"Is there anyone out there who has made this work without using the nutrition tracker?"
Probably, but they are in the minority, as using the nutrition tracker is a very important part!
Tracking is the main way to tell if you are eating the right calories and nutrients.
But... you do not have to follow the meal planner. I do believe that MOST people here do not. We enter our own foods, based on what we like and what is available in the stores.
“We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.”
~ Randy Pausch
"There's a difference between interest and commitment. When you're interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstance permit. When you're committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results."
~ Art Turock
"We have a saying in Tibet: If a problem can be solved, there is no use worrying about it. If it can't be solved, worrying will do no good."
~ 7 Years in Tibet