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MARTHROID's Photo MARTHROID Posts: 373
1/28/14 10:34 A

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Somebody may have mentioned this already, but the doctor should be able to check your thyroid with blood test. You should't have to rule out your food to figure that out. But, I have the same problem with getting bored with tracking. I do well for about a month or so and then get sick of it because I'm thinking about food all the time. I tried tracking for a month and taking a month off. This is probably not the best way to handle it though.

I did figure that a goal of weightloss is not working for me. But, having a goal of running a 5K has helped a lot. That has motivated me to workout a little more and think about what I eat so I can run. Good luck!

MOVE!!!!!!!


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JFS1010's Photo JFS1010 SparkPoints: (13,783)
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1/27/14 8:31 P

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This might have been mentioned in this thread...but the app is great at keeping on track while on the go! I use it way more than the computer.



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KWRIGHT26's Photo KWRIGHT26 Posts: 482
1/27/14 4:53 P

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If it's a drag to get online, search for a food, try to convert back and forth between metric and Imperial, and remember exactly how much of everything you eyeballed in the new recipe you made last night, get yourself a pretty little lined journal and hand write in your foods. You'd be hard-pressed to calculate calories and macros this way, but you can still be proud when you pen in that you had 4 cups of greens in your salad, and stopped at just one helping of sweet potato fries. You're not limited in the scope of what you can write either, so you can make notes throughout the day as to how you feel when you woke up, whether you wrestled with refusing the birthday cake at the office party, what cravings you're having, whether your old shoulder injury is bothering you, or how your workout went. I input my whole week worth of food into Sparkpeople in one go based off my journal, and that tells me how I'm doing long-term instead of micromanaging daily.

The other benefit of this is that it keeps me from obsessing over precise calorie counts, and makes me more conscious of WHAT I'm eating, as well as of my eating habits and cravings. I can monitor when sweet cravings hit, for example, whether I'm eating when I'm hungry or bored, etc. You can also take it with you to your doctor easily, and it will make it easier for you to work together to identify other issues you might be having with injuries, digestion, headaches, sleep, and scores of other things.



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RAESUN54's Photo RAESUN54 SparkPoints: (75,045)
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1/27/14 12:04 P

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I try to track every time I eat. If I am not near a computer, I use my phone to do the tracking etc. It does keep me honest and when I eat more than I should, I don't let it beat me up, I just do my best to eat better the next day.

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My name is Rae and I live in S Florida. I have been a member with SparkPeople since 2008. I am a Breast Cancer Survivor. I have been cancer free since December 2012.




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CARTER4414's Photo CARTER4414 SparkPoints: (19,293)
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1/27/14 11:51 A

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I have had some of the same experience. I keep track as a way of being honest with myself. In the beginning, I just told myself that I could eat whatever I wanted as long as I recorded it. Even then I think I ate fewer calories than I would have if I was eating without thinking.

1/5 Camarillo HM: 1:45:17
2/23 Seaside HM: 1:47:29
3/15 Orchard to Ocean 5K: 21:46



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SIMONEKP's Photo SIMONEKP Posts: 2,515
1/27/14 9:46 A

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tracking isn't really that hard to do or to stick with, it just takes some pre-planning to make it easier. If you know what you plan to eat all day then you can pre-track in the morning or the night before. Having an app makes it a breeze to update changes to your planned meals.

Simone

"Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish." - John Quincy Adams

No matter how slow you go, you're still lapping everyone on the couch!
Source: unknown



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MICHELLE73101's Photo MICHELLE73101 Posts: 288
1/26/14 9:11 P

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Think of it as a tool, not a chore. And understand WHY it is a tool. Maybe it keeps you accountable, or it helps you understand the patterns that bring you toward or away from your goals, or maybe it helps keep you focused.

Oh, and remember, regardless of what you write down, the scale will reflect every calorie. So take charge, and don't let that number be a mystery.

Check out my Website and Blog for a complete guide to finding the Fit Life: Diet, Exercise, Inspiration and some of my best tips and tricks.

Fitness Found:
findingyourfitplace.com/


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WATERSTREAMS054's Photo WATERSTREAMS054 SparkPoints: (1,666)
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1/26/14 8:01 P

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Hello. I am impressed by how motivated you are to lose weight and your weight tracker shows that you are steadily losing weight despite some setbacks or health conditions. Wow, that is awesome and motivating to me! emoticon emoticon I am going to put up msgs in different places to encourage me to make sure that I record daily here on SP. Time management is the key for me plus staying motivated. I have 43 lbs to lose and I set a goal at Curves to lose it in 6 months. I believe I can do it; but I must get past the low moments that want to creep in when I feel a little tired. Want to lose the weight and keep it off for good as I must watch what I eat and drink since I found that I have been spilling protein in my urine for some time and that is a sign of Stage 1-2 Chronic Kidney disease. Better to find out now than continue thinking everything is okay. Just have to pace myself better so I do not get fatigued.

Have a beautiful and manageable Monday! emoticon



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CKTALL's Photo CKTALL Posts: 386
1/26/14 7:41 P

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I plan what I am going to eat and follow the plan

I do not deviate

I make sure I have more than enough food and things that will accommodate me during the day.

I leave nothing to chance because for me that is when I get into trouble.

Also since I plan, I sit down and write it all down at one time all my meals and all my snacks. Everything that I will be eating on the go is packed in a cooler that I carry. Sometimes I carry extra protein powder just in case.i.e. that last minute meeting called by senior leadership that you have to attend and you know it will last 2 hours if not more. At least you have something better than the pizza that they will order or the junk food machine.

A failure is only a failure if you don't get up and try again...author unknown


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1/26/14 12:30 P

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excellent! you are doing great. keep on tracking as you have been. I like the idea of tracking during a break & eating what you've tracked. if eating something else that you want, change your tracker to match it!



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LKENNICOTT's Photo LKENNICOTT SparkPoints: (7,351)
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1/26/14 11:31 A

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What good inspiration....For me, tracking my entire day during my breakfast coffee does it. I eat what I tracked, and if anything should change for me, I change the tracking staying in the same calories. I too have diabetes and other illnesses. Nothing motivated me to record using paper and pencil with a calculator. Spark makes it SO easy there really are no excuses (that work!!).
I had knee surgery and it didn't go really well so walking is difficult for me. But I do try to walk a little each day, and I find it does help my morale.
Good luck emoticon to all of you, either looking for, or have found what works for you. I very strongly suggest you do tracking for 30 days, consistently, and see what happens.
Getting healthy and looking good are great motivations!!!!

Heaviest weight 312 - Starting weight with SP 234
Beginning 2014 - 203 Goal - 165 lkennicott@yahoo.com


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MIA-MORSEL's Photo MIA-MORSEL Posts: 791
1/26/14 7:01 A

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Hi Russell,

your post below is magnificent......so inspiring, as always. Is there a way for me to get an alert whenever you post?

I hope you won't mind my comment, since I no longer record my food. I've just completed 5 months on SP and until mid-December I religiously tracked everything daily. In the month that I was not tracking at all, just weighing-in every week, my weight stayed constant and I took this to mean that I had my eating under control (I used to be a chronic nibbler until the food tracker spotted that my meals were often short on calories.) Consequently, I now track only fitness daily and weight weekly and I'm happy, confident and motivated by that. Of course, I wouldn't hesitate to return to food tracking if I felt the need.



Sparkling good wishes to all sparkfriends Mia
wk1 26.08.13 -4lbs BMI 36.6
wk2 02.09 -5lbs BMI 35.8
wk3 09.09 -4lbs BMI 35.2
wk4 16.09 +5 new scales/holiday
wk5 23.09 -6lbs BMI 35.1
wk6 30.09 -2lbs BMI 34.8
wk7 07.10 -2lbs BMI 34.6
wk8 14.10 -4lbs BMI 33.9
wk9 to w15 -2lbs per week BMI 31.78
w16 to w21 -0lbs
w22 20.01 -3lbs BMI 31.47
w23 27.01 -1 BMI 31.17
w24- w25 -2lbs. per week BMI 30.56


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RUSSELL_40's Photo RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
1/25/14 9:05 P

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I stay motivated by seeing results. It has taken me 4.5 years to lose 170 lbs., and when I don't track, I cheat ( or maybe the other way around ).

I have CHF, diabetes, and cholesterol/BP problems, which are improved due to weight loss, increased exercise. Having my cardiologist tell me I had 6 months to live motivated me less than my regular doc telling me, I would have to switch to Insulin shots..lol. What motivates us all, differs for each of us.

I tend to track a lot on Sunday, and plan 7 days in advance, and then use the grocery list option to do my shopping. Then, when I wake up, the tracking is already done, and I just cook up my 3 meals in the first hour, and put lunch/dinner in the fridge, and eat my breakfast.

Now I am motivated by having been off all my diabetes, and cholesterol meds, as well as taking about 1/4 of my BP meds, while having fasting blood sugars around 80, Tchol of 105, and a BP of 95/65. Plus the 170 lbs. lost of course. Being able to shop for 34" jeans at a regular store is a huge motivator. Since I was on oxygen for 2 years, being able to walk for an hour today, along the river was motivating.

So for me, I have lots of motivation, which to be truthful, I don't think about enough. For you, you need to figure out what motivates you. What would really bother you if you lost the ability to do it. It is easy for me to be motivated, since if my diabetes gets out of hand, I could lose a foot... I would REALLY miss my foot. For you, this may be a harder sell. It is a sell.. to yourself.

I would suggest that maybe you look at it from the opposite direction, being so light and healthy. You probably aren't scared of diabetes, of heart disease, and the idea that in 20 years it could be an issue isn't necessarily motivating enough to cause you to forgo chicken McNuggets, with sweet and sour sauce. Maybe a challenge would motivate you more.

What do you like to do? Sports, biking, swimming, running? Whatever you love to do, set a high goal. If it is running, start with a 5 K, and move up to a marathon. If it is biking, find a local race, or plan a 100 mile bike ride with friends, or family. The ability to do something most people can't do, is very motivating to some people, and makes for a great story to tell your grandkids. When you look back at your life in 20-30 years, what exceptional things will you have accomplished?

Most of us know tracking will lead to weight loss, and it does, but then what. When you lose those last 10 lbs., what is your goal then? If you are tracking to lose weight, tracking will end when you get there. If the goal is to climb mountains when you are at goal weight, there are a lot of mountains, of differing sizes, and steepness. You will always be motivated.

So what you should be telling yourself is I am tracking all my food, so that I can do _____ ! Fill in the blank, and not with " reach 120 lbs ".

"We can't solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them "

- Albert Einstein

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.”

- Henry Ford


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ODDMENTTWEAK Posts: 1,603
1/25/14 8:11 P

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Just the brutal honesty component- I check my reports fairly frequently, both the calorie graphs and the SparkSummary calendar. Having everything laid out for me, honestly, long-term, is way more motivating than thinking 'well I didn't track that binge so who knows'.

"I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do."
- Helen Keller


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CHERIAH1993's Photo CHERIAH1993 SparkPoints: (20,368)
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1/25/14 2:40 P

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For me, the motivation was from keeping consistent with tracking my food intake and exercise...if you do these things, you will see results....that alone was a motivator for me: the results!!! emoticon

why be normal?
team co-leader SP Class of March 17-23 2013


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FRUGALISTA54's Photo FRUGALISTA54 Posts: 260
1/25/14 1:14 P

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I have been putting a pecial focus on my daily calorie differential and it keeps me on course but this is made easier if I am strict at keeping track of my nutition and fitness efforts



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WITTYBRIT's Photo WITTYBRIT Posts: 81
1/25/14 11:05 A

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I have to agree with everyone who says recording all intake is essential. It especially reminds me that WHAT I eat, even when I am within the recommended points, makes a huge difference. I can easily wolf down a chunk of my allotted points as cookies and other 'empty' calorie delights, but the scale tells me to knock it off!

On the days when I eat healthy foods I am rewarded.

Go, Sparkers!!

"Hear your child's whine, your dog's bark and your partner's snore as the temple bell hastening you to a life of selfless service both on and off the cushion."
Maezumi Miller

Edited by: WITTYBRIT at: 1/25/2014 (11:16)

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MISSCNJ's Photo MISSCNJ SparkPoints: (31,946)
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1/25/14 9:26 A

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Sad to say, I took this week off. I was sick. Let's see what the scale says...



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HADLEY123's Photo HADLEY123 SparkPoints: (15,591)
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1/24/14 7:09 P

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Like DisneyDude85, I find the success to be the only motivation I need to stick with it. Like others have posted, it really just takes a second to track your calories if you have your favorites saved and stick to an overall plan. At first it was hard to remember and time consuming but as I did it more, the whole thing started cranking along faster. After a few weeks, I didn't have to measure out my pasta because I'd grasped portion sizes at a glance. Now it's a firm habit like brushing my teeth or putting on clean socks.

There are some nights that I don't track my calories at dinner because I can't get my mitts on the computer, but then I'll track last night's dinner/snack the next morning. Occasionally I miss the minimum calories doing that but I can live with that.

Kudos to JeraldTX and that chocolate santa outliving the cucumber slices!! That made me smile!

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DISNEYDUDE85's Photo DISNEYDUDE85 Posts: 7
1/24/14 6:35 P

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My motivation for continuing to track my food is simple. It is working. I can see how altering my food intake affects my overall health/weight loss. And, if you are a numbers/figures/charts/graphs kinda person like I am, it is interesting to track when you eat the most calories. Is it snacks? A certain meal of the day? Is that causing you to go over your calorie target? Finding out this data is what motivates me to track.

And it takes, what, a minute or 2 to do a whole meal? What would you do with those minutes if you weren't logging your food (same mentality about excercise :) )



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CARDAMOMMA's Photo CARDAMOMMA SparkPoints: (18,731)
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1/24/14 6:02 P

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Not sure whether you meant my post or not emoticon I realize I could have been more clear:

At first I had to make myself do it, maybe the first week or two. After that, it became self-motivating because I look forward to the benefits (mentioned in my post) of doing it. So it's possible that after you get past the first "don't really want to do this" feeling of tracking every day, you'll get to a point that no additional motivation is needed. Fake it till you make it, kind of thing.

Judith Bech's "The Diet Solution" is a handbook on how to change your thinking so that you become more automatically self-motivating over time. It's hard work, but I found it to be very effective, and some of it is geared towards getting yourself to track food.

Whatever you try, keep at it! emoticon

Edited by: CARDAMOMMA at: 1/24/2014 (18:03)
Carolyn, Seattle





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MUSCLEBOUNDBABE's Photo MUSCLEBOUNDBABE Posts: 998
1/24/14 5:11 P

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I just want to stay to some - not all because most of you actually answered my question, which helps a great deal (so thank you) - I understand the reason for tracking - my question is how to stay motivated to continue. I always seem to fall away from tracking like I should. And, I don't eat candy so I don't grab any fun sized snickers bars or anything else. I stay away and am actually eating very clean - I do have some cheat times though, and that's ok.

I forgot to finish tracking my food last night but fortunately for me I didn't have much after I got home - just some homemade baked parsnip fries. I think I can do this every day, and so again, thank you. I think the biggest way to stay motivated is to look to SparkPeople who are always so willing to provide support and encouragement!

THANK YOU AGAIN!!!

Edited by: MUSCLEBOUNDBABE at: 1/24/2014 (17:15)
Lisa
5'2.5"
CW: 126.4
CBF: All the scale tells me is: FAT
Current workout: Weights & Running
Mini Goal 1: Stop eating after 7 pm
Mini Goal 2: Lose 5 pounds by 2/15/2014
MIni Goal 3: Lose 10 pounds by 3/15/2014
Mini Goal 4: Firm up


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CARDAMOMMA's Photo CARDAMOMMA SparkPoints: (18,731)
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1/24/14 3:05 P

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I really have come to love tracking. Sometimes I'm starving and I don't know why, but when I go and look at the tracker, I see that it's because I didn't eat enough! Other times, the tracker helps me confirm my sense that I'm done eating for the day (the external confirmation is very helpful when I'm resisting the temptation to snack in the evening), and even more fun, sometimes it tells me I need a few more calories and some calcium, so I get to enjoy a mocha before bed! The feedback is hugely helpful.

Carolyn, Seattle





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1/24/14 2:46 P

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I write down everything I eat on separate pieces of paper with date on it. when I track it I put a mark on that paper. sometimes I have 3 days waiting to be tracked but I eventually do it! works for me.
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PATTIMET's Photo PATTIMET Posts: 629
1/24/14 2:34 P

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I agree you need to commit to track for 7 days - you will see what you are eating and what the calorie really are in some foods we eat. Also look at your nutrition - make sure you're getting the right foods.



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DEZIROSE's Photo DEZIROSE Posts: 178
1/24/14 1:00 P

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About 5 years ago, I joined this site, and lost 80 pounds in a year, using the trackers for both nutrition and fitness. Then, I went into the "maintaining" mode, but felt I didn't really need to track as often. It turned from every day, to once a week, to never doing it again.... But then I gained everything back, plus a few extra pounds.

So this time around, I figure, it only takes 5-`10 minutes to track my foods, so I am personally motivated to track my calories and fitness for the rest of my life. I waited a few years to lose weight again, because I wanted to be in the right mindset to make this a permanent lifestyle.

And for me, that includes tracking things. I also enjoy it, because if I know I want some sort of goodie, I can put it in, and then make choices based on that for the duration of the day. It's nice to know 'how much' I can still eat. I'm not obsessed or anything, if I go over by a hundred or two calories every now and then, no biggie. I currently have my fitness profile set up to lose 2.5 pounds a week, and well... if I don't lose a full 2.5 pounds, so what.

I'm becoming healthier and that's what matters! And the trackers help me stay healthy :)



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BRIANLIEBERTH's Photo BRIANLIEBERTH Posts: 596
1/24/14 12:48 P

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Making it important is the only way to make it a habit. I track because I really do pay attention to what the results tell me. I don't say that in a lecturing way. There was a long time I didn't pay any attention to them and I didn't track regularly.

If you really want to know what it tells you the method will come to you. If not it will be a burden that you will soon discard. I look at the amount of protein, fat, carbs and pay attention to how hungry I am and if I have lifestyle reasons for it as well as the nutrition.

I would say force yourself to be diligent for a bit of time (a week or two) and then decide if it is important to you and if the results are enlightening. If so continue and learn from it and if not, well life is too short to spend time on drudgery.

Today's quote:
Do or do not do; there is no try

--Yoda


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AZULVIOLETA6's Photo AZULVIOLETA6 SparkPoints: (60,435)
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1/24/14 12:29 P

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Tracking is easy once it becomes a habit. I find that it works best for me if I track a few days ahead of time. I think about what is in season, what I have in my garden what I need to use up in the fridge and plan for a couple of days at once. I also frequently cook things that will make several meals instead of just one. Once you have the meal entered one time, all you have to do is copy it.

When you get all of your favorites in the tracker, enter a few key recipes and set up groupings (especially handy for salads and sandwiches) everything gets easier.

I think of checking in here and doing my tracking as being like checking out Facebook every morning--it only takes a few minutes and it is just part of my routine now. I do it consistently because it WORKS and I can see the benefits over time.

It does seem odd that your doctor would even mention your weight at 124 pounds...are you under 5' tall?

Dances: salsa (standard/LA), casino, rueda de casino, cumbia Colombiana, bachata, mambo, cha-cha-chá, merengue, reggaetón.

Currently learning: Mexican cumbia, danzón, Cuban rumba

Dances to Learn in the future: flamenco, tango Argentino, samba, belly dancing, bhangra, ballroom rumba


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STOPTHECRAVING's Photo STOPTHECRAVING Posts: 1,057
1/24/14 12:14 P

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Just do it! (if only it were that simple, right?) Yet, really, it is that simple. Ya just have to do it. You might slip up some days, and that's okay. Be as consistent as possible. Don't get super hung up on what the Spark Nutrition says--it's not always right. It's still good to know what you are eating, when you are eating it, and where your pitfalls might be. Sometimes you have to eat MORE because you've been very active, and you might be pleasantly surprised by that. There is no magic. It's a tool to use to get to your goal.



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VKKESU's Photo VKKESU Posts: 970
1/24/14 10:02 A

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I've always had portion control problems. Once I start tracking it just becomes a habit and I make it a part of my daily plans.

It makes all the difference in the world for me and the only way I ever could lose weight. Now it will be there to help me maintain my weight. I normally track in the morning (so I can plan ahead for my snacks/or treats) and then I can change or modify if something is different. Once you get used to it and most of your foods are saved as favorites it only takes minutes to do.

I've sat in dr. offices/ hospital waiting rooms, etc. tracking on my mobile tracker. I've done it daily for 6 months and it such a habit I feel I have to do it now. Without weighing and measuring everything I put in my mouth I wouldn't be able to lose or maintain. It lets me know exactly what is going on and keeps me accountable.



If you don't love yourself....how can you expect others to.


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EXOTEC's Photo EXOTEC Posts: 3,220
1/24/14 9:28 A

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As in all things "diet", this is so individual!
For me, tracking has become obsessive. I have no problem going to SP's Tracker to enter my info. When I'm away from home, I have one of those tiny little memo books where I can enter what and how much I eat, and then work out the numbers when I get home. For others, computer apps work well.

What doesn't and will never work *for ME* is tracking in advance. That's just an invitation for deviating from reality. I track it, and then don't eat what I've tracked... or eat it plus something else, or eat a different amount than I've entered... it just doesn't work. I eat when I'm hungry, and I eat what I'm hungry for. That doesn't work in advance.

Tracking is something I had to train myself to at first. I rarely made any significant mental connection to how I was eating in my "previous life". That's most of the reason I got where I did! But that's changed now, and I'm happy for it. It was a real eye-opener to me, discovering what the nutrition values are, what real portions are, how labeling is so very misleading... I want to know now, so I'm encouraged toward keeping track of it all on my Tracker.

Another advantage - and this probably only for me - is that I take so many meds and supplements... and I've got all of those on my Tracker, too. No, it doesn't make much difference in most food macro categories (although that's not 100% true in every case), but it can make some difference in my micronutrients. And it helps me remember to actually take the durn things, even when I'd rather not. One more "opportunity" (?) to be responsible to my plan. Even when I'd prefer to become oblivious.



...the problem with people these days is
they've forgotten we're really just animals ...
(attributation forgotten)

We did not create the web of life; we are but a strand in it.
~attributed to Chief Seattle

We don't have souls. We ARE souls. We have bodies.
~C.S. Lewis


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LULUBELLE65's Photo LULUBELLE65 SparkPoints: (27,675)
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1/24/14 4:59 A

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I make breakfast and lunch the night before and track it before I go to bed. And like other people have said, if you use the tools on the Spark tracker, it is very easy to track, particularly if you eat some of the same things over and over.

I look at my nutrition counts before I make dinner, and I try to eat something that adds to my total nutrition, so if I have something that is carb-heavy for lunch, I try to eat protein and a salad or veggies for dinner, while if I have a salad for lunch, I am more likely to eat a baked potato or grain of some sort for dinner.

If you have formed the habit of checking on every new diet that comes along, you will find that, mercifully, they all blur together, leaving you with only one definite piece of information: french-fried potatoes are out. ~~Jean Kerr

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. ~~Anais Nin

Life is too short for self-hatred and celery sticks. ~~Marilyn Wann


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LIBRARIANLITE's Photo LIBRARIANLITE SparkPoints: (18,785)
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1/23/14 9:07 P

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You mentioned you're getting married. Perhaps convince your fiance in join in tracking with you (even if it's purely for your benefit)? I've found that since my husband has started tracking his food it encourages me to track on the days where I don't feel like it since I'll already have a good idea of what should go on from what he's added to his. Or he'll ask about the calories of something and since I've already figured it out for him I might as well add it to my tracker as well.

NEARLYNINA's Photo NEARLYNINA Posts: 40
1/23/14 8:21 P

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Tracking can be REALLY hard to stick to. When I first started using SP I just couldn't motivate myself to do it consistently. I had trouble figuring out how much I was eating of everything, I couldn't find the food I was eating in the tracker (I'm Canadian and even worse from Quebec, so a lot of things just were not in the tracker making it a chore to either enter it myself or find something that sounded similar), I felt bad about what I'd eaten that day, so I didn't want to face up to it by tracking, I was tired...

It's important to figure out WHY YOU aren't tracking. And only you can really answer that (although the example list of some of the things that were holding me back may spark some ideas!). And then once you've figured out what the reasons are you can work to overcome them.

Beyond that though there are a bunch of things that you can do to make overcoming any issues far far easier. JERALDTX and some of the other previous comments already mentioned some really good ones:
- Premeasuring your food into baggies (Or little tupperware! Let's try to not kill the environment any more than we already have!)
- Planning out/entering your food for the day at the start of the day and editing as needed
- Leaving a tab open on your computer so you can track easily is another great idea so long as you work near a computer.

I will say that you definitely need to get yourself a food scale and a set of measuring cups and spoons (Mine are cheapies from Dollarama). I have mine on the counter and hanging from the cupboards, so that whenever I'm prepping food I just use them to serve with and that way it doesn't take any extra time. Another thing that I've learnt to do is measure and memorize/write down how many grams certain measurements of a particular food are. So a square of delicious Camino orange chocolate is 9g, a TB of pumpkin seeds is 20g, and etc. This way I don't have to weigh everything every single time and it makes life easier.

Finally don't forget SP has a lot of really helpful tools to make tracking easier. Definitely make sure to save into your favourites foods that you eat often. Groupings of foods are also extremely helpful so you can add one thing instead of a mass amount of things. I have groupings for tuna sandwiches and my yogurt that I eat most mornings with fruit and wheat germ etc.

Starting to track your food regularly isn't the easiest thing to do and it's not as easy as "just doing it", but there are concrete steps that may take a little time initially but will make tracking a lot easier to stick to. Also don't worry if you miss a day or a meal/etc. It happens and it's not a big deal. One thing I definitely struggle with are all-or-nothing tendencies, but it's important to be lenient with yourself and understand that you're going to screw up, but that even when you do, there's nothing stopping you from picking yourself back up and moving forwards.




The hardest thing for the soul to do is to stand up to its own weakness - Habib Ali Al Jifri

The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any - Alice Walker



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KENTUCKYMEL14's Photo KENTUCKYMEL14 SparkPoints: (14,664)
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1/23/14 7:07 P

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To be honest, I'm not always the best at tracking. Sometimes I fall off the wagon and getting back on takes a monumental effort. For me, getting into the habit of tracking is actually much more difficult than the habit of exercising regularly. However, it is a habit. It can be tough at first and I have days I don't want to do it. If you keep at it then eventually you will get used to it. Right now I'm in the "panic if I don't get everything tracked" mode. Like most things, it'll come with time.

Good luck! :)



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NEWALX's Photo NEWALX SparkPoints: (25,142)
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1/23/14 7:04 P

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I am very motivated to track my foods. It is such a great help



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SHERYLDS's Photo SHERYLDS Posts: 12,068
1/23/14 5:22 P

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I love using the tracker to plan my calories and then modify along the way with everything I eat. Make me better able to stick to the plan and acknowledge what I am doing

Sheryl from New Jersey, USA... EST


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JENRAQTAY87's Photo JENRAQTAY87 SparkPoints: (20,838)
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1/23/14 2:07 P

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I will do really well all day tracking breakfast, lunch, and snacks. But for some reason I rarely track my dinner, even though for the most part they are healthy... I don't know what it is? Probably because I'm doing homework or playing with my son, I get distracted I suppose.



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JERALDTX's Photo JERALDTX SparkPoints: (17,884)
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1/23/14 2:02 P

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Tracking is not that hard if you stay on top of it... I have the app on my iPhone and on my iPad.. If there is a free computer around I'll keep a window with the tracker handy. If it goes in my mouth it goes right into the tracker.

One thing that helps is to pre-measure your food. When you go to the store and buy grapes, after you've washed them take a few minutes to put them into single serving baggies. Same for carrots, cucumbers, celery, nuts, any small snacky thing. I even write the weight on the baggie in Sharpie. Then when you want a snack you just grab and go. And then you don't have to waste time guessing what you ate to put into the tracker.

You can also season and bake three or four chicken breasts. (you can even season each one differently) let them cool and bag those too. It makes packing lunch a breeze. Sunday night and I have all the pieces of three or four lunches for work in the fridge all I have to do is decide which ones are appealing today and grab the bags and I'm out the door.

Yes, it takes some time Sunday night but I'm eating so much better now... and my kids are too. There's still a Snickers Santa in the pantry from Christmas but all of the cucumber slices are gone.

Edited by: JERALDTX at: 1/23/2014 (14:12)
Everyday in every way I'm getting better and better. -- former Chief Inspector Dreyfus
JAMIRBLAZE's Photo JAMIRBLAZE Posts: 894
1/23/14 1:24 P

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I agree with what some of the other posters have said regarding your goals/weight. ST, for me, was key in getting body fat % down. I weigh more than many other women my size because I'm more muscular (though not by any means ripped or masculine). So if it's really about body fat rather than weight, I'd throw your weight goals out the window and hit the gym, so to speak.

It's easy for me to track. Why? Planning! Almost every single meal that I eat is planned, so I can usually, beyond some snack flexibility, track my entire day ahead of time. Even when I go out, I plan ahead of time by looking at menus, etc. Also, it helps me be in control. I won't know that I should skip that last snack unless I know where I'm at for the day. And I don't know that I need to make changes to get more protein/fat/etc unless I know what I'm eating.



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GMJ003's Photo GMJ003 SparkPoints: (6,997)
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1/23/14 1:02 P

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Why don't you commit to tracking for one week to get you started? Give yourself the challenge to track for 7 days and once you're in the groove, I'm willing to bet you'll keep going. Then, challenge yourself to keep going for one more week. It doesn't take that much time in day.

150 to 145: done!
145 to 140: almost! (current: 141)
Goal: 135


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SUSAN_FOSTER's Photo SUSAN_FOSTER Posts: 1,228
1/23/14 11:23 A

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I have to say - your mini goal dates are probably too aggressive. If you only have a little weight to lose it will most likely come off very slowly. I would suggest not setting date goals as they can be hard to meet and demotivating. Set behavior goals (like tracking everything, better nutritional balance) instead.

"She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come" - Proverbs 31:25
BUNNYKICKS's Photo BUNNYKICKS Posts: 2,310
1/23/14 10:50 A

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Well... you aren't at a weight where the weight itself would be a medical issue of enough concern to "track everything you put in your mouth" so I wonder if the doctor is more concerned about your nutrition than your precise weight. Perhaps there are concerns that too many of the calories you eat are coming from foods "empty of nutrition", or that you may have deficiencies in certain nutrients, vitamins or minerals... in which case, getting a picture of "exactly" what you eat will help both you and your doctor determine if diet is contributing negatively to your health.

In which case - you don't need "motivation" to track, you just simply need to do it. Just like if you were having a spot of financial trouble, the first thing you do is track down what you're spending every time a nickel leaves your wallet to figure out just how much you're spending and on what - and from there you make your budget and pare back areas of excess.

You can't begin to solve a weight mystery without information! Knowledge is power. Tell yourself you are just tracking "for now" and not "forever" and as Nike would say, Just Do It. Do it for a month. The results of tracking, for most of us, tend to be eye-opening and enlightening.

Goal 1 - break 200 (46 pounds lost)**DONE**
Goal 2 - leave obesity behind (BMI 29.9, at 185#) **DONE**
Goal 3 - BMI = Normal (154# or less)


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VAHINA's Photo VAHINA Posts: 288
1/23/14 10:38 A

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I find the tracker much easier than trying to journal everything I eat.

Vahina emoticon

Kentucky
October 3rd


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GRANJEREVA's Photo GRANJEREVA Posts: 53
1/23/14 10:24 A

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I think it's much easier to use the tracker on Spark People than simply writing something down elsewhere. What I've found easier is tracking ahead of time - writing down what I plan to eat and then modifying it later as necessary. If I wait until after I've eaten, I "forget" to put things down and start to cheat.



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NIRERIN Posts: 11,912
1/23/14 9:57 A

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if you're having issues it's the only way to help figure out a solution. because if you aren't accurately tracking everything, then you may be working diligently on a problem that you don't really have.
in other words, you can keep trying to shave 2 g of cheese off your salads, but that's not going to make much difference if your real problem is grabbing fun sized snickers off the desk on the way to the copy machine. or whatever it happens to be. if you're going to put the time and the effort into dealing with whatever it is you need to, you may as well be doing something that actually gets you to your goal. and accurately tracking is step one to that goal. when i was doing close enough my sodium was through the roof. so i kept eating more beans [i cook mine from dried, so they have less than 50 sodium per cup] to help bring that number down, and my sodium number kept going up. lo and behold the beans in the tracker are canned beans and had about ten times the sodium that i was actually eating. couple that with using brand name entries for the generic that i was actually eating and other little differences and my sodium numbers were on track to a few hundred over rather than a few thousand over. the little things really do add up and make a difference, so you need to know what they are. otherwise you'll just be toiling away at something you already have squared away.
just like you want your doc to check to see if you have a pulled muscle rather than a broken bone. because if you have a pulled muscle, slapping a cast on it isn't going to do anything for you. so you have to find out what's wrong before you can take the steps you need to fix it. and that's what accurately tracking is. you need to find out what's off so you know what to do about it.

-google first. ask questions later.

MUSCLEBOUNDBABE's Photo MUSCLEBOUNDBABE Posts: 998
1/23/14 9:53 A

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Weight came up because I have gained weight instead of lost weight recently - my doc said could be a thyroid thing, could be hormonal - in spite of doing all the right things. I am getting married in July. WEIGHT does not tell as much as body fat % - my body fat % is too high. And the picture to the left is an old picture. It's not what I look like right now.

Edited by: MUSCLEBOUNDBABE at: 1/23/2014 (09:53)
Lisa
5'2.5"
CW: 126.4
CBF: All the scale tells me is: FAT
Current workout: Weights & Running
Mini Goal 1: Stop eating after 7 pm
Mini Goal 2: Lose 5 pounds by 2/15/2014
MIni Goal 3: Lose 10 pounds by 3/15/2014
Mini Goal 4: Firm up


 current weight: 124.6 
 
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FITTEREVERYDAY's Photo FITTEREVERYDAY SparkPoints: (13,207)
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1/23/14 9:42 A

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Why did weight come up? Looks like you're at a perfectly healthy weight to me.


~Kelly~

Time is EST - US/Michigan

"Food is not love, comfort, or an anxiety pill."

Time to stop trying to solve things with food (lack of included) that food won't solve. Food solves one thing: bodily hunger.

Fall 5% Challenge, Team Cloverleafs,
GW - 145.5


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CERTHIA's Photo CERTHIA SparkPoints: (21,712)
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1/23/14 9:33 A

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This is a tough one for me.. I tend to have months where I either do or don't. Right now I am tracking every little bite to the gram, but this will not be something I can stick with forever. It helps to have a digital scale handy (mine is really small, so its always there at my counter), and to eat at lot of the same foods/meals over and over. that way I can copy what I have already tracked.



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MUSCLEBOUNDBABE's Photo MUSCLEBOUNDBABE Posts: 998
1/23/14 9:25 A

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Hi all! So I had a visit with my doctor yesterday and weight was one of the topics of discussion. She said I needed to track every single thing that goes in my mouth. That's always been a little difficult. How do you all stay motivated to track everything? Thanks!

Lisa
5'2.5"
CW: 126.4
CBF: All the scale tells me is: FAT
Current workout: Weights & Running
Mini Goal 1: Stop eating after 7 pm
Mini Goal 2: Lose 5 pounds by 2/15/2014
MIni Goal 3: Lose 10 pounds by 3/15/2014
Mini Goal 4: Firm up


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