thin slice of pie, as opposed to a hefty slice. If you are accustomed to consuming large amounts of desserts, you won’t think twice about grabbing another slice. However, when you record your meals, you are forced to recognize the substantial difference between the two slices. Portions are decisions.

As you continue on your journey, you’ll begin questioning yourself before you grab the cooking utensils, “Will I enjoy this meal?” “Does it really help me with my health and fitness goals?” A momentary pause can keep you on track and make all the difference.

3 – Show Gaps In Your Diet

Some diets aren’t mentally rewarding and zap the fun out of you. Have you followed one of these diets and saw no weight loss? “How is it even feasible?” you continuously ask yourself. The answer isn’t rocket science.

The action of writing down every possible piece of food you consume helps prevent extra bites and sips from happening unconsciously. If you frequently drink soda or two throughout the day, have a couple of glasses of wine in the evening, or begin your day with a sugary coffee—you won’t be able to identify your behavior because the habit is deeply ingrained in your psyche.

All of the little things add up. If you feel motivated, you can do your due diligence and calculate how many calories are in those drinks or unhealthy snacks you eat, but save yourself the time and trouble. The simple act of tracking is sufficient.

How To Create A Food Diary

Begin writing down all of your food choices and portion sizes of everything you consume. Don’t just do it for a day. Make a serious commitment for a month. Don’t worry, you won’t have to change anything in your diet. Remember to always include anything you drink.

Text messages, an app, notebook, or e-mails are all acceptable forms to record your food diary. Discover what works best for you. Be dedicated to writing everything down.

Never attempt to write down any of your meals ahead of time. In the beginning, it sounds more beneficial, but the problem is it probably won’t be correct because the likelihood of you eating exactly what you’ve written down is slim to none.

Include every single nibble and bite. It’s important you establish the habit of writing down all of your food choices. Give this practice a shot before you try something else. You will be surprised by the results!