Yes, it is, when you are first starting out, both because it's tedious, and because you realize that most people normally eat huge portions, and having to cut them down significantly is a mental battle. That being said, I promise it does get easier, on both counts. The more you track, the more foods you will have saved in your favorites. Now it takes almost no time at all to track things, even when I have to add in new foods. I weigh and measure everything, and it is a rare day that I don't track. For example, I didn't track yesterday because I had a family reunion scheduled, and I just wanted to enjoy the time without worrying about calories.
And that brings me to the portion size issue. I used to eat SO much at one time to get "full." At that cookout, I had half of a piece of chicken (which my dad had already cut in half before grilling), and about 2 cups of salad with just enough dressing to cover my fork before I mixed it around my salad. I was ridiculously full after that and had to wait a couple hours before I could try my dad's girlfriend's homemade chocolate putting that she really wanted me to try, and I had a very reasonable portion of that, nothing at all like I would have had months ago. For breakfast, I had only eaten a mandarin orange and about half of a serving of cereal with a little bit of milk, plus my usual coffee. I had a Greek yogurt with homemade granola at about 5, and my boyfriend and I went to Pizza Hut later in the evening for dinner. Now, I used to be able to eat half a pizza, no problem; I was enormously full after a couple breadsticks and just ONE piece of pizza.
So basically, the more you track and become aware of your portion sizes, the more your body will become used to those smaller portion sizes, and you will no longer need large amounts of food to satisfy your hunger. Even though I didn't track yesterday, I'm certain I was still within my calorie range; I've tracked all of those foods before and know about where they stand on the nutrition scale. My sodium was probably fairly high, although even that may have been okay; the biggest culprit would be the pizza, of course, because it was from a restaurant. I definitely could have eaten more freggies, and I do eat significantly more than 3 servings on most days. But still, compared to the days before when I didn't track, I'm definitely making progress. And that's important to me, because even though tracking isn't as big a deal for me, I don't plan on tracking for the rest of my life, other than every so often while in maintenance to make sure I'm still doing well.
You CAN do this; it just takes time for your mind and body to adjust. Make sure you're getting fiber-rich foods, as those will help with your hunger levels. So will protein and healthy fats.
7/22/13 11:37 A
I think that I just found your original post. It sounds like you are either not eating enough or you are having a very stressful time. If it is a true hunger , then eat some protein and a little fruit and see if that helps. If it is stress, then you need to find the source and deal with it the best way you can other that food. What has helped me alot and I repeat it alot is that I am in control of the food, not the food controls me! Let me know if that helps!
7/22/13 11:31 A
Counting and recording seems to be overwhelming and at times seems to be a dag. I have been there and have resented doing it. But, I have learned a valuable lesson. If I don't I am not accountable to myself. Aso, I get nervous about some foods that I don't have the opportunity to log in. I could not see your original meesage so I am sorry that I could be of no more help! Spark People has made it as easy as it can be. Logging in the foods that you eat on a regular basis makes it simple. If this has helped at all or you want more help, feel free to email me personally. I know that it helps alot to have someone to talk to!
I am wondering if you have gotten your calorie range, and suddenly dropped down to the lower figure, and as a result you are starving???? IF this sounds like you, go back up to what you were eating, and gradually work your way down. Remember, too, that often the lower number is for the sedentary person - if you factor is being very active or exercise, then you will need to eat at a higher range. Also, if hunger is the problem, make sure that you are eating enough lean protein, healthy fats, and non-processed carbs.
IF my assumption is incorrect and it is the 'fag' of calorie counting, then try downsizing your dinner plate and 1/4 fill it with lean protein, 1/4 fill it with carbs and the rest a rainbow of colour with other veges. Make sure that you have a healthy mix of them with each meal, and don't be tempted to skip meals.
I am an ardent calorie-counter. I weigh everything for increased accuracy and enter it all into the Nutrition Tracker. I can assure you that it gets loads easier. If you want you can check my Nutrition Page, and see the load of stuff entered - it would only take me about 5 minutes total in a day to do that. It is also what enabled me to reach my goal after having been overweight for about 30 years, and it is also what has helped me to stay at goal for nearly 3 years!
Take care, Kris
Fitness Minutes: (281,788)
7/21/13 4:00 P
If you find it difficult to count calories, then why not try working on portion control ?
If you do feel like eating anything that isn't nailed down, why not have a piece of fruit ? Did you eat enough at breakfast and lunch ? Many women in an effort to lose weight will drastically cut their caloric intake. That's no good. Eating too little during the day does set us up for a binge later. So, do make sure you're eating enough at breakfast and lunch.
And if you do happen to over eat today, that doesn't make you a bad person. We all have days we eat a little too much. It happens. Tomorrow, you just do your best to eat more mindfully.
7/21/13 3:54 P
So, what is this post about?
Is it about the frustration of counting your calories or the desire to eat everything?
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