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SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (250,105)
Fitness Minutes: (41,449)
Posts: 26,956
2/12/13 4:13 P

Hi Jolene - I have been on SP for a long time, too, and reached my goal a long time ago. I STILL use my Nutrition Tracker every day because I want to stay where I am. I also still weigh my food every day because I don't want to go back to where I was. I am generally accurate with guessing weights of things, and reasonably accurate with food. As a 'game' with myself, everything I put on the scales I weigh, but I have a guess at the weight first. More often than not I am wrong, and also more often than not, I tend to underestimate. This over a period of time can add the weight back on. I DON'T want to go back there!!


NAUSIKAA Posts: 4,848
2/12/13 3:15 P

Hi Jolene, I've been on SP since 07, not sure if that counts as a long time! But I would recommend that you try it, but go into it planning to do it on a trial basis. Say to yourself "I will try this for one month" and then at the end of the month, review how you did. If you want to continue, set another time limit, like another 3 months. And it's still a good idea to track a day once every while just to make sure that you keep your skills sharp.

I can tell you that I am back to tracking everything after stopping for a while. The reason is a phenomenon called "Calorie Creep." Calorie creep is when you have an extra two raisins today, and by the end of next month, it's an extra 50 raisins, and by the end of the summer, it's 300 extra calories/day. I regained weight because of that. I too thought I knew all the calories, and I did, but I was a victim of my own success. Instead of using that knowledge to keep a running tally in my head, I used it to play down the calories in foods I wanted. A teaspoon of olive oil became 2 tbsp. It happens so much more easily than you think. That's the scary part. I will say that at no time did I stop weighing things like dry pasta and dried beans. I still used my food scale for the big stuff (though not for the little stuff - another super way to get Calorie Creep). I just didn't track anything because "I know what I'm doing."

Now... I'm coming to terms with the idea that I may be tracking for the rest of my life. I've decided that I'm going to make it as easy for myself as possible. I have whole meals set up like recipes to speed things up. I make homemade meal replacement bars (that I LOVE) for breakfast which means that while I do still have to weigh out the ingredients and track them, I only have to do it once/week when I make a batch, rather than every day when I go to eat one. Anything I can do to make it easier to continue doing, is a good thing.

Ultimately you will find what works for you, but I can tell you that I had to really struggle to give up the sense (subconscious maybe) that tracking was almost like "punishment for having been fat and getting myself into the position where I have to do this". Now I look at tracking as "taking good care of my body" and it's a positive thing that I do for myself and I feel lucky that I have the tools and knowledge to do it well.

JOLENE_ SparkPoints: (29,787)
Fitness Minutes: (34,731)
Posts: 44
2/12/13 1:33 P

I've been using Spark for several years consistently and am considering taking a small break from tracking food. I feel like I know the calories in everything and I will continue to work out consistently.

Have you tried it?
I would like to hear the successful and unsuccessful stories. Thanks!

Edited by: JOLENE_ at: 2/12/2013 (13:54)
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