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Taking a break from food logging

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Old 12-11-2009, 05:48 PM   #1
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Default Taking a break from food logging

I really, really, like to log what I'm eating online. Because I rarely weigh, tracking my average calorie deficit is how I keep track of how I'm doing.

But holiday eating is making this very frustrating. Not because I want to eat more than I want to log, but because I'm so often eating foods I didn't prepare at this time of year. So I'm totally guessing ingredients and amounts of those ingredients and getting frustrated.

I hereby declare 3 weeks off of logging. I'm a bit apprehensive about this decision. I have a weigh-in scheduled for New Year's day. Guess I'll see how much I've really learned in the last 8 months. But this is not a permanent decision, going right back to logging on 1/1 as I know it's been a major part of my current success.
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Old 12-11-2009, 05:55 PM   #2
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Old 12-11-2009, 05:56 PM   #3
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What about logging what you ate in a journal format instead without trying to recreate the calorie counts? It would allow you to keep track of what you ate, so you wouldn't be flying blind, but you would be free of the stress of trying to figure out exact calories.
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Old 12-11-2009, 06:33 PM   #4
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How funny, I was just about to announce that I was stopping calorie counting too, except for good. I feel that it just takes me back to a mental/emotional place that sets me up for binging. Taking a break from calorie counting was freeing and I lost 15 pounds while on my break.
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Old 12-11-2009, 09:18 PM   #5
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I don't think I will be taking a break. I know that I do my best when I am tracking everything. I might do what CLC suggested about just writing down everything I ate if I can't guess about how many calories it was. I use the Daily Plate so I usually just go on there and try to find something comparable, even if it's not 100% accurate. Sometimes the calorie amounts vary widely so I usually try to go toward the middle, on the higher side just to be safe.
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Old 12-11-2009, 10:15 PM   #6
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"They" say that food journaling is one of the most effective weight loss weapons that we have. I'd hate for you to have abandon this practice at one of the most "dangerous" times of the year. "They" also say that you shouldn't fix what ain't broken. And look at the wonderful success you've had thus far incorporating this wonderful tool into your life.

Maybe you could try just guesstimating or perhaps keeping in mind that it really is only a holi-day - not a holi-month or a holi-3 weeks and try to adhere more to your usual foods. But maybe on xmas day using the non-logging approach.

Whatever you decide and of course it is your decision, I hope it works out for you.
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Old 12-11-2009, 10:38 PM   #7
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I'm not meaning to question your decision, as each of us is different, but I had an interesting insight a couple of days ago.

I realized that every single other time I've tried to lose weight, I've always been completely undone when the scale would bump up and down. But this time, I am able to ride it out.

I was thinking it was maybe maturity, or committment, but then I realized the truth-- food logging has given me a sense of control.

In the past, I was never 100% sure if I was doing a good job, and so when I saw a slight scale bump I used to think "no matter what I do, it doesn't work."

But now, I feel so much more under control-- I KNOW how much I ate and how close I came to my calorie goal and that lets me relax.

I too get frustrated when I am away from home alot and have to guesstimate-- but for me, it's better than not logging at all.

I'm not recommending you follow my advice-- I'm just musing...
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Old 12-11-2009, 11:17 PM   #8
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Like you, I would be a bit apprehensive about doing it--especially since you aren't weighing until New Years. I understand about not knowing exactly what is in something. I indulge in careful moderation if I am not certain about things. No breaks here. Keeping a running tally is almost 2nd nature at this point. I enjoy knowing where I am at and feeling in control. For so many years I wasn't.
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Old 12-11-2009, 11:36 PM   #9
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Oh... that does not sound like an idea I would ever be comfortable with! And in my honest opinion... if you are eating a ton of food that you would normally NOT be eating... that's going to derail you right there. I'm worried about your decision... for you!!!

How about guesstimating as closely as possible. Say you are having chili. Just type in "chili" and take an average calorie tally. The same for shortbread cookies... or spinach dip or or or. Just to give you an idea. Because I know ALL TOO WELL that those little nibbles here and there... and just a bite here and a scoop there ALL add up.

If this is something that you are really committed to doing then I wish you the very very best of luck and I hope to see that you have maintained or lost over Christmas!
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Old 12-12-2009, 03:36 AM   #10
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Hey guys, thanks for the suggestion of just writing down what I'm consuming rather than trying to do my usual detailed logging. Sounds like an excellent compromise, as I'm already wanting to "cheat" and log anyway.

I must be one of the only people I know who holiday eating is not a problem for. December is the only month of the year that I generally drop 5-10 lbs with no effort. I'm one of those folks who forgets to eat when things get busy and this month is generally a bit insane...
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Old 12-12-2009, 12:27 PM   #11
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Everybody is different and yes, food journaling has been shown to be an effective weight loss method BUT for someone recovering from an eating disorder, calorie counting can push into a relapse and right now my priority is my health. I am certainly not "giving myself free rein", I still watch what I eat and pick fresh veggies, lean meat, whole grains, and reasonable portions. I just feel that for my mental health, calorie counting puts me in this weight-loss obsessed mindsight that sets me up for a b/p episode. Until I can be able to calorie count with a better mindsight, I am avoiding it. But no worries, I am still being careful!

P.S. I don't mean this post to sound defensive. And I also don't really eat too much on holidays either.
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Old 12-12-2009, 01:38 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peachykeen62 View Post
Everybody is different and yes, food journaling has been shown to be an effective weight loss method BUT for someone recovering from an eating disorder, calorie counting can push into a relapse and right now my priority is my health. I am certainly not "giving myself free rein", I still watch what I eat and pick fresh veggies, lean meat, whole grains, and reasonable portions. I just feel that for my mental health, calorie counting puts me in this weight-loss obsessed mindsight that sets me up for a b/p episode. Until I can be able to calorie count with a better mindsight, I am avoiding it. But no worries, I am still being careful!

P.S. I don't mean this post to sound defensive. And I also don't really eat too much on holidays either.
I have problems with that too, having suffered for years from a compulsive overeating problem (didn't purge). Sometimes I can log the calories, sometimes it's too overwhelming (meaning that I end up getting the urge to chuck my plan and eat what I want). I've been doing this for quite a while, so I do have a pretty good idea of when I'm eating on plan, and when I'm overindulging. Plus, the scale tells me too. I find it's a balancing act, being thoughtful and persistant and watchful, but not overly obsessive.
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Old 12-28-2009, 05:31 PM   #13
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Well I couldn't stand not logging and analyzing so am back to it 1 week ahead of schedule.
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Old 12-28-2009, 05:54 PM   #14
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I'm glad you're back at it. It doesn't sound like a good idea to me either.

I don't journal, but I have a running tally for the day in my head. I eat 6 mini-meals with no in-between nibbles, so I just make sure my mini-meal is within X amount of calories, and there's no need to log.
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