Try not to get too focused on numbers, such as calories or sodium content, when dieting, recommends registered dietitian Suzanne Havala Hobbs, who writes that numbers should be used only as a "measuring stick" or a "built-in brake" to make quick estimates when making food choices. She writes that keeping a food diary and checking it every few days is a good way to track habits, because people who are aware of what and how much they eat often change their behaviors.

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