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STARFISH1961 SparkPoints: (72,917)
Fitness Minutes: (38,483)
Posts: 4,738
4/16/13 11:12 P

As for me , I love my tracker , because I'm willing to do what it takes to lose this 60 lb. + and I feel so accomplished when I get my calories in good range and I see my nutrition is close to the numbers it should be , and when they're not up there for nutrients I can take a supplement of whatever is lacking , usually in vit. E also B12 and potassium. I also like to get my pie chart as close as I can to 50 % carbs , 30% fat & 20% protein . However there are weeks when I barely notice any movement on the scale , that is discouraging for me , but I do keep tracking & I have lost about 16 lbs in 8 weeks so I am inspired to keep doing it, although some days it consumes a lot of time , I am determined to reach my first goal by July ! emoticon

Keep tracking emoticon 1961

NIRERIN Posts: 14,297
4/16/13 11:00 P

would tracking by servings help? in other words, the usda whatever-shape-it-is-now recommendations are 2-3 protein, 2-3 dairy, 3-5 fruits, 3-5 veg, 6-11 grains. if you prefer a different variant, feel free to use that. but one option is to set up a chart so that you could tick off servings as you eat them. another option might be more like this
english muffin [2 grain], cheese [1/2 dairy], eggplant [1/2 veg], mushrooms [1/2 veg].
you would have to already have a pretty decent idea of serving size to do it though.

HONESTLOOK SparkPoints: (941)
Fitness Minutes: (310)
Posts: 9
4/16/13 10:57 P

I really like your idea Icedemeter! By focusing on the nutrients and slowly working my way in to new categories, I can re-introduce tracking without feeling overwhelmed. I think I will give it a try!

ICEDEMETER Posts: 1,332
4/16/13 10:39 P

Do you think it would help if you used it as a "planner" instead of a "tracker"? What I mean, is instead of writing things down as you eat them, if you chose one evening per week to plan out all of your meals for the upcoming 7 days.

You could plan out the basics for the week, concentrating on getting the minimums for the major nutrients for each day, and could still give yourself some "play" room each day to add a few things without it having to be a big deal.

You already have a feel for correct portion sizes and rough calorie amounts, so you should be able to set up a plan for the major meals for a week, and leave yourself free to add a few snacks each day.

If you start out by focussing on the nutrients first, then you might find that you can ease yourself back in to tracking without judging yourself on the calories.

I started on here looking strictly at iron, folate, calcium, and fibre. I planned (and still do plan) each day's meals the night before. I was eating between 1900 and 2300 calories per day, but wasn't really caring where I fell in there. I then started paying more attention to the carb / protein / fat mix each day. As I brought these more in to line, I found that I was eating between 1700 and 1900 calories per day. I'm now averaging around 1600 calories per day without ever consciously trying to drop to there. I've been steadily losing weight the whole time, at a nice slow pace that suits me just fine.

Hope you figure out something that works for you!

MOTTSIE Posts: 204
4/16/13 8:37 P

Don't let your food journal make you feel bad. Its a tool and cannot pass judgement. I feel guilty when I track a poor nutrition day, but there is no reason for guilt.
This is a journey in which to learn lessons about your eating habits and portion sizes. I don't like to track, but it really keeps me aware of how much I eat. Sometimes, I am surprised how quickly my caloric goals are reached!

HONESTLOOK SparkPoints: (941)
Fitness Minutes: (310)
Posts: 9
4/16/13 8:25 P

Thanks for your input Triathlete Girl! I can definitely see how a tracker can help. When I first started trying to lose weight, about 14 years ago, I went to a nutritionist and I used a tracker very effectively. Similar to you, my trackers taught me about portion control. I no longer ate a huge baggie of Cheez-its with a can of Sprite. It helped, for a long time. Then, over the years, I began to dread the journal because I could always find SOMETHING I could have done better at. I began to obsess over eating 25 grapes instead of 17, stupid things like that. For my sanity, I had to step away from the tracker for a while because it was becoming out of control. I'm now in a better emotional state, though my weight is higher than ever, and when I try to keep a tracker, I find that I begin to obsess again. Writing it down is what is the trigger. And, when I write it down, I find that I think about food ALL THE TIME. I can have eaten a good breakfast an hour earlier, but once it's written down, I want to eat again. And then I'm STARVING. Yes, I know I'm not actually starving and I know it's an emotional thing, I just don't understand it. How can writing down what I've eaten cause such an emotional uprising in me?

TRIATHLETEGIRL SparkPoints: (56,067)
Fitness Minutes: (61,024)
Posts: 356
4/16/13 8:03 P

Hi Honestlook,

I know what you mean. When I completely butcher a day, I feel terrible about it and then I want to eat more bad food since the day is shot, anyway. And I used to sometimes feel a sort of despair about having to track (for the rest of my life?) because I just wanted to be like a normal person who can be relaxed around food. The way I got out of it was by trying to make it more fun to keep a food journal. I bought a special fancy pen and spiral notebook just for tracking, and I decorated the cover myself. I pasted some calorie charts in the front and back cover and stuff like that. Another approach I took was the scientific, impersonal approach. Almost as if I were tracking food for someone else. But what I came to like about food journals is the next day, the page is literally blank (with no bad choices in it) and I feel like I can have a "do-over" to make it right.

If I don't track or journal, then I am never really sure about my calories. But I do know that because I have tracked in the past, I have learned to choose and portion my food wisely. I used to eat half a loaf of bread with butter and call it a reasonable lunch. And a 6-egg omelet was my idea of a portion for breakfast. So tracking had its educational purpose for me. I know I am ok on calories if I skip a couple days because of the habit I created with the help of my trackers. Fortunately I have learned to like eating vegetables and I feel gross if I eat too much of something not good for me.

HONESTLOOK SparkPoints: (941)
Fitness Minutes: (310)
Posts: 9
4/16/13 7:33 P

Hi! I'm having a hard time with keeping a food journal. I've kept one soooo many times over the years and I'm finding that at this point in my life, keeping one is a trigger for me. It instantly makes me feel bad about myself and I find myself obsessing about everything I put in my mouth. I know this isn't healthy, and as I take an honest look at my patterns, I don't want to set myself up for failure. So, two questions I the only one who struggles with this? And for those who don't track their food, how do you monitor your calories?

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