TALVARADO6   11,330
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Nutrition Adjustments

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

I am made some adjustments to my nutrition tracker. I feel like Sparkpeople was telling me to eat a lot more than I really should be and was slowing my progress. Of course, some of my progress has been slowed because I have lost focus and haven't been as consistent as I should be, but I think some of that distraction is out of frustration with the process. So, I'm hoping by making some changes I can start doing better.

What I've noticed is that, although Sparkpeople recommends you eat 50% carbs, 30% fat, and 20% protein, the ranges don't really match the recommendation. The low end is too low, and the high end is WAY too high. So, I wanted to share with others the way I figure this, it takes a little math, but I will try to keep it basic.

One gram of Carbs = 4 Calories
One gram of Fat = 9 Calories
One gram of Protein = 4 Calories

My current calorie range is 1,700-2,100.

1700 calories * .50 = 850 calories / 4 calories/g = 212.5g of carbs
2100 calories * .50 = 1050 calories / 4 calories/g = 262.5g of carbs

Carb range should be 212-262 g carbs per day.

1700 calories * .30 = 510 calories / 9 calories/g = 56.6 g of fat
2100 calories * .30 = 630 calories / 9 calories/g = 70 g of fat

Fat range should be 56-70 g of fat per day

1700 calories * .20 = 340 calories / 4 calories/g = 85 g of protein
2100 calories * .20 = 420 calories / 4 calories/g = 105 g of protein

Protein range should be 85-105 g of protein per day

So, now I've narrowed my ranges down to actually meet the goals I have placed. Hopefully, this encourages me to keep my meals more balanced. As I adjust my calories down, I will have to adjust the carb/fat/protein ranges, since SP does not do it automatically.

I hope this all makes sense, if someone wants to do this also and needs help, just let me know, I can help!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOBYCARP 9/24/2014 7:39PM

    The ranges the tracker spits out aren't spot on the 20/30/50 target. I found an article a while back that explained how they were set, and calculated it out that the low number was the low end of the calorie range times the low end of the percentage range, while the high number was the high end of the calorie range times the high end of the percentage range.

I didn't pay a lot of attention to fat or carbs, because those ranges were working for me. But I needed more protein than the bottom end of the tracker to feel full and satisfied. I think the low end of protein was 9% of the bottom end of calories, while the high end was 35% of the high end of calories. I never hit that high number, but I have to watch what I'm doing to hit something reasonable for me, which would be protein in the 19-25% of calories range.

I tend to have fat squeezed down toward the bottom end of the Spark range, which comes out around 20% of calories for me; but I don't worry if it's over.

Anything left is carbs, which can range from the low 50s to 60% of my calories, with the higher percentage coming on running days.

Of course, my numbers probably aren't right for you; but I think you're on the right track, figuring out what *you* need and adjusting the tracker to give yourself a proper range to meet your own individual needs.

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BANANAMAG 9/24/2014 1:58PM

    Wow, that is very math-y of you =). I know that having number goals when it came to food really helped me, so I think it's a great idea to figure out your range for where you want to be. I think it's good to know those numbers, too, because then if you're high on carbs for one meal, for example, you know that you can keep them low for another meal and balance it out. I've been learning that more a bit, too, since I've been tracking entire days at a time instead of meals. I hope this really helps you a lot!

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Need to change it up

Saturday, September 20, 2014

I know that Sparkpeople does calculate all your height and weight and activity level in when they say how much you should eat every day. But, I think I want to see what would happen if I made my calorie range a little stricter. Right now they have me eating between 1800-2200 per day. I think the calorie range is so high that it is making losing weight go really slow and I lose motivation way too fast. I think I am going to try to drop it maybe 100 calories every couple weeks or so and see if that helps me. I've done it before and it worked really well, I'd drop it by 100 calories, and then when I felt "used to it" I'd drop it another 100, until I got down to a point where I felt it was low enough and didn't want to go lower.

I don't know if anyone has any opinions on this, but I feel like it's worth a try. It's not like I am going to starve myself, but I need to get motivated and get going. I wanted to drop 50lbs by my son's bday and it's already been 4 months and I haven't done squat, in fact have gained since his birthday. Need to get my poop in a group!

Also, I have been sick this past week. But this week I had a really good thought. I am going to have a babysitter come over daily in the evening for an hour or two so my husband and I can go out for a walk or jog or when it gets cold we can go to the gym. She only charges us $3/hr, because she will be here while the baby is sleeping, so she doesn't have to do anything just sit and watch movies or whatever she wants. So, when I am feeling all better, I am going to start doing that. Helps her too, because she wants some extra $$. I can pay for it with some of the money I've been making doing some babysitting myself.

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BANANAMAG 9/21/2014 8:19PM

    I got way more results when I started using my Fitbit to figure out how many calories I should be eating a day. And you can use it to do the same thing. Start off telling it you only want to lose half a pound a week. Then, when you're used to that number, bump it up another half pound. Every half pound is 250 calories a day I believe. I've been doing the opposite for maintenance, and it's been really great. It was a very gentle way to introduce my body to more calories, and I think it would be the same for weight loss. I liked it, too, because the range was much smaller. Only a range of about 100 calories instead of like 500, and it was based on how much I moved that day. But either way, I think it's a good idea to reanalyze if things aren't working the way you want them to.

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MOBYCARP 9/21/2014 7:41PM

    "The formulas used to estimate how many calories people need to maintain their current weight aren't accurate for everyone—they can be off by as much as 30-40%, . . . "

Source article: http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource

If you dig hard enough, you can find SP admitting that their numbers can be way off for some individuals. Too bad they don't give users an easy way to adjust when it becomes apparent that the numbers are off.

I work around it by using the old-style, non-preferred nutrition tracker that bases the allowance on estimated exercise burn instead of recorded exercise burn. Then I set the estimated calories burned by exercise to achieve the calorie range my scale tells me is working for maintenance. The same principal could be used in weight loss, you just have more room for a little inaccuracy.

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Why is it so hard to stay on track?

Friday, September 05, 2014

I feel like I go on and off Sparkpeople so often, sometimes I'm not really sure why I keep trying. It's so aggravating. I think some of it is I get too comfortable with myself and I don't feel like changing, but I know I need to. I like myself the way I am right now, I don't feel upset or frustrated looking in the mirror. The only thing that frustrates me is knowing that I am not where I wanted to be by now. Still shopping plus size, have to order almost everything I want to wear online. I definitely didn't still want to be the size I am right now by this time.

My goal was to get down to 200lbs by my son's second birthday. I have about 8 months to go, and I haven't made any progress since his birthday, in fact have back slid a bit. I don't know how some of you have done it!? I just can't seem to stay on track for more than about a month. I get stressed out and give up way too easy. I need to figure out what can really motivate me to stay on it and lose the weight.

Tracking food definitely helps, but I throw it out the window so fast. It's so easy to just "give up for the day" when I go a little off course. I don't know what's wrong with me, I'm just getting too complacent about all this. But, before I know it, it's going to be my son's 2nd birthday and I'm going to be kicking myself for not doing it, for myself and for him. I want to be a good example of a healthy person, I want to pursue my career in health, and I want him to have a mom who can live a long and active life. He is such a sweet and active boy, I don't want that to ever change.

Love my little man.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPINNINGJW 9/19/2014 7:59AM

    My suggestion is to try not to do it ALL. I know you have a fitbit - so start with trying to increase your step count by 1,000 steps per day. Start with today! However many steps you take today, add 1,000 to that, and try and get that many tomorrow. Your little guy will love going for walks with mom. Keep increasing till you get to 10,000 daily.

I know when kids are little, it is incredibly hard to find time for yourself. Even if it is just 10 minutes of "Daddy" time - you do something for yourself - take a bubble bath, have a glass of wine (if that is something you enjoy), write in a journal, catch up on Spark People (that may take more than 10 min)

Whatever you decide to do, remember YOU ARE WORTH IT!!!!

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CINDYAST 9/11/2014 9:46PM

    Oh I wish I could just give you a hug right now! I've been where you are. Don't give up, you CAN do this! I know from personal experience, you're thinking, oh that's fine for someone else, what makes them special that they can lose weight and I just can't. You CAN you CAN you CAN! Take it a day at a time, and if that's too much, a minute at a time. What's helped me most is the daily (sometimes hourly) decision that this is what I'm going to do. I WILL make healthy choices, I WILL exercise regularly, I WILL make this a lifestyle change. Every time you make that decision, it, you feel proud of yourself that you made that step, no matter how small it seems. It's the small steps that add up. Try not to look at the big, final picture, but focus on the here and now. And don't just do it for your son, as important as he is, you need to do it for yourself as well. And look how far you've come! THAT IS something to celebrate!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BANANAMAG 9/6/2014 6:27PM

    I know it is super hard to focus on yourself when you have a little one and a husband to look after. So I think one thing for you is to learn to give yourself a little slack. If you backslide, you know that the best thing to do is shrug it off and try to pick back up where you left off. It's hard to not feel guilty, I know! It's something I'm always working on as well. Because guilt leads to more overeating, which leads to disappointment and frustration. So, do what you can, and don't be so hard on yourself. You've already come so far! You can keep on with this, especially since you have me and others cheering you on.

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    Take it ONE step, ONE day, at a time. emoticon

“What you perceive as a failure today may actually be a crucial step towards the success you seek. Never give up.”
― Richelle E. Goodrich

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DLISA78 9/5/2014 12:59PM

  you can do this... your motivation is right there... in that little guy.... emoticon emoticon

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Staying on Track

Sunday, July 06, 2014

I've been struggling to stay on track with tracking foods, which is the most important thing for me to help with weight loss in my experience so far. When I track consistently, I see consistent progress, when I don't track I either plateau or back slide. I think what I'm going to try is like a count up type thing like the "# of Days without an Accident" signs at big factory plants. Except mine will be "# of Days Tracking Streak" up on my white board. I don't know if I'll stick with it, but it's worth a shot, kind of a way of challenging myself to stay on track and compete with myself to get the longest tracking streak I can get. I'm going to try it, and hopefully update on that eventually.

Oh! A little while back I did post a bunch of pictures from when I first met my husband to now and then some people requested I do the same for my son on his first birthday. Well, I made a video for his birthday and I meant to put it on here for you to see, also, and never got to it. So, here it is, just copy/paste the link.

The songs are all meaningful to me and I never got around to really explaining to anyone what they meant to me. I don't know if it'll make any sense to anyone, but I'll explain anyways.

First, "Can't Help Falling in Love" by Elvis Presley. This song was played frequently during David's first few months. "Wise men says only fools rush in, but I can't help falling in love with you." I had struggled a lot feeling like this was all such bad timing and we didn't have a plan for how we were going to support a baby or what we'd do. I had a lot of fears while I was pregnant about whether I could emotionally handle it, also. Diving in head first without a plan was foolish, but in the end I couldn't help falling in love with him, even though sometimes my love was expressed mostly as fear, deep down it was really I just loved him so much I couldn't bear the thought of him not having his needs met, emotionally or otherwise. Then "Like a river flows surely to the sea, darling so it goes, somethings are meant to be", I have been so amazed by how things have worked out and honestly he hasn't cost us much money at all. We have had amazing people in our lives who helped provide some of his needs, big and small, it all really added up. The most expensive thing we have done is baby proofing and just now him having to go on toddler formula (which may be a separate blog post of it's own on another day). It has worked out so perfect it was just mean to be. It has not been completely smooth sailing emotionally for me, but things get better every day and it does help that we are getting more secure financially.

Second, "I Love You Always Forever". This was also a song I played a lot when he was a newborn. I loved to dance with him to this song because it was so upbeat. "Feels like I'm standing in a timeless dream of light mists and pale amber rose. Feels like I'm lost in a deep cloud of heavenly scent. Touching, discovering you." It felt so unreal, like a dream, (sometimes a nightmare) but it was all happening around me. It took me awhile to really get to know David, and even now I feel like I am still getting to know him. I love his soft skin and his little feet and hands. I love his smile and laugh, the little noises he makes, the excited sounds and motions he makes when someone he loves enters the room. And of course the main course of the song just speaks for itself! "I love you always forever, Near or far, closer together, Everywhere I will be with you, Everything I will do for you" needs no explanation I don't think. "You've got the most unbelievable blue eyes I've ever seen, you've got me almost melting away." Oh I just love David's eyes, they are so interesting this bluish green, so unexpected since I thought I'd get a dark brown eyed baby since me and my husband both have brown eyes, such a sweet surprise.

Last, "You and Me" by Frances England. This is my song for him now, and probably for a long time. I am so proud of him. I love the great memories we are making now. I also like how this song actually lines up in the video to where he starts really making some progress in getting mobile, crawling, pulling up, giving HUGE smiles. Oh I just so proud of him. He is so sweet and I just adore this song. "How did you grow so big over night? How did you get so smart and bright? Yesterday you were asleep in my arms, today you're growing off the charts! I'm so proud of you." It really did feel like one day he was this squishy blob baby that didn't do much but cry, sleep, and eat. Now he has developed such a fun personality and he likes to play and learn things and interact with me. I can't pin point exactly where that happened, but what is fun and not really planned was that the point where that song comes on the video is showing where he is suddenly becoming more mobile, you can see the sudden difference from him being a tiny baby to being an older baby going into toddlerhood. It's so perfect!

Anyways, I hope you enjoyed the video and I will update about how the whiteboard count up is going at a later time. I'm hoping it helps!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BANANAMAG 7/7/2014 9:39PM

    I absolutely love your song descriptions. They made me feel a bit teary! You are doing a great job with David, and I know you will always do what's right for him.

As far as your tracking streak, I think it's a great idea to compete with yourself. The best thing is, even if you track and go over your calories, you can still count that as a day you tracked! Sometimes it's better just to be honest with yourself. I know you can do this!

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CINDYAST 7/7/2014 4:58PM


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SPINNINGJW 7/7/2014 7:09AM

    I don't do well with food tracking at all. I hope this strategy works well for you. Keep us posted!

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ROXYCARIN 7/7/2014 12:20AM


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Memorial Day Follow Up

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

So, after reading the comments of a few people on my last blog entry, I decided I would go to that BBQ that my husband really wanted to go to. It was fun. There was not as much tempting food there as I had thought. I've been there before for those parties and they usually have loads of food and all different kinds. This time they just had burgers, brats, potatoes, and chips. I spied some brownies, but they were covered and no one was eating them, so I wasn't sure they were meant for everyone. I had one Mountain Dew, because it's my favorite and I knew I could only have one and drink lemonade or water the rest of the time.

Weigh in today and I hadn't gained, so that's awesome. Happy happy happy.

I am on track today, also. I went for 2 walks today, earlier I walked to the post office and then later I took the dog for a nice walk after David went to bed. Hit my 5000 steps for the day, and a little beyond!

Tomorrow is the trip downstate. We aren't leaving until later on after Vince gets out of work, so I know I will be fine during the day, being able to track what I eat. Usually we do grab some food on the drive and caffeine is a must when leaving late in the day. But, I should still be able to track and stay at least close to my ranges. Vince is very on board and is trying to lose weight also, although I haven't talked him into tracking, he just eats what I eat, and sometimes a bit more. Seems to have worked well for him for the most part.

I don't really expect to lose any weight on this trip, but hopefully I can stay under control for the most part. As far as the competition, I think I will just be happy if I can weigh at the end of the 4 weeks the same as when we started. I don't think it's really possible for me to catch up to the people who lost 7lbs the first week, when I haven't lost anything still after the 2nd weigh in. It really wouldn't be healthy, and that's the whole point, right? I guess what I'm worried about is if people start "talking crap" to me about the competition, since I won last time. I never did that to anyone, I never talked about that I was winning, but they all did. Hopefully, they remember that I was never the one to bring it up and I never bragged to them about it. But I guess even if they do, I'll just tell them, my goal is just to maintain right now, I wasn't planning on winning. It's just still embarrassing to be dead last.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BMCKEOW1 5/28/2014 1:17PM

    Way to go at the BBQ. Sometimes they are hard but it sounds like you did really well. Be proud of that. As for the competition you will do awesome. One my goals when doing those is to never end up worse then when I started. It's helped before. Good luck.

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JADED_CHICK19 5/28/2014 12:24PM

    Don't feel bad about the competition. These things are meant to be motivators to help build or continue healthy lifestyles! The people who are not doing that are not going to get out of it what they are meant to but you will! Keep your head held high and do what works for you...

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SPINNINGJW 5/28/2014 7:12AM

    Don't be embarrassed. Even if you come in last in this competition, at least you started. You are not sitting on the couch doing nothing. So, you've had a rough patch. Everyone has them. (I have been on a terrible eating pattern, and my scale is up a little bit)

Hang in there, and remember the reasons you started on this journey. Have a safe and fun trip, and make each eating choice as it is presented.

One option for eating out that I have seen many places is to cut your restaurant meal in half when it is placed in front of you. Ask for a "to go" box right away, and put half the meal in the box, and just eat half. This will help with the enormous servings given in most restaurants.

Maybe you should try David's trick and eat the dog food? He's skinny, right?

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BANANAMAG 5/27/2014 9:03PM

    I am so proud of you for getting up the strength to go to that bbq. And it sounds like you did awesome. Maintaining your weight the next day after a party is a feat for sure!

I'm also glad that you're not going to try to catch up with those people who lost a bunch at the beginning. Because, you're right, it's not healthy to lose that much in a week. And I don't think you should be embarrassed about being last. Someone has to be last! And you can be proud of yourself in the end when you maintain or lose some (I know you will because you're just that awesome).

Something to consider...I know you guys are big Mt. Dew fans. However, if you happened to want to trade that out with tea once in awhile, you could be doing yourself a big favor. Compare the calories and see. I found on my last trip that a lot of gas stations even have hot bagged tea in the same area as their coffee. Then you won't get any calories at all!

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CINDYAST 5/27/2014 8:42PM

    Glad you decided to go to the BBQ and enjoyed yourself! emoticon
One thing I do is toss some veggies, fruits, and water into a small cooler with an ice pack and it will help with the trip "munchies". I've even made my own sandwiches for lunch on the road. And it's cheap! lol! Have a great time!

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