Research: Use a Tracker

If someone wants to lose weight, they should know what they eat and drink daily. The most effective way to do this is to log these items in either a journal or an online food tracker. Awareness is a key step in weight loss and weight management.

Researchers estimated in 2017 that there would be 3.7 billion health app downloads by the end of the year​[1]​ResearchTrusted Source suggests that tracking diet, physical activity, and weight loss progress on the go can be an effective way of managing weight​[2]​.

One studyTrusted Source found that consistent tracking of physical activity helped with weight loss​[3]​. Meanwhile, a review studyTrusted Source found a positive correlation between weight loss and the frequency of monitoring food intake and exercise​[4]​. Even a device as simple as a pedometer can be a useful weight-loss tool​[5]​.

The bottom line: Tracking weight loss success works. Knowing and being aware of your weight loss and exercise successes and failures is key to long-term success. I recommend you find a method that fits within your busy schedule and that you can maintain.


  1. [1]
    C. Stewart, “Number of mHealth app downloads worldwide from 2013 to 2017,” statistica, Oct. 19, 2019. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: Feb. 17, 2023]
  2. [2]
    M. Flores, E. Granado-Font, C. Ferré-Grau, and X. Montaña-Carreras, “Mobile Phone Apps to Promote Weight Loss and Increase Physical Activity: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.,” J Med Internet Res, vol. 17, no. 11, p. e253, Nov. 2015, doi: 10.2196/jmir.4836. [Online]. Available:
  3. [3]
    A. Pourzanjani, T. Quisel, and L. Foschini, “Adherent Use of Digital Health Trackers Is Associated with Weight Loss,” PLOS ONE. Public Library of Science (PLoS), p. e0152504, Apr. 06, 2016 [Online]. Available:
  4. [4]
    L. E. Burke, J. Wang, and M. A. Sevick, “Self-Monitoring in Weight Loss: A Systematic Review of the Literature,” Journal of the American Dietetic Association. Elsevier BV, pp. 92–102, Jan. 2011 [Online]. Available:
  5. [5]
    Y. Cayir, S. M. Aslan, and Z. Akturk, “The effect of pedometer use on physical activity and body weight in obese women,” European Journal of Sport Science. Informa UK Limited, pp. 351–356, Jul. 28, 2014 [Online]. Available:
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About the Author

I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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