I think every fitness magazine and fitness site I’ve ever read mentions that keeping a food diary is the best way to lose weight. Food diaries are vital for self-assessment and monitoring. Many studies have shown that people who keep food journals lose more weight and keep more of that weight off in the long run. In fact, in a study of 1,685 dieters conducted by a health insurance company, the best predictor of weight loss throughout the first year was the number of food records kept per week. And another recent study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that dieters who tracked their food intake in a "food diary" lost twice as much weight as those who didn’t track their food.
Why keep a food diary?
- Tracking the food we eat forces us to take responsibility for our food choices. It shows what we’re really eating, and how much we’re eating.
- An accurate food journal helps us see eating patterns, giving us insight into when and why we eat.
- Monitoring the foods we eat helps us estimate calorie intake, so we can make adjustments, by eating less or exercising more.
So what does this have to do with Twitter?
If you’re like me, twitter has become a part of your daily life. You tweet from your computer, ipod, phone, blackberry… the list goes on. Well now there’s a site called "Tweet What You Eat" – a new Twitter-based diet diary that lets users track their food and calorie intake simply by sending a direct message to: twye. To get started register for an account with your twitter username and password at www.tweetwhatyoueat.com then follow twye and send direct messages to ‘d twye’ (for example: ‘d twye yogurt cup.’ ). Don’t worry if you don’t know how many calories a food has either – Tweet What You Eat has has a ‘CrowdCal system’, a completely crowd-sourced calorie database, which fills in food entries’ calorie count based on what other members have entered.
Here’s a screenshot of my diary:
For me, it’s all about keeping it simple – I can’t log onto an online food diary from work (Big Brother is always watching), I can’t take 5 minutes to wait for my laptop to boot up ’cause my kids will murder each other while I’m waiting, but I do have twitter set up on my phone so I can send a quick text from anywhere I have phone service to update my diary.
I’ll be giving it a try – will you? Maybe we can tweet each other to a thinner waist by Christmas!