Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Twenty days ago I reset my SP nutrition tracker to respond to my tracked fitness on a daily basis. Prior to that, from September 2009 until September of 2013, the weekly anticipated fitness activities for the week were used to calculate my calorie range on the SP nutrition tracker. There were 2 reasons I wanted to make the change. One, on my long run days I was hungry if I stuck to my calorie range and felt guilty if I didn't. Two, I had used the Weight Watcher tracking system where APs (activity points) are earned on a daily basis and I thought it was helpful both to manage hunger and to encourage activity especially on my non-run days.
So what do I think of this new option?
I'm not sorry I changed, but it is not as easy and seamless as I have come to expect on SparkPeople. Last Saturday after my 13+ mile run when I burned around 900 calories, I found that my calorie range was increased, but my carbohydrate, fat, and protein were not increased. So I ran out of carbs, fat, and protein before getting to my calorie range. So it can't work as displayed. We know that fat and protein are 4 calories per gram and fat is 9 calories per gram.
So I wrote the SparkCoach and asked what to do. The response verified what I had found, "When you sync your trackers, only the calories get adjusted, not the nutrient grams and ratios, so you'll need to increase those on your own. If you're doing a lot of running and training for big events like you describe, I'd recommend making sure you get a good portion (50-60%) of your added calories from carbs, which are your body's preferred source of energy for endurance exercise." In other words you cannot rely on the nutrition tracker alone, but have to do some of your own calculations.
Oh, well. I love SP, but it isn't perfect. I wonder if I got a Spark Activity Tracker if it would sync better.
Edit: For those following the weight stabilization efforts, 125.4 today.