On Tracking

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Today I am musing. When I went to Weight Watchers many years ago, I had to write down everything I ate and hand in my "menu" weekly. It was then checked and I was given advice on where I needed to make improvements. It was a way of tracking what was eaten. The reason I started on SP was to use the nutrition tracker, to help me keep track of what I was eating. I have learned something from this. Portion control! It seems that when one tracks what they eat, they are more likely to use such items as measuring cups and spoons, weigh scales, and watch their intake. Once a person no longer feels a need to utilize these things ie when they reach their goal weight, their eyes start getting bigger. The portions slowly increase over time and lo and behold they again have a problem. Why? Because they are no longer tracking what they eat, nor using the things that helped to remove the excess poundage in the first place.
I have read in places that one can use certain things to sort of measure things to eat, such as the size of one's fist is equal to one portion of meat..... but whose fist? I have small hands. Certainly my fist would not be nearly as big a portion as a man who was 6', but in my mind, 3 ounces is 3 ounces.
I think that my scales, measuring spoons and cups are going to have to remain my friends for life. I will most likely always need to track what I eat. I do not at this point think that I could do without it, because I would not remain as vigilant about my habits as I now do. Again it comes down to how big my eyes can get. I know that I am not good at eyeballing portions well.
Yes I do use a small plate rather than a dinner plate. I have done so for a very long time. The thinking becomes: since I am using a small plate I can go back for more. Well no, once one has eaten what is on that plate, they are done eating, so get up from the table and leave.
It takes very little time to track one's intake and, in all honesty, I truly believe it is worth those few moments to keep one eating on a healthy regime. I have found that if I don't track it when I eat it, I tend to forget just what I have had during the day. It is very easy to say I will put it in later, but that is the same as saying I will do it tomorrow... it doesn't happen.
It is also easy to plan ahead, to take foods to work, already placed on the tracker. The problem with this is, sometimes one gets a bit hungry, so will have a bit more than has been tracked. It doesn't get put in, because the food has already been tracked for the day. The result? One tends to eat more than they think they are when reviewing their plan.
The advice? Keep a small notebook in the purse so things can be written down as eaten and later added to the tracker. It helps to keep one on plan. Also , if one has already input their foods in for the day, one can write the calories etc in the notebook/pad so that it can be added on to. It is simply done and only takes a moment.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Great post! Yes portion control is the key.
    3453 days ago
    You are so correct on all this. I do put my food in the tracker all at once for the day, but my situation is not the same as most. I have to plan daily menus for the day care and I don't deviate from them. I think this is why using the tracker from the start was so easy. I am so used to eating healthy it was not hard to use the tools on Spark, the only difference between before Spark and now is portion control. My eyes must have been gigantic!
    3453 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

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