When you diet to either lose fat or gain muscle, you should maintain a food log of what you eat and how much. This can be critical in keeping you eating enough (or not too much) food, and eating the appropriate amounts of the right kinds of foods at the right times. Research confirms that those who track their food intake in a journal better maintain their diet. In fact, one 2008 study funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute at the National Institutes of Health reported that those who consistently kept afood log for 30 months, lost twice as much weight as those not keeping a log.

To make that food diary even better, consider photographing your meals, as well. University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers had subjects record what they ate for one week in words or in photographs. They found that those taking photos of their food made a more critical evaluation of the items on their plate before eating them, which caused them to make better food choices. With the help of camera phones, photographing your meal is as easy as pressing a button. Adding photos to your food log can help you better evaluate your diet and keep you on the right track — whether that track is a one-way ticket to massville or a fall on the bodyfat scale.