When can I stop tracking my food?
Sunday, April 02, 2017
I always knew the tracker was a great tool. And I used it for the entire time I was losing weight.
It was only afterward that I stopped tracking.
This is what I told myself:
I have been tracking so regularly that I now know the calorie content of my favorite foods without tracking.
I have already lost the weight, and I am no longer 'dieting' so I don't need to continue tracking.
I am finished with tracking; I do not want to be tied to this constant recording of my food.
I want more flexibility and freedom.
I was right about some of that, and it did work for a while.
But here is what happened eventually...
...my portion sizes SLOWLY got bigger,
...I SLOWLY began to eat more high calorie foods.
And the number on my scale SLOWLY started to go up -- in the wrong direction.
I told myself that I could adjust my eating to rectify the slight weight gain.
And some days I did.
Most days I did not, though.
My old eating habits -- of overeating -- were creeping back in.
For a long time I was able to kid myself that I had it under control.
But I did NOT have it under control.
I was sticking my head in the sand. That's what I was doing.
And, unfortunately, I did it for too long.
My reality check has finally come now that I have started to track my food again.
Tracking has provided me with real and honest data,
not the erroneous conjecture and rationalization that I had been telling myself.
So what have I learned from all of this?
I have learned that if I want to be in control of my weight, I need to track my food every day.
And I will probably have to track it forever.
Even after the weight comes off again, I will need to track my food to maintain that weight loss.
I simply cannot trust me, myself, to keep the portions down and stay within the daily calorie range without using the tracker.
My old eating habits of a lifetime will creep back in -- perhaps without my even being aware of it.
Right now, though, I am okay with the idea of tracking forever.
I know how much better I feel when the excess weight is off, and when I like how I look.
It feels better than the taste of any of my favorite foods.
And here's one more thought on this topic. -
Some of my friends here on SP have successfully shed a lot of weight and have kept it off for several years now. However, they are still active on this site, and still tracking their food and still worrying about having the weight return again.
I always wondered why they still worried about regaining the weight after so many years of successful maintenance.
Now I understand.
There are some of us who need to constantly monitor ourselves when it comes to food.
I am one of them.