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Eating Healthy without the Nutrition Tracker

Monday, March 18, 2013

A few days ago I shared how the nutrition tracker, for me, can trigger a whole bucket-full of negative reactions. Thank you to all who shared encouragement, good ideas, and questions. It got me to thinking about how I do approach my food intake. Because even without the tracker I've used intent or restraint.

I guess I use a mishmash of techniques that I've gained throughout a life of dieting.

- I try to mentally note that I've had enough protein and dairy in a day. That comes from following a diabetic exchange diet in my last two pregnancies.
- I make sure I get at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day, which is a newly formed habit from the SP Spring into Shape Challenge.
- I use the mental image from the USDA MyPlate. Half a plate of fruits & vegetables, 1/4 plate of protein, 1/4 plate of carbohydrates.
- I've put several of Bob Harper's Skinny Rules into practice: water before a meal, going to bed with a mostly empty stomach, etc.
- I'm mindful of serving sizes.

So, without the nutrition tracker, and using those gentle approaches above I lost 3.5 lb. in February. Well, I also exercised a whole awful lot!

I'm not writing this post to give anyone an excuse not to use the tracker. I think you should. I want to get to the point where I can use it regularly without triggering my inner perfectionist guilt machine. But I do believe that we all can find a way to live healthier, even if it isn't by "standard" methods.

And in the spirit of full disclosure, I've used the nutrition tracker the past two days. I can't say it hasn't added an edge of stress and anxiety. I can't say that I won't drop it in the future. But I count it progress that I'm having a milder reaction that when I tried it a week ago.

I want to conquer this triggering situation tied to numbers. It will be a process and will take time. But I know I can get to my goal of a healthier life one way or another.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • TERESA159
    You're much smarter than I am! I could not eat within my range if I did not track. I'm too forgetful and plus any chance to cheat and I take it. So that tracker keeps me honest. I MAKE myself track everything. It's an ugly sight some days and I'd be ashamed to have anyone else see it but there's been enough times when I wanted to binge that the thought of having to add that to the tracker has made me stop.
    I say, "Whatever works!!" And obviously, what you're doing works.

    Here's some cookies! emoticon
    1731 days ago
    Good for you and congratulations on the weight loss success.
    Sometimes it's not all about the numbers, it's more about the way you feel when you hold yourself accountable.
    The number things don't make much difference in my weight loss journey, and the food tracker for me is so that I can plan my day ahead of time and make sure that I am getting the full benefits of seeing what I am eating.

    1732 days ago
    I'm the same as you. I do not find the nutrition tracker to be a very useful tool in my arsenal either but, like you, have found other ways to manage things. It's all about finding what works. Kudos to the folks who can and do track, but also a hearty congratulations to those of us who find success with other methods. We are not one-size-fits-all and our approaches shouldn't be either.


    1732 days ago
    Great job taking control of your reactions!

    I agree that you should use whatever methods work for your life, but if you can open more opportunities to yourself, it's always a good thing. The nutrition tracker is just another tool in the toolbox. Tackling and managing that anxiety is a huge accomplishment that will have so many other advantages for the rest of your life.

    WAY TO GO!
    1733 days ago
  • POPSY190
    You are doing fine minus tracker - well on the way to a more relaxed approach to food monitoring.
    1733 days ago
    We all have to find what works for us - and if the nutrition tracker backfires for you, then don't stress over trying to pigeonhole it to work.

    Good luck!
    1733 days ago
    1733 days ago
    I think we each have to decide what works best for us as individuals. For many, using the nutrition tracker is a help. You have found that it does NOT help you but you are discovering what DOES work. Congratulations on your loss in February. Keep up the good work. emoticon emoticon emoticon

    Judy emoticon
    1733 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.