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MKONAR SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (1,690)
Posts: 93
8/19/12 4:19 P

I learned that I was eating way to much before, didn't really have a good concept of how many calories I was eating. Now that I am tracking it I can see where I was overeating before. Now I see that some days I am not eating enough of a certain thing, and I can change what I'm eating to get more balance.

DONNA5281 Posts: 5,890
8/19/12 3:56 P

I started tracking not to long ago and it shows me that I don't eat enough. Most of the time I don't have the correct foods to eat.
This is embarrassing for me but I live on a fixed income as I am disabled. Sometimes I don't have money to go shopping with. So, I eat what I have.
Until I get straightened out my tracking won't be what it should be.
Sorry. I really want to do this!

STUTLERTONI SparkPoints: (60,055)
Fitness Minutes: (88,094)
Posts: 323
8/19/12 1:20 P

I have been tracking for over two years now with the SparkPeople phone app, I have learned that I LOVE big portions. I have good days and bad but before tracking they were probably all bad. I find that knowing I'm going to have to track something, to have to see it there in front of me what I have done sometimes stops me from eating it.

Last summer I vacationed in Alaska and the 3G service is shotty in some parts, I went days at a time withoutbeaing able to track my food. At one point I thought "YES, I can have 24 pieces of cornbread becasue I can't track anything today." After that trip I learned that even if that calories arent being tracked, they still exist in the food you eat. I no longer open the tracker, find a food and select the amount I ate, see the damage and then scale it back some to reduce the calories it registers as. I was only cheating myself. Now, most days I go over my reccomended calories but I just live with what the screen says and find it's easier to understand why the weight isn't dropping.

Good luck everyone.

CHEFPAMMI SparkPoints: (2,609)
Fitness Minutes: (602)
Posts: 25
8/19/12 12:12 P

This is my second post to this message. I just got serious with the program and I have learned a ton of things!!
I have diabeties and hypertension, and couldn't get my blood pressure under control. After I started tracking, I now understand why I felt so bad and couldn't get moving.
I was living off of carbs, fats and salt!
No potassium, no calcium, nothing good, it was like I was feeding my body motor oil, totally useless, just like all the fats, salt, and carbs, not to mention 3000+ calories a day!
Now I'm making better choices, I'm not perfect, but I know now what to do to get better, and I feel better after just a few days.
This program (I believe) has saved my life, I really am thankful it's here, and I mean to pass the word about Sparkpeople. I also love that it's free!!

ITSTIME2011 SparkPoints: (3,386)
Fitness Minutes: (599)
Posts: 28
8/16/12 3:43 P

Hi everyone. Thanks to you, I don't feel as 'alone' as I thought I would when I decided to go on a "diet" (you know, when everyone else around you is diggin' in!!). For what I've learned so far? I can so identify with everything all of you have said. I think one of the most important things I've learned through tracking, though, is a the sense of "control" I have over my life and what affects my decisions will have on my present and future well-being. Tracking allows me to enjoy the responsibilities of achieving success, and see the unfortunate results (in black and white) from any not so great decisions in nutrition. exercise, as well as other goals important in life. I think I'll be tracking for a long long time -- even after I've reached my goal(s) Thanks SP for such a comprehensive program (and making it free!!!) :)

SCARJOWANNABE SparkPoints: (13,955)
Fitness Minutes: (7,186)
Posts: 500
8/16/12 2:58 P

I learned I usually don't get enough protein and too much sodium.

KANACHII Posts: 24
8/16/12 2:39 P

I learned that I was actually eating way too many carbs - my diet was not balanced at all. Then someone sent me messages telling me why going overboard on the carbs is bad, and why balance is important.

Wouldn't have known without tracking!

HUNGRYWOMAN2 Posts: 14,843
8/16/12 1:51 P

I have learned many things. Lately, I have noted that my protein is not where it should be. This is an important nutrient, and something the tracker has made me aware.

ESOTERIC_ORCHID SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (8,844)
Posts: 73
8/16/12 9:00 A

I have learned what kind of food combinations I need to eat to stay satisfied longer and to avoid the after lunch nap attack, which isn't a good thing to get when you're at work. I've been trying to cut back on breads and pastas (not give them up...just cut back) and, consequently, I've been low in carbohydrates. The tracker lets me play around with things like sweet potatoes and winter squashes and other whole grains to see how I can get enough starch without going over my calorie range.

JUDITHANNE1313 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (717)
Posts: 55
8/16/12 8:28 A

I have learned that I can control my eating habits much better if I pack my breakfast and my lunch. If I know I have to eat out that night, then I make those two meals count for more. I have also learned that if I do eat out, I eat half and take the rest home for my husband to eat the next day. Tracking has opened my eyes and established numbers for me.

8/16/12 8:19 A

I've learned that I have trouble getting enough protein, and even though I consistently eat only healthy fats, I always eat a bit too many.

MANDELOVICH Posts: 2,383
8/16/12 5:34 A

I've learned that even small adjustments to intake make a difference over time!

8/15/12 8:13 P


I'm having very similar problems. Especially when I eat out!

I do really really well until dinner; then it seems my sodium intake just skyrockets. I'm going to try cooking at home more to keep my sodium in check more days of the week; processed foods always have a ton of sodium in them.

ZZYYGGY3 Posts: 2,426
8/15/12 7:23 P

I've learned to not mindless munch on my days off, and I do need to get within my calorie range more often.

8/15/12 6:46 P

There are a few decent replacements out there! Herbal teas can be very good, as can a small cup of skim milk (only 80 calories and it can be pretty filling for a snack to take the edge off between meals), and my favorite: water. I still haven't been able to drink a full 8 cups, but I have cut back on soda and juices a lot, and I feel great. ^_^

8/15/12 6:37 P

I've learned that, unlike what I've always thought, I don't max out my calories every day. I do, however, need to really, really watch my sodium intake!

JELLYBEAN007 Posts: 445
8/15/12 5:17 P

I learned that, with our now mostly vegetarian diet, I wasn't eating enough! I started eating more (in my range) and my metabolism responded as I had hoped! Now I am hungry at mealtimes, and have the energy to be more active!
Also, it's really hard to get enough protein - especially since my main source is nuts and cheese, which are high in fat.

Edited by: JELLYBEAN007 at: 8/15/2012 (17:18)
8/15/12 5:03 P

I've learned that some food has more calories than I thought. I also learned that I need to watch my serving sizes. The areas I have problems with are staying within my carb and sodium allowances.

SESHAW0227 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (7,903)
Posts: 24
8/15/12 4:54 P

I fully believe that the Food Tracker is what gave me the extra edge to get me started with a vengeance! It makes so much sense and is as invaluable to me now as my tennis shoes! Having it all out there for you to see for yourself is the best tool SP has given its members. If you're truly honest with tracking and yourself, there's no way you CAN'T reach your goals!

WORLDSERIES11 SparkPoints: (267,123)
Fitness Minutes: (110,977)
Posts: 6,068
8/15/12 4:44 P

I have learned what a difference it makes if I track my food everyday. I am more aware of what I'm eating and how much and am able to make healthier choices.

DONNA5281 Posts: 5,890
8/15/12 4:24 P

I have learned that if you track every day, you will find out what you are doing wrong.
You will be able to change it.
I am still having problems tracking because some of the foods aren't listed. Is this because we shouldn't be eating them?

SUMPTERF SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (20)
Posts: 1
8/15/12 3:23 P

I am only 3 days into tracking but I have learned that the majority of my calorie intake is from juice. Now i just need to find satisfying healthy replacements. emoticon

GUITARWOMAN SparkPoints: (145,326)
Fitness Minutes: (179,587)
Posts: 1,081
8/15/12 2:19 P

Tracking has taught me to plan what I am eating for the day before the day begins, that way I know what to bring to work for lunch, snacks, etc.

Tracking has also identified a few foods that I eat that have little or no food value; I am planning to eliminate one of them starting tomorrow. I will have 100 more calories to use for healthy eating!

Tracking has also taught me to try and not eyeball and guesstimate when I can--not always possible.


Edited by: GUITARWOMAN at: 8/15/2012 (14:19)
MARITIMER3 SparkPoints: (212,753)
Fitness Minutes: (120,381)
Posts: 9,442
8/15/12 1:52 P

I learned how much I was actually eating - too much fat, too many carbs, usually not enough protein... way too much salt. Definitely an eye-opener... and I would have said I was quite knowledgeable about nutrition.

LINAMARIE64 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (3,880)
Posts: 268
8/15/12 1:47 P

how easy it is to stay within range by planning the whole days meals and snacks the night before, that way when I wake up I know exactly what I am having for breakfast and taking for lunch, snacks and etc....

ILOVEMALI Posts: 1,538
8/15/12 1:21 P

tracking makes me more aware of what I'm eating. I really need to track food that I eat when I get home from work -- out internet is down, and it's more difficult recently. I'd be doing better if Verizon wasn't stupid.

SONICB Posts: 4,381
8/15/12 1:06 P

I often eat too much fat for how much protein I get. And often waaaay too much sodium!

RADBUNNY Posts: 42
8/15/12 12:42 P

I have learned that my sodium intake is out of control!! Since i figured this out, some days I do a great good but others not so good. I am really struggling with this. If anyone has some suggestions I am open to them.

IREN0169 Posts: 1,339
8/15/12 12:42 P

I have learned that when I track my food and don"t eat outside of planned meals and snacks that I lose weight. Also rewarding myself for tracking (instead of lost weight) allows me to say no to those unplanned snacks!

LAURENXX19 Posts: 547
8/15/12 11:32 A

I learned that I was eating way too much. My small "snacks" throughout the day really were a bunch of wasted calories. Now that I'm aware of what I'm really eating, I find it easier not to snack as much and when I do snack, they are healthier.

MYNUS25 SparkPoints: (20,201)
Fitness Minutes: (10,409)
Posts: 65
8/15/12 10:50 A

I learned why I was gaining weight. Could it possibly be the 3000+ calories a day? Like Duh. I was overeating at every meal, snacking lots (I was probably thirsty), and I was eating sometimes as much as 1/2 of those calories in the evening in front of the TV. Wow. I had tracked before but got bored with it - I figured I could do this on my own without tracking. Big Mistake. So now I'm tracking again, and committed to it - it really does help me keep within my goal range. And I've found that going to bed earlier helps. Except that last night I woke up from a sound sleep around midnight, got up, and got down to some serious snacking. But on the good side, this was after midnight, so it counts for today, right? ;)

Edited by: MYNUS25 at: 8/15/2012 (12:09)
8/15/12 9:47 A


MEADSBAY SparkPoints: (394,647)
Fitness Minutes: (183,018)
Posts: 14,317
8/15/12 9:46 A

I learned that I needed to weigh and measure every single thing until I understood correct portion sizes.

BREEGOLD SparkPoints: (9,418)
Fitness Minutes: (6,299)
Posts: 568
8/15/12 9:42 A

I learned that I wasn't actually eating too many carbs, but definitely too much fat. I love emoticon too much emoticon

DONNA5281 Posts: 5,890
8/14/12 10:11 P

I'm learning that by tracking food and fitness everyday, you can see where you messed up.
This way when you can work on eating better and doing some exercising everyday.

1EMMA2011 SparkPoints: (25,459)
Fitness Minutes: (14,727)
Posts: 1,066
8/14/12 8:45 P

It's easier to get back on track if I eat something I think is "wrong" if I track my food. The act of tracking allows me to detach from the situation and most of the time realize there is still hope to salvage the day - so I've learned consistency.

I've also learned that I could be making better choices and this has made me better educated! I feel smarter (more wise!) nutritionally when I track my food.

SCARJOWANNABE SparkPoints: (13,955)
Fitness Minutes: (7,186)
Posts: 500
8/14/12 8:43 P

i eat way too much sodium

MACKENZIE963 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (545)
Posts: 143
8/14/12 8:38 P

That fat, carbs & calories really pile up quickly if you're not vigilant.

And after I got diagnosed w/diabetes I was being so nervous about food that I was under-eating... before I came here I was using a notebook and I plugged in some of the food intake I recorded into the planner and I was barely eating 1000 calories!! Which at my high weight and with daily exercise was not good at all.

I had to let up on myself a little.

11TERRY20 Posts: 237
8/14/12 5:20 P

My biggest realization (the most recent one anyway) was that it's as important to keep from undereating in my calorie range as it is overeating.

I had dental work done a couple of days ago and had a real problem eating as much as I needed to be in the correct calorie range. In the past I would just not eat and in the process set myself up for a real binge.

KARENCRANER Posts: 3,425
8/14/12 4:52 P

I've learned to make choices based on the big picture. I'm more willing to sacrifice something starchy and replace it with somwthing packing more nutrients. Yeah, it's still about taste, and I'm still food-centric, but I'm constantly surprised that I don't feel like I'm giving something up, just making healthier choices! :)

Edited by: KARENCRANER at: 8/14/2012 (16:55)
EEJAYBEE Posts: 261
8/14/12 3:18 P

I leanred that I could eat more than I thought I could- and still not feel hungry!

SOXFANNH SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (34,233)
Posts: 20
8/14/12 2:43 P

I've learned that I can eat out or at parties and stay within my calorie goals, if I am careful and plan ahead. It's pretty nice to finish dinner and still have room for dessert or a glass of wine. I am also tracking my sodium and am happy that I can consistently keep my intake pretty low.

I almost always learn something when I track my foods. It's a great tool.

LINDAK25 Posts: 7,171
8/14/12 2:31 P

Tracking food has made me much more aware of what I'm eating and when. When I started three months ago, I was eating most of my calories later in the day. Now, I make sure to eat breakfast that includes veggies or fruit, aiming for at least 10 grams of protein. I work hard at balancing my diet so that I get enough fat and protein, in proportion to carbs, something I wasn't doing before.

I also track sodium, potassium and magnesium. I love tracking sodium because it makes my life so much easier. If I keep my sodium intake below 1400 mg my feet don't swell. Tracking potassium and magnesium really is nearly impossible, particularly with packaged foods and dairy since they are not required to to add potassium and magnesium to their labels. Potassium can be found in tap water, is used to process foods like decaf coffee, or to preserve dried fruits! I track them anyway, it's a good habit and it gives me some idea of how much potassium and magnesium I'm getting from the whole foods I eat.

CHEFPAMMI SparkPoints: (2,609)
Fitness Minutes: (602)
Posts: 25
8/14/12 2:21 P

I've learned that I eat enough for 2 people!
I tracked yesterdays intake today and consumed over 3000 calories! Can you believe it? I couldn't, now I know why I'm fat and unhealthy. Gotta do better. emoticon

THENEWROSE Posts: 1,410
8/14/12 2:11 P

How easy it is to exceed your caloric goals.

SHAKEUPTAMPA SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (4,545)
Posts: 925
8/14/12 1:18 P

* Fast food in moderation but right now on ban list while I get my mind where I need it without temptation (12 week ban, tomorrow I hit 4 weeks)

* Trade in that magnum ice cream at about 350 calories for a Skinny cow one at 100. Dessert is possible. I also make pie out of my Herbalife shake mix once in awhile.

* I found if I cut back on red meat and add more fish and chicken I get more protein faster and save more calories in case in get the munchies

* Found lower calorie and lower fat snacks by reading labels so I can have more options and if it ends up being a grazing day I can still get my nutrients if I snacked a bit too much and ate smaller meals.

* I now measure my salad dressing. My favorite is 140 calories for 2 tbsp. I now measure out 1 tbsp and it is plenty.

SOON2BSMALL1313 Posts: 857
8/14/12 1:14 P

I've realized fast food isn't an absolute NO NO but the key is moderation. I've also learned that portion control is EVERYTHING! I still sometimes over eat BUT only into the 500 and under range and for me thats good. and it's getting to be a rarer and rarer occurance. I've also learned that picking off other peoples plates count so no finishing Jake's plate or snagging off of steve's. It's helped a lot

VTRICIA Posts: 2,484
8/14/12 12:38 P

I used to never eat ice cream, I thought it was a fattening food. But 150 calories for a half cup, I let myself have it every now and then. My kids say I make better meals for dinner and we eat less fast food. Though when I do, I read nutrition facts ahead of time. Or use my common sense. By tracking food, I can eat foods I really like instead of eliminating food groups, as I have done in the past. And I feel so good when I meet my calorie goal for the day. Even when I go over, if it's less than 500 calories then I know I'm still in maintenance range.

DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (61,458)
Fitness Minutes: (15,905)
Posts: 9,717
8/14/12 12:04 P

Tracking made me realize the quality of the foods I was putting in my body, and how much those things were "worth" in the long run. I had no idea how much I was overeating (as much as 3500 calories a day!) until I started tracking. Now, I've often found that I'm not as willing to eat the things I used to, because I don't want to "spend" the calories on so little food!

It's also helped me understand how the foods I eat affect me. Now, when I'm bloated, miserable, and tired, I know what caused it... and can avoid it NEXT time!

GORIANA Posts: 4,420
8/14/12 11:57 A

I have learned that I was grazing too much. I snacked my way through evening meal prep because I was hungry (a little) and because I needed a break from a hard day of mental focus required for my job. I had too many high calorie snacks at the end of the day. Now, I am more aware of what I eat in the evening, and I give myself a mental shift before getting home. I am not that hungry usually, and the mental transition is enough to satisfy what I really need.

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