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Tell me WHY again? Food tracking

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

WHY? I think that is one of the most important questions to ask. Why is what motivates us to do ANYTHING on this earth. And in all honesty, when a person looks at the behaviors we tend to do without question on a daily basis, we have a clear and reasonable reason WHY we do the things we do.



Think about the things we do on a daily basis:

Brushing our teeth emoticon
Bathing
Going to work
Paying our bills

The list goes on and on.
We have a clear knowledge of WHY we do these everyday things, and we do them without thinking whether we like them or not.

They are part of the LIFESTYLE we want.



The WHY for today I have been asking myself related to weight loss and fitness is this:
WHY have the Sparkpeople basics been so difficult for me to incorporate?

Not to stroke my own ego here, but I happen to find myself to be an intelligent, modern woman. I read magazines, books, I search out research before I buy a washer, a good pair of shoes. BUT WHY NOT IMPLEMENT THIS LEVEL OF DEDICATION TO MY WEIGHT LOSS?

In all honesty, I wasn't getting the WHY. I can't blame Sparkpeople. Every tool we need REALLY is right here. The easiest food tracker to use that I have EVER seen is here for me to use FOR FREE. I can even enter calories on my "smart" phone when I can't get to a computer. Gee, Sparkpeople must think tracking my food is very important. BUT WHY????? WHY is it soooo important to track my food? If I kind of know how many calories a day I eat, isn't that enough?



I went out in search of some answers to the WHY'S recently. Here is some interesting pieces of information to answer some of the WHY's, at least to food tracking.

1. Overweight and Obese people have been shown to inaccurately count calorie and activity levels. Don't buy it? here is a study: www.nejm.org/doi/full/10
.1056/NEJM199212313272701

Obese individuals have been show to underestimate their calories by up to 40% a day. How is THAT for slowing your weight loss.

2. So you can SEE what you are doing, right or wrong. If you gain 2 pounds in a week, you need to have all the information in front of you in order to figure out what went wrong. Did you eat 1/2 a cheesecake? Did you eat 3000mg of sodium a day and are you retaining water? Did you eat 3000 calories a day? Did you eat 1500 calories a day, but TONS of carbs? HONEST tracking will give you some valuable information.

3. Food journals/tracking lead to MORE weight loss. Here is another link:
www.livestrong.com/artic
le/268951-food-journals-we
ight-loss/


Summary:

Tracking our food intake on Sparkpeople is the BEST way to get your weight loss going. In MY opinion, it is MORE important than exercise. If you can only focus on ONE thing when starting your weight loss journey, start with tracking your food.

HOW TO MAKE YOUR FOOD TRACKING THE MOST USEFUL:



1. Buy a digital food scale (walmart and target have models for about $20) and measure EVERY thing before you eat it. If you weigh it, you KNOW what you are eating. Yes, even weigh your bread from the loaf. Food labels CAN AND ARE inaccurate.

2. Set your food tracker so it can be shared. If you are stalled with weight loss, others in your team groups can click on your tracker and give some helpful advice. That has helped me a LOT.

If you do NOTHING else on Sparkpeople, track your food intake. It is amazing the things we can miss if we aren't watching. For those of you out there who are desperately trying to figure out WHY your weight loss is stalled, I beg you to make your goal for the week to track everything you eat for a week. Just try it.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • JENNIEBEAN
    This was a great blog, lady. Very informative. Sometimes it really helps to have all the info that we think we "know" already put out there in one blog to see. Well done!
    2684 days ago
  • DDOORN
    For me, tracking food is absolutely the most difficult aspect of living the healthiest possible lifestyle.

    Don
    2686 days ago
  • THISYEARSMODEL
    Well done!!! I couldn't agree more. Food tracking is the entire key for me. I'd also add one more thing: tracking allows you to see where you are nutritionally, and what you may be lacking. Certain nutrients are vital for our metabolism to work at its best.

    emoticon
    2686 days ago
  • JONICACALDWELL
    I like how you answered your own question!
    2686 days ago
  • LLEWIS6879
    I found that to be absolutely true. LOG YOUR FOOD, LOG YOUR FOOD, LOG YOUR FOOD.

    And when I stopped doing that, I crept up a little and a little and a little and I'm now 6 pounds over my goal, and apparently stuck there because, for some reason, I just do not log. Even though I want to. Even though I KNOW it's what's best for me. I'm LIVING, BREATHING PROOF THAT IT WORKS and I don't do it.
    WHAT is up with THAT?

    But congrats on your 4 pounds! LIke Teeneybikini said, "you are AWESOMESAUCE!"
    2686 days ago
  • KJMAZ2011
    Great blog! I agree that tracking is so important. Even though I dislike it very much, I continue to do so!
    2686 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.