Weight Loss Support - How do you keep track ( or do you?)

12-15-2011, 01:38 AM
I was thinking of keeping a large desk calender so I could keep track of different aspects that I am trying to control in order to loose weight. The typical how much do i weigh, calories in, excercise, heck maybe even a monthly modivational body picture. If I preplan the shot and keep that the same I should be able to flip through at the end and see myself loosing weight which would be awsome! I think I will also add a little blurb about how I feel physcally and mentally that day. As my weight goes down then my spirits and over all wellbeing should go up! I know it will serve as a reminder planted on my bedroom wall to keep me motivated. I have a bad habit that if I use a planner that I loose it or hey its closed so I do not bother opening it ( easy enough to ignore ). Now to find a large calender that is pretty to hang on my wall in the boonies Hmmm Online shopping here I come *lol*.

Do you keep track of anything on your diet and if so how do you go about doing it?

January Snow
12-15-2011, 02:19 AM
I'm new here, but I think posting on this site is going to make me more accountable. I love your idea! It sounds like a great way to record your progress. I know a lot of people keep blogs specifically for their weight/size/fitness goals. Not sure I'm personally interested in going that route though, I like to write and can see a blog being a big time suck. (I'm already spending a decent amount of time posting here.) Also I would be my only anticipated regular reader, so I think my posting history provides enough of a record for my purposes. You may want to try posting your daily stats in the accountability thread if you aren't already. I'm going to try contributing to that somewhat frequently. Good luck!

12-15-2011, 02:43 AM
The only thing I keep track of is my weight in an excel spreadsheet. I like getting a handy little graph that shows my weight doing down.

Otherwise I haven't written anything else down. For some reason I can keep a count of my calories in my head each day. I was always turned off by the idea of writing what I eat down, so I didn't do it. I probably won't do it unless I develop some health issue or something of that nature.

It's really good that you're exploring ways to keep yourself accountable :) You know what DOESN'T work and that lets you try things that might work. If this doesn't work, try something else!

12-15-2011, 09:45 AM
All I do is keep a little notebook in my bathroom by the scale. I see it EVERY morning. On the top of the page I have my starting weight and my goal weight. I just love stepping on that scale and seeing my weight go down. Even if it is just a few ounces. Then I'd handwrite my weight for that day. If I saw a gain I'd also write down what I thought it could be - excess sodium the day before, TOM, a bad food decision, etc. I would also write down how I was feeling (good or bad), what new pant/shirt size I was in, measurements, comments people made to me the day before, etc. I actually came across my old notebook from earlier this year and it was so great to go back and read my weight loss journal.

I definitely recommend keeping a "diary" like this.

12-15-2011, 10:03 AM
The only thing I keep track of is my daily calories (in a smartphone app).

I think there is some merit to your idea. It might encourage you to view the process more scientifically rather than emotionally (many here have commented that daily weighing has actually made them somewhat immune to moods that often accompany getting on the scale). Also, it definitely could be a motivational tool. I, personally, wouldn't do it just because sometimes when I focus too much on something, I get burned out. I actually have to guard myself against this because I know that's how I am (e.g., I sometimes take a few days' break from posting here because I tend to get too into it).

12-15-2011, 10:11 AM
I track my calories daily on livestrong.com/myplate. It's free & very easy.

I like your journal idea though, I think it would be a good tool too.

12-15-2011, 10:18 AM
I personally don't journal but a few of the people I know going through the program we're on do and they swear by it.

What I found really helpful was writing a letter to myself stating why I started the program and how I was feeling. For me it's way too easy to forget the fact I couldn't tie my shoes, walk up a flight of stairs or even get up off the couch without it hurting my knees to the point of having my husband help me off the couch. Anytime I'm feeling really unmotivated I take my letter out and read it. It's definitely been a great tool at times. I also meal track and make notes on how I was feeling when I made a bad food decision. It's a real eye opener to see the patterns about yourself over time.

12-15-2011, 10:24 AM
I used to journal everything - good at first, but now is a bit excessive, as everything has calmed down. In my Daily Planner, I always write down my total amount of calories and exercise. If I had trouble with something that day, I'll also write it down. If I did something well, I'll write it down.

I sort of liked the idea of incorporating it into my daily planner for work, instead of a separate notebook, because it really drives home the fact that I will be doing this everyday, forever. .... unless they develop some sort of maintenance pill.

12-15-2011, 10:54 AM
If you want to be successful at maintaining weight after you lose it, the National Weight Loss Registry has found that over 90% of those who are successful keep a food diary and write every bite, lick and taste.

Your plan is great!

12-15-2011, 11:34 AM
I do weight watchers now and use their smartphone app/website, but before I joined I used fatsecret.com and their app (both are free)

Beach Patrol
12-15-2011, 01:22 PM
All I do is keep a little notebook in my bathroom by the scale. I see it EVERY morning.

HEH! I do that too!!! (you and I are so much alike, Shan!!)

I record my weight every day. EVERY DAY. Sometimes it goes up a few ounces or a couple pounds, but I know that's water weight & will soon come off. If it doesn't come off, I know I've done something wrong & need to scrutinize my food intake a bit more! (& I use FitDay to monitor my food intake.)

12-15-2011, 03:52 PM
I record everything on livestrong.com. I'm just not completely honest if I try to count in my head/on my own ;) I also record my weight everyday there and measurements every few weeks.

12-15-2011, 06:46 PM
I am extreamly lazy with writting down everything. I started this last leg of my journey obsessivally calorie counting, and making sure everything was written down. But after about 2 weeks I completely stopped and to be honest I didn't really think about it till just now xD...I just calculate everything in my head. And make sure I don't go over. I get 30-45 minuntes of excerise in 5-6 days a week. And I'm losing so i'm doing something right. Oh wait...I lied...I DO record my weekly weigh-in weight...but thats it xD

12-15-2011, 07:09 PM
Fitday PC is the main one for logging my food intake in detail as well as weight and measurements. I also use the Medhelp weight tracker as it produces nice graphs.

If you want to have something on a calendar, why not design your chart, save it as an image file, and then use one of those print-your-own-calendar websites?

Emerald Eyes
12-15-2011, 08:33 PM
I keep track of my foods and calories on myfitnesspal.com Somebody on here suggested it to me. You can also keep track of exercise on it, but I don't because it's hard to get your exact exercises in (especially if you do a video...you have to enter every step and rep instead of just the whole video and it's annoying).

I tried to keep track of the calories in my head, but I overestimated the calories in a LOT of foods, so I didn't get enough to eat and I always felt hungry and lightheaded. I couldn't get through 30 minutes of cardio because I had no energy. Seeing it all out like on myfitnesspal helps keep me accountable not only for the amount of calories I've had but the specific foods to. I say to myself "oh crap, I need to eat some freaking vegetables" a LOT, and I probably wouldn't even notice I hadn't had any had I not entered all my food in!

Everybody is different, you just have to find your "sweet spot"

12-15-2011, 10:35 PM
I keep track of my calorie intake on an excel spreadsheet. This is week three. It has been a real eye-opener!

12-16-2011, 12:57 PM
I keep two separate things. The first is my spreadsheet. It has:

a tab for data entry, where I record daily weight and weekly measurements. I can get up in the morning, stand on the scale, drop a number on the spreadsheet and be done for awhile.
a tab for exercise. I track the number of miles I've bicycled, the number of miles I walked. The number of minutes of other exercise and any notes or details. This tab calculates my 7-day bicycle mileage, which is how I know if I'm generally on-track for getting enough exercise.
a trends and graphs tab. This has some aggregate numbers - total trend loss, days in use, loss per day, loss per week, loss last week, loss last 2 weeks, previous 2 week loss, loss last 30 days. It also has a big graph of scale weight and trend weight (with marks for CD1 and ovulation).
a trend weight tab. This is scale weight, trend weight, variance (difference between trend and scale), BMI and 7-day loss.
a planning tab. This is where I keep all my goals. Looking at the goals can sometimes make me crazy, so I keep them kind of out of sight. Right now it says I've lost .86lb since my last weigh in (Monday) and that my plan is to lose 1.07lb by my Monday weigh in. It calculates the number of weeks remaining before goal and the target weights based on the Key's prediction weight-loss curve, which I've been tracking pretty well.
a calculations tab. This is under-the-hood stuff. Constants, formulas, etc.
a cycle patterns tab. I retain water at ovulation. And just before TOM. This tab has a graph based on cycle day, as well as columns of scale weight based on cycle day. It's nice because I can say "oh, my scale weight might be up, but I'm down 14lb from this cycle day LAST cycle"

This is an utterly obsessive amount of information, and 90% of the time, I drop a weight on the first tab in the morning and don't look at it again until I record my exercise at the end of the day. But I sometimes like to look at the other numbers, and this way I only had to set them up once. It also does almost everything with trend weight, which is a really good reminder to me that the trend is what matters, not what I see on the scale.

The other tool I use for recording things is what I call my "weekly sheets". I have one (double-sided) sheet a week. Each side is divided into quarters, one for each day of the week and one that's just lines, for whatever I feel like using it for. It has a few lines for me to log what I ate, "day rating", and checkboxes for servings of various foods I want to eat more of or minimize and a couple of lines for notes. I can do a whole day in a couple of minutes and it's a nice tool for reflection or planning. I keep them for about a month in case I'm curious about a trend, and then I toss them.

12-17-2011, 09:39 PM
I found tracking to be helpful. When I was in a plateauing phase, I could look back a the progress I'd made ... and understand how long it took just to get there. I'd ask myself: "Am I really willing to backslide?" Well, NO!

It also helps to mentally drive home, how weight loss slows down toward the tail of a diet. The easy "couple pounds a week" losses that were available at first, just don't happen anymore. So you can recalibrate your expectations to reality and be satisfied with a pound, or even half-pound.

It's the progress that matters. Even very minor losses do accrue as time goes by, and get you closer to goal.

12-17-2011, 10:07 PM
I just keep track of what I eat in a shortcut file on my PC screen; I click on it and fill in what I eat as I go through the day. I did try two online sites at first, but this was much quicker. I have two small calorie/portion & nutrient books as guides. It looks like this ...

BF -- 1 x egg/chz on tst + banana + 2 coffee = 360
L -- wg cheeze sandwich + tomato soup = 425
D -- fish & coleslaw salad = 450
SNX -- hm muffin, peanuts, tea = 300
D/T -- 1535

12-17-2011, 10:13 PM
I use livestrong.com too. I track food and exercise with brutal honesty. I know I had five cookies, so that is 2.5 servings.