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NONANURSE9 SparkPoints: (8,499)
Fitness Minutes: (7,328)
Posts: 34
6/12/13 10:38 P

I have been on this site for about a year but eventually wound up never having time for it. Then I hit 55. I figure that this is going to be a new me. I'm tired of getting that look from my Doctor when she sees my A1c. So I have been committed. I track everything and it helps. My blood sugars have been wonderful . The other day my fasting was high and I thought back to what i ate for dinner and knew that was what was to blame. I track my morning walks and try to increase the time. It is far too hot here in Florida right now to get crazy with new exercises but we are out in the morning by 6:15 am and do our 3 miles every morning. I am thrilled with this tracking idea. For now it keeps me accountable. ~hugs~

LADYCROFT7 Posts: 92
6/12/13 4:28 P

Tracking has really helped me with the nighttime snacking that used to really do me in. Now I track my food for the day and if I have the calories then I will have something and if not I'll have a cup of herbal tea. Slow progress but it's certainly helping

MIMIFRITTATA SparkPoints: (1,630)
Fitness Minutes: (403)
Posts: 26
6/12/13 3:49 P

I find the tracker here awesome. I'm also using other tools to track my foods since I don't want to forget what I am eating. The helps me realize that I need to eat more to reach my calorie goal so I won't slow my metabolism down. Call it anal to track it everyday but I love it. Keeps me accountable. :-D

WILDKAT781 SparkPoints: (184,435)
Fitness Minutes: (55,081)
Posts: 9,100
6/12/13 1:27 P

I track like it is a matter of life and death! for me as a diabetic it is! I love the tracker here and use most of its functions in my daily tracking. It has helped me lose 30 pounds since January

ANNIEA801 SparkPoints: (837)
Fitness Minutes: (320)
Posts: 3
6/12/13 11:45 A

I have only been on this 2 days and find that having to track food and water intake helps. I think twice about eating something because I know I have to add it in the tracker. I also am drinking more water now that there is a goal set. I really enjoy this program so far. emoticon

TCANNO SparkPoints: (368,997)
Fitness Minutes: (213,575)
Posts: 73,136
6/12/13 9:27 A

I use the tracker every day. I set up breakfast the night before. In the morning I lay out the meals for the rest of the day. This gives you time to change your mind.

BLUEHERON2C Posts: 2,403
6/12/13 7:29 A

Only thing that keeps me on track - being accountable

MAK62184 SparkPoints: (756)
Fitness Minutes: (696)
Posts: 6
6/11/13 11:53 P

I realize I have to do this. I used to not pay much attention to what I ate. I figured, "I don't gain weight easily, I'll be fine and it will always be that way." Well, that seemed to be the way when I was working in a job where I was actually walking around and cleaning for a couple of hours a few days a week. Now I don't do that kind of work and gained some weight eating whatever. Now I am getting an idea about what I need to eat or should eat.

SB3872004 SparkPoints: (16,298)
Fitness Minutes: (19,641)
Posts: 194
6/11/13 4:18 P

I'm a numbers person so I like tracking to see where I am at and then where I need to be to start achieving progress. It is also keeps me in check and accountable for what I am eating.

LINCIEM SparkPoints: (2,990)
Fitness Minutes: (976)
Posts: 1
6/11/13 3:59 P

I like to use the tracking, it helps see my progress and what I'm eating. When I end up eating out at the spear of the moment, I can track it and see where I have messed up. emoticon

CELEST Posts: 7,219
6/11/13 12:24 P

I love consistent calorie tracking...its like driving a car with a valid drivers much better planning ahead and tracking than looking over your shoulder and hoping like hell its right.

M4GGIE_B Posts: 180
6/11/13 8:42 A

I am calorie tracking and it is showing me how unhealthily i am eating at the moment - just over my calorie allowance virtually every day, not enough protein, too much fat. I know what i am doing wrong an i know that i NEED to pull it back so the numbers read right.

MILLIFRED Posts: 672
6/11/13 5:21 A

I don't know how anyone can lose weight without some form of nutrition/calorie tracking. Unless you lose weight through an illness your body is usually going to try to maintain status quo and you will stay at or near the unhealthy weight. For me tracking has allowed me to lose close to 60 pounds at a healthy rate of one pound per week and now I hope it will help me maintain that weight loss. Once your in the habit of doing it tracking becomes almost automatic and only takes minutes out of your day. If you havn't tried tracking consistently give it a try!

SHARONCAPPS Posts: 7,444
6/10/13 10:26 P

I also eat more and get way off track when I am not accoutable for what I am eating. It is so easy to do.

15THC_ODETTE Posts: 2,177
6/10/13 1:56 P

I do really well when I plan and track. I stay on the rails if I plan or track. I go completely off the rails if I don't track and haven't planned. I think I kid myself when I don't track.

HLPRATT SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (15,287)
Posts: 113
6/10/13 10:36 A

The only way I have lost weight is with consistent tracking. My problem is that I love licks and bites here and there-especially when cooking. I have to cut that out when tracking. And sometimes there are unknowns that you have to guess at. It's such a discipline and it keeps me on track.

FUNLOVEN SparkPoints: (62,226)
Fitness Minutes: (56,882)
Posts: 1,436
6/10/13 9:43 A

I hate tracking, but I do realize the value of doing it. My frustration comes from eating out which I do a lot in the summer months especially. I do not frequent "chain" restaurants where you can check nutritional info on-line. This w/e for lunch I ordered a grilled chicken breast on hamburger bun with lettuce, tomato, avocado ( so far o.k. ), and some kind of sauce ! The sauce was my issue. As I looked at it I thought to myself "Now how in the heck am I suppose to track this ? ! " This is where my frustration fits in and then I end up not tracking at all !

On another subject: Many of you seem to like to use the Recipe box feature on the Tracking page. I knew about this, but have been reluctant to use it because of the time it takes to initially enter a recipe. You are right though. Once you do it the tracking should be easier. I think I will give it a try.

STARMONICA SparkPoints: (234,686)
Fitness Minutes: (57,666)
Posts: 13,132
6/10/13 9:34 A

me too

E1SPAG SparkPoints: (34,346)
Fitness Minutes: (79,040)
Posts: 457
6/9/13 9:46 P

I agree with tracking consistently being the best way to stay on track. For me that is so important. When I try to trick myself into believing that I can gauge serving sizes or keep track in my head that is the sure fire way to failure.

6/9/13 9:31 P

Even though it's time consuming, tracking keeps me on track!! emoticon

HOLLEEHO Posts: 2,341
6/9/13 8:24 P

I would not be able to do this without tracking. It keeps me accountable also.It is the only thing that has worked for me in years - Holly

SHARONCAPPS Posts: 7,444
6/9/13 3:42 P

Tracking keeps accountable. When I don't track I gain.

LAURIEKRGR SparkPoints: (21,102)
Fitness Minutes: (5,689)
Posts: 476
6/9/13 3:21 P

I like tracking, it makes me accountable to me!


OKIE30 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (600)
Posts: 196
6/9/13 12:30 P

I hate tracking, but I'm trying to do it regularly. Good luck, to u!

6/9/13 10:32 A

I don't like doing it bit research, and past experience shows that it works. So....

BECCA315 Posts: 5,651
6/9/13 7:18 A

I am another who doesn't care for tracking, but do it daily for the SP challenge I joined last year. Now, when the weight starts to creep up, I can look back and see why ~ it's usually a few too many sweets over the course of a week or so.


CJYOUCANDOIT SparkPoints: (53,211)
Fitness Minutes: (12,977)
Posts: 894
6/9/13 12:59 A

I do not have success unless I track my food. Weighing and measuring is also very important to my success, Bottom lineAny progress is reliant on these tasks.

FRANKLIN2013 SparkPoints: (1,100)
Fitness Minutes: (469)
Posts: 2
6/9/13 12:47 A

I am not a fan of tracking, but I know its a necessary and invaluable tool. I'm also learning that reading comments/guidance from others helps a lot. I am determined to lose the same 30 pounds I've been working on since forever.

The note added to strive for "progress not perfection" truly inspires. emoticon

Edited by: FRANKLIN2013 at: 6/9/2013 (00:49)
4ME2LOSELBS Posts: 26
6/9/13 12:19 A

It's a pain and quite time-consuming but tracking food intake is the ONLY way I have been able to succeed in losing weight!
As someone mentioned previously, I tend to eat the same things so it makes it easy to add them to my daily tracker from my favorites.
A very long time ago (before the internet!), I would track on paper or a spreadsheet. Having to look up every item's information was a pain (either from the package or from books).

SparkPeople makes this SOOO MUCH EASIER!!!!!

RACHAEL_037 Posts: 22
6/8/13 8:18 P

For me, tracking is necessary. I have spent years telling myself that I need to "eat healthy" without having a specific goal in mind. Of course no weight came off. With Spark People, I have a calorie goal, and coupled w/ that healthier eating, the weight is starting to come off.

I am more accountable to myself when I track and I am more aware of what I am eating and making better choices.

The app is invaluable too.

ANNABELLE124 SparkPoints: (1,171)
Fitness Minutes: (2,731)
Posts: 4
6/8/13 7:54 P

Congratulations. You are an inspiration. emoticon

ANNABELLE124 SparkPoints: (1,171)
Fitness Minutes: (2,731)
Posts: 4
6/8/13 7:50 P

I am the same way. I also noticed I have a three cycle where I am on track for three days and then day four I go off the rails, The cycle resumes on day 6 or 7 only to start again.

I have forgiven myself, but promise to remain focused for the long run. One day at a time is all we can really promise.... emoticon

Edited by: ANNABELLE124 at: 6/8/2013 (19:51)
CHERIAH1993 SparkPoints: (49,246)
Fitness Minutes: (85,241)
Posts: 231
6/8/13 4:24 P

I HAVE to track also,,,or the pounds simply sneak up on me for underestimating my calorie intake emoticon

RUSSELS8 SparkPoints: (2,826)
Fitness Minutes: (755)
Posts: 52
6/8/13 3:55 P

tracking is pretty easy for me because I use most of the same ingredients every day. Just put them in my favorites and tick them off from there... I also keep my measuring cups and spoons really accessible so I dont even think twice about measuring what I put in. When I don't track, I really underestimate what I am eating, but consistently measuring has trained my eye to value food when I go out.

LAURIEKRGR SparkPoints: (21,102)
Fitness Minutes: (5,689)
Posts: 476
6/8/13 3:51 P

I like to track my food, keeps me on track!

It is one of my fast goals!


1SALMON1 SparkPoints: (20,924)
Fitness Minutes: (26,093)
Posts: 399
6/8/13 3:43 P

Seems like I spent most my Spark time this week (vacation) making friends with the nutrition tracker. I too cook at home, and tracking all the ingredients in a complicated dish is time consuming for sure. It does take some time to get familiar with it and start getting the most common foods entered in your favorites and groups. It sounds like you have a few regular meals that you repeat, so the time it takes to get those entered would repay you later with easy tracking. If you have a food scale, (kinda need that - one that has a tare function will let you weigh several items separately) you can dish up your plate, weigh each item in the meal, and the tracker will give you the calories and nutrition. For example you can enter that meat sauce (sounds yumm by the way) in your recipes, favorites, or groupings; then when you dish up your own plate you put a measured amount of sauce on the pasta, enter that amount in the tracker, & get your numbers. It's a forgiving tool, and very useful - for me indispensable.

1SALMON1 SparkPoints: (20,924)
Fitness Minutes: (26,093)
Posts: 399
6/8/13 3:27 P

What a good line - " I don't feel deprived. I feel prepared!" from SharonNW1209's post... I like that a lot!!!

Edited by: 1SALMON1 at: 6/8/2013 (15:28)
JAMERICANYER SparkPoints: (3,715)
Fitness Minutes: (2,168)
Posts: 16
6/8/13 3:25 P

Tracking is the only way I can lose weight. When I don't track, I find that I grossly underestimate the amount I'm actually eating. I'll be like, "well I know this is only 50 calories per serving" then proceed to eat like 3 servings, not taking into account the resulting 150 calories. I'll do that or forget I ate something earlier in the day and think I have more "room" to eat something. Tracking makes me brutally honest with myself. I also find that I'm less hungry when I track my food. I know that's just psychological, but I'll take what I can.

Tracking my workouts also keeps me honest as well. I can't wait until my Fitbit arrives; I'm sure that will keep me even more honest with myself. It's too easy to say, oh I'll run later and then later comes and I don't bother because it's "too late". Knowing that I have something that's tracking my every fitness move will ensure that I get up off my behind and do more than just walk the dog for a workout.

CAR227 Posts: 251
6/8/13 12:10 P

I admit I don't like tracking but I also know that if I don't I can't maintain. Tracking keeps you accountable.

TONYAB2000 Posts: 1,259
6/8/13 10:55 A

Tracking is the only way to lose consistently. I have tried a few times to lose weight but without tracking there is no way to hold yourself accountable. I've been using MyFitnessPal during the day to log everything I eat and it has really helped me see where all the empty calories were coming from. I watch everything that goes into my mouth and also I know where I can let myself slide a little bit without throwing everything off. I love it. I've lost 17 lbs since April and I know I couldn't have done it without tracking. emoticon

RAUCOUS SparkPoints: (1,640)
Fitness Minutes: (707)
Posts: 10
6/7/13 3:24 P

The only times I've been successful have been when I've tracked regularly. I'm fortunate to have an office, so I can track at my desk at work but I also use the SP app on my phone ALL THE TIME. I try to track every tiny thing, but still leave wiggle room in my daily target for stealing the occasional Cheeto or french fry from my daughter :). I've managed to lose 1.5-2 lbs per week consistently with that method.

SHARONW1209 SparkPoints: (830)
Fitness Minutes: (710)
Posts: 1
6/7/13 12:44 P

I am a calorie tracking convert! At first I didn't think it was something that would help me out but boy was I wrong! I think it has most helped me with just being aware of what was going into my body. There was no more mindless grazing. It also made me take a long, hard look at PORTION SIZE which I think is so important. One night I was going to have some spaghetti for dinner and I looked at the calories for one serving and they didn't seem so terrible... until I saw that a serving was two ounces of pasta. Two ounces! That is when I decided that it really wasn't worth it for 3 mouthfulls of pasta. Up until then I thought a serving of pasta was a normal size mound of the stuff. (Nevermind the massive amount you get if you eat it out at a restaurant!)
I log in every morning and update the day before and then also put in what I PLAN to eat that day. This is easy for me because during the week I pack lunches for work and eat a lot of chicken for dinner! Tracking has helped me to consistently lose 2 lbs a week for the past 3+ months. And I don't feel deprived. I feel prepared! I know that I can control for that slice of ice cream cake that I ate on my son's birthday by making minor calorie adjustments throughout my day. And now I no longer have any more "Holy Crap! I just ate how many calories of xyz?!?" moments!

EBWHAT SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (1,168)
Posts: 25
6/7/13 11:35 A

I cannot lose weight without tracking. I can maintain without tracking but that's it. Which is why I haven't lost weight in the 4 years I've been "playing" with SP. I'll track for about a week, see results, then get lazy and quit because I find tracking to be really annoying. I have no idea what my problem is. I know a lot about nutrition, I know the efficacy of tracking, I know it's necessary, I just can't seem to do it consistently. But here I am again. I'm trying to give it another go because I've gained 3 pounds recently and saw some really unflattering pictures of myself this weekend on facebook.

The tips about using the groupings has been really helpful, I'm setting up many of them now to see if that will make a difference.

PASCAL921 SparkPoints: (12,806)
Fitness Minutes: (5,477)
Posts: 148
6/7/13 10:43 A

Tracking every meal is about the only way that I can avoid binge eating. It's easier if you only eat 3 meals a day with no snacking. It helps that I have a really nice scale though.

GWEGNER SparkPoints: (4,449)
Fitness Minutes: (2,704)
Posts: 121
6/7/13 10:14 A

I have been bad lattly... not as consistant as I have been in the past... But I started out right today and plan on keeping it that way! :)

ANNIEONLI SparkPoints: (84,558)
Fitness Minutes: (28,590)
Posts: 2,986
6/7/13 10:00 A

Practice makes perfect....tracking nutrition gets easier the more you do it and build and add to your favorites, groups and recipe tabs.

Just do won't be sorry you did!

CARRIE1948 Posts: 10,496
6/7/13 9:51 A

I love the groups button since I'm such a creature of habit. I have one lunch place I go to each week and I weigh and measure once and then just use the group after. Since the menu changes quarterly, it saves me a ton of time and frustration.

NEEDBU66 SparkPoints: (85,186)
Fitness Minutes: (133,839)
Posts: 2,630
6/7/13 9:04 A

maybe not every bite, but I keep every bite in mind. Logging in 3 times a day seems in and of itself excessive, with it not being after bedtime lying there and remembering "did I enter that in?" I'm not getting out of bed to check and enter a fourth time. But I'm always checking on my fingers and keeping it in my head.

Also, sometimes its so subjective, and just a guess unless I weigh every bite. Then there are the times I measure in cups to find the only choice are grams, and the times when it says large medium and small so many to a pound, and I guess. It's just a better idea to be well within the range allowing for wiggle room than being obsessive compulsive about some things. There's also water. Exercise. All the health issues. Keeping one's inner self on balance. Relationships. The house clean. The business run. Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you seems to come into play at some point.

Then there are the recipes....I'm out of this so I add that. Did that change anything calorie wise? I bet it did, but I'm still using the original recipe to track. Again, it's just a better idea to be well with the range to give me wiggle room about 25 calories here or 50 there.

Edited by: NEEDBU66 at: 6/7/2013 (09:05)
5BADDOGS Posts: 653
6/6/13 6:57 P

I track like it's my religion - and it works! So I find it is WELL worth the time investment.

And I measure quite a bit - with measuring cups and with a cheap scale I picked up at the kitchen store. Discovering good portion sizing has been a REAL eye opening experience.

And I only recently discovered the recipe builder - but that is a wonderful tool for adding home-made foods and getting pretty accurate calorie and nutrient info! Both my hubby and I like to cook - so it's been great to learn this tool existed! I've started adding a bunch of things I make regularly - not only for tracking, but as others have said below, just to see how I can tweak the recipe to make it healthier.

Before that, I used the "Group items" function quite a bit - like for our standard salad combo, or the breakfast I eat most mornings, so I only have to add one item instead of many each time I have that particular combination. Works nicely if you tend to be a creature of habit.

6/6/13 5:51 P

The recipe function is awesome. I tend to use my favorite recipes on a regular basis, and the recipe function saves so much time! I like to find new recipes online and try them out, and I love browsing recipes already in the SparkRecipes section or finding recipes elsewhere online and adding them in to find what their nutrition information is (and sometimes, what impact small substitutions have on that information).

In terms of tracking, I track everything I eat, every day. I give myself a window of 100 calories on either side of my goal, because I know that the items I track are not always 100% accurate as to what I ate. When applicable, I overestimate what I eat. In example, I might track 3 cups of microwave popped kettle corn. In reality, I had somewhere between 2 & 3 cups. I also agree with a previous poster -- if I can't find the exact item in the tracker, I will pick a close substitute. There are several local restaurants that I visit on occasion for a slice of pizza or a deli sandwich. Their exact item is not in SparkPeople. These restaurants don't have nutrition information available. So, I take my best guess at how my slice of pizza might compare to a slice of pizza from Papa John's or Pizza Hut, both of which are in the system.

I am the type of person that has to be really firm with myself, or I know I will start to "cheat" myself -- which sounds ridiculous as I type it out. Let's say I eat a handful of M&M's today and don't track it. Pretty soon, a week has gone by, and I've eaten (and not tracked) quite a few more items. The only person I am hurting is myself. So, I have to be very honest about every single thing that goes into my mouth -- good or bad.

I like to think that once I am well established in maintenance mode (maybe several months or possibly years), I could relax a bit on the tracking. Or relax while on vacation (again, while well in maintenance mode). Right now, keeping a food log adds structure to my weight loss plan, and it keeps me accountable -- both of which I need.

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