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The admission of an oddball Ė I love tracking my food

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Itís not a chore. I know I can manage without it calorie-wise at least short term. Iíve done this during the entire month of December with a cruise and the holidays and no Internet. Yet I look forward to online tracking.

So many weight loss programs/diets include the ďno tracking/weighing/countingĒ benefit in their ads that I must be in the minority. Iíve even read blogs that look forward to the day they can stop tracking and eat intuitively. Oh, I intuitively know what I should be eating. The problem is that itís too easy for me to ignore my inner good sense and scarf the stuff down anyway.

I really like to see the data (especially the charts) of my nutrition tracker. Itís a challenge to stay in range for all nutrients as well as calories.

I like the accountability factor. If I eat it, Iím going to have to write it down and see the numbers change. Itís just not the same to me to keep a pencil and paper diary - too easy for me to misplace it. SP keeps the equivalent of my old school ďpermanent record card.Ē

I like to plan my food for the day and see what happens if I eat this not that.

I wonder how many Sparkers hate tracking, or do it only because they have to, or actually like doing it. Am I really such an oddball or are my fellow tracking enthusiasts just quiet about it?
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GINIEMIE 1/12/2013 5:55AM

    Tracking helps me keep caloric count. I will write down what i'm putting in my mouth and record it. Then I calculate what I will be able to eat for snack and dinner. I never got the hang of calories, my eldest son likes to spout off how many calories are in that ... I just never have been able to do that, so I rely on the nutrition tracker, and since sodium has become a necessary target to keep my blood pressure down, you can bet I'm watching that too-even though when I cook I do not add salt, so I know that sometimes it reports more sodium than I've actually consumed.
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KARRENLYNN 1/11/2013 7:54PM

    Tracking keeps me focused on eating better. Lots of things I used to eat with abandon strikes fear because to eat it means I have to account for it.

The 1 downside I've found is eating things that I can't find nutrition info for, like certain restaurant meals or other peoples dishes. When I have to guess, I either underestimate or overestimate. Sometimes by a lot, which really defeats the purpose of tracking.

At the end of the day, I believe a good part of my success this time is do to tracking on SP. Computer is definitely better than pencil and paper!!

Karen emoticon

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JOPAPGH 1/11/2013 12:35PM

    It's a necessary evil for me. I succeed when I do it and gain weight when I get away from it for any length of time.

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KANDOLAKER 1/11/2013 10:06AM

    Me too! Great blog - and I like tracking for the challenge and KNOWING that I'm doing good and not just guessing! Thanks for sharing.

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WATERMELLEN 1/11/2013 8:17AM

    I have decided I love tracking . . . because tracking is what makes it possible for me to maintain. And just reopened yesterday's nutrition tracker to insert a late snack . . . so yeah, I really do feel 'accountable" to me (as if my body hadn't tracked it anyhow, right??)

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BOOKAPHILE 1/11/2013 8:13AM

    I'm one of the ones who, 3 years ago, looked forward to being able to stop tracking... and here I am re-losing the weight. I'm now convinced that my "intuitive eating" is overwhelmed by my love of food until it skews my portion sizes out of all resemblance to reason. I'll be tracking from here on to avoid having to keep 4 sizes of clothes in my closet. Do I love it? Not really, but I don't hate it, either. I'll do it to be healthy.

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KANOE10 1/11/2013 7:36AM

    I like tracking each morning. It makes me plan what I am eating for the day and keeps me accountable.

I say whatever works for you in staying healthy..do it.

Way to go on maintenance.

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SUNSET09 1/10/2013 10:54PM

  It works for me as I've never tracked like this before and it really helps, as you stated keeps you accountable and you can change your calorie intake amount if you so choose. Even the foods I didn't know were so high and those not so high. I love that I can reveiw the week, month and daily amounts to control not only what I eat, I can track the amount of exercise I'm doing as well. It's a habit with me now as I'm seeing the results! Welcome to the Club! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WILSONWR 1/10/2013 9:37PM

    I like to track because it definitely shows when you are making mistakes.

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COCK-ROBIN 1/10/2013 9:11PM

    Great! I love tracking my food and exercise as well

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ADARKARA 1/10/2013 4:28PM

    I love it too! I find it fun. =)

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LOLATURTLE 1/10/2013 4:06PM

    I kinda love it! I think what I hate is when I know I need to but I can't for whatever reason, either I am away from a reliable internet connection or I'm incredibly busy. (When I'm busy to the point that tracking bothers me is usually when I'm stressed to the point that EVERYTHING bothers me, including eating and sleeping and showering, because they're all just "one more thing on the list." )

But when I have time and availability (the phone mobile app is a HUGE help for this!) I love it. Like you said, I love the "What happens if I eat this? okay what about this?" games. It's like a puzzle sometimes, trying to figure out which food do I want the most and how can I fit it in.

I also love love LOVE LOVE the charts on the SP My Reports. They won't load on my phone browser, lately, which makes me SUPER CRANKY. I want to look at them ALL THE TIME.

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KATEM325 1/10/2013 3:44PM

    I love it and I hate it! It channels my inner Type A & OCD personalities but it also annoys the crap out of me when I can't find what I'm looking for or have to sub it out with something that it not exactly matching my nutrition facts. I do also feel like I'm being held accountable and love being able to look back and see trends in my calorie amounts. I know by examining my reports that I eat the most calories on Friday or am able to make my protein goals if I have hardboiled eggs as my snack.

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NUMD97 1/10/2013 2:17PM

    Found you following the SP crumb trail on my feed. This is interesting: I suspect I like it because it gives me structure and order. And it plainly shows where and how much I mess up. I usually know the where, but the how much, often is astounding. On the days I just cannot track (rare), I just put it in my day runner to transfer to SP when I get the chance, and I always do. It's that important.

For myself, I just cannot see a "graduation day" from this. I suspect it's like a 12-Step Program: You're never totally away from it, because the risk is just too great that we would fall back into bad habits.

Thanks for the interesting post, and all the best as you continue on your journey to better health,

Nu

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KANSASROSE67 1/10/2013 1:48PM

    I can't say I love tracking any more than I love brushing my teeth. But it's the same kind of thing. It's necessary for me. I believe food tracking is the primary reason I was finally able to lose weight and the only way I'm going to permanently keep it off.

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CELLISTA1 1/10/2013 12:52PM

    I like to track my nutrition. I'm not obsessive about it: I don't track when I'm away from home and I don't track when I'm sick, which is right now. I don't worry that I am exactly exactly exact -- but it gives me a close approximation of what I've consumed. My issue isn't the intake, it's the burn. I track fitness too and usually fall short.

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ROSEWAND 1/10/2013 11:58AM

    I love tracking, too! I have been tracking every day
on Spark for over three and one-half years. I have
not missed a day, even Christmas and holidays.

It is about planning. We are more likely to eat well
when we know ahead what we will eat. It is about
accountability, somewhat like balancing your bank
balance. And it really helps to know the nutritional
values of what we are eating.

It takes so little time when you have it set in place.
Just copy meals ahead and make adjustments.
It has become an important part of my life and
helps me maintain my weight.

Check out the blog about tracking I wrote awhile
ago on my SparkPage and you know many of us
are on the same page. emoticon


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MJZHERE 1/10/2013 10:46AM

  I don't like tracking for one reason - I don't want to do the work. I really want to just eat like I should, without the added focus and the work (did I mention that already :)
There is a lot of otter in me - "girls just want to have fun." Unfortunately since I haven't been tracking I see the scale staying more often a few pounds higher. I keep thinking at goal weight that I should now be able to just eat right - without the vigilance. Perhaps this is the thinking that caused a lifetime of yoyoing. Unfortunately most of life seems to require work to get the results.

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HALFFAST 1/10/2013 10:44AM

    I'm kind of anal about tracking- I not only log everything online (to keep track of nutrients), I also write everything down (it helps when I'm making my grocery lists!). So definitely count me in as an oddball! ;)

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HAYBURNER1969 1/10/2013 10:29AM

    I rather like tracking; it's just hard to find the time to do it. I need a nutritional secretary. Being stuck at home today and tomorrow, I plan to enter some of my most common recipes and other things that I eat. I used to have hundreds of things entered in FitDay, but apparently, they are all gone now. Grrr! I think SP is a better site, anyway... I just didn't want to re-enter everything. Well, now I have to, so I will try to do better about tracking.

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CAKEMAKERMOM 1/10/2013 10:26AM

    I love data! It really helps me be able to look back and see what happened, either good or bad.

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NELLJONES 1/10/2013 10:10AM

    I love tracking but not on Spark. I really don't care about my nutrients; if I eat my exchanges as per my plan, the nutrients take care of themselves. I DO have to track exchanges, though, and so many people hated that kind of tracking that WW switched to points. And people hate tracking those. But then again, most people don't balance their checkbooks or keep track of expenditures (debt crisis rather than calorie crisis). With pen and paper it's not that hard, takes minutes a day. The objections must be something other than time....like not really WANTING to know what they are eating or spending.

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FLGIRL1234 1/10/2013 9:54AM

    I think its fantastic! You will definately be more successful in your journey with the tracking.

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BOILHAM 1/10/2013 9:50AM

    The extent of my "tracking" is writing down my daily calorie intake on one of those erasable pads. I don't necessarily dislike doing that, but I think it makes me seem a bit obsessive to those who observe me doing it. Like my DW and grown up kids. But, I am at about my ideal weight now, and never really had a weight problem at all until I got up to age 60 or so. So, my comments probably don't apply.

But, at least I got to say hello to you this way. :)

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SUZYMOBILE 1/10/2013 9:08AM

    What weirdos we are! I'm HOOKED on tracking. I trust myself so little that I wouldn't even dream of not tracking, unless I had no Internet access (as when we were on a cruise). Other SparkFriends have tried not tracking, and it just doesn't work, so why not do it?

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IMSMILEY88 1/10/2013 8:38AM

    Oh, I think you are quite the oddball! emoticon But, I think it is WONDERFUL that you love to track. I met goal weight & held it for a year... without tracking. And, then, last year, I gained 15 pounds...without tracking. Yes, tracking WORKS!!! But, I just can't wrap my mind around the idea that I might need to do this forever!!! Ugh!

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ONMYMEDS 1/10/2013 8:17AM

    I guess you can count me in as an oddball because I also like tracking.

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SANDYCRANE 1/10/2013 7:47AM

    I do not like tracking. Our computer is rather slow and the internet is a little unreliable. Those are two excuses. Actually I thought it would help me more to record everything in a small journal, still have not done it though. But you are right, it is easy not to count that piece of chocolate and bite of this and that. I need to do something because that scale is definitely not moving down. Thanks for the reminder. In answer to your question, no you are not an oddball. You are a person who will be successful on your weight loss journey.

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