100 lb. Club - Are you still tracking food?

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01-26-2006, 10:37 AM
Im just wondering from ppl that have been losing weight for a while now or maintaining, Do you still count every calorie or write down everything you eat? Is it something you plan to do for life?! I track everything i eat now, But i really can't see me doing it for life!

01-26-2006, 11:30 AM
I do still track my food intake but not as religiously as I did in the begining. First of all, I have a fairly established menu rotation so I can easily keep a running total in my head for the most part. So, I am still very aware of what I am eating even if I'm not putting every bite into Fitday. Every other week or so I'll go back to logging every morsel just to make sure I'm still on track.

With only 15-20 pounds to go my weight loss is really slow. I focus on maintainence every couple of pounds. When my maintainence breaks are over I go back counting every calorie.

To this day I can't eyeball portions so I know I'll have to learn to live with measuring and weighing my food from here on out. But, it is a small price to pay to continue living the life I lead now that I'm 80 pounds lighter. I imagine you will have to approach tracking your food the same way. You'll proably reach a point where you can relax the practice a bit but it is likely going to be a part of your life from now on if you intend to keep the weight you lose off for good.

01-26-2006, 11:34 AM
great response thanks!

01-26-2006, 11:40 AM
I've been doing this about a year, and still have a long way to go. YEs, I still record everything I eat. I go through days when I get so busy I forget the details, but I do try even on those days to put something into Fitday. When I go on vacation, I carry a notebook with the greatest intention of writing it all down. And then I don't.

But by and large, it's part of my life now. I have access at home and at work, and I probalby don't spend more than five-ten minutes on it a day. I know I need to track what I eat. When I don't... on days when I don't make my first entry until evening, I ALWAYS have eaten more than I expected. So I'm a far way from giving up this very valuable tool in my arsenal.

I expect that as I get closer to goal weight, and try to shift to maintenance rather than losing, that I may revisit whether I need to journal every bite. But that is a few years away.

01-26-2006, 02:21 PM
Yes I still record my food. And yes I plan on doing it for life. It takes such a small amount of my time but gives such huge benefits. It is way too easy to slip into old habits if you do not keep track of what you are doing. I plan on being on a diet the rest of my life. As I now agree with people and call it a lifestyle not just a diet. I will of course raise my calories but will still do the same things for life. I've tried this before without doing a journal and I ended up gaining the weight back. Well after doing this twice there is no way I am going to let myself gain it back.

My friend was watching a show about a man that weighed over 1000 lbs and they were talking about how a lot of over weight people do not have the mechanism that tells them when they are full and should stop eating. They said the only way they have had success with people overcoming this problem is with keeping a food journal and counting there calories. Now I do know when I'm full but I have to tell myself to quit eating because it does not matter if I'm full I will continue to eat. So by using my journal as a tool to tell me when I should be done for the day I stay on track. I find this a small price to pay for the benefits I have received from the weight loss.

01-26-2006, 02:40 PM
I still track my calories too, although it's ususally just a running estimate in my head. When I don't pay attention, my weight will creep up. This is something I have finally accepted. It's really not such a chore when you've accidentally memorized the calories of just about everything you'll ever eat :P

01-26-2006, 03:12 PM
I track every calorie and I will do it for life.... literary :)

For me, I know that I have a major problem with my weight. Anything that you have problem with takes some time and effort to over come it. I spend about 10 minutes per day logging my food. 10 minutes... think about that. 10 minutes and I don't have to "guess" how much I ate - I know. The mind is a funny thing. That entire bag of potato chips becomes just a few chips after a day or two. No, for me - I will be logging for the rest of my life. I don't think 10 minutes is too much of an investment for a lifetime of good health.

01-26-2006, 03:44 PM
Yep, I journal. :yes: Started in June, 2002 and figure after all this time its a learned habit that will always be with me. I keep track by logging points on a Weight Watchers point chart that I re-created on my computer; by posting on the journal buddy thread (sometimes not so diligently) :^: or, as a last resort, keeping track in my head. If you see me staring off into space counting on the fingers of each hand, I'm adding up my points. ;)

There are occasions I don't write everything down (I'd need a 3 ring binder to record what I ate on Christmas day last year), but nobody's perfect! :angel:

01-26-2006, 03:47 PM
Glynne asked the same question in the Maintainers Forum recently -- A question (http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/showthread.php?t=72398) . You might want to check out those responses too. :)

01-26-2006, 05:12 PM
What methods do you all use for tracking? I have heard fit day and some similar thing mentioned. Pencil and paper? The computer things sound neat, but if a computer is not handy at some times in your day ~ how do you do it?

Still learning here......

Thanks for your help :)

01-26-2006, 05:31 PM
Gayle, I keep a small notebook with me at all times. I will usually write down what I plan to eat first. Then I input that in fitday to see where I'm at for the day with the "plan" and then take off and add food as I eat it. Since I don't have a computer at home right now, I write everything down I eat at home and then input it into the computer when I come to work.

Howie is right. It really only takes a couple of minutes day. What's that when it could mean the difference between me gorging myself on something that's unhealthy or eating something that I planned to eat and know exactly how many calories are in it.

01-26-2006, 06:19 PM
I don't, and never have. I was losing weight well at first and decided to save it as a plateau buster. I haven't needed it yet, but I'm not ruling it out if I start gaining.

What I do though, is I have a fairly narrow selection of regular foods, and I weigh out portions. I don't know what the total calorie count is, but I know it works if I eat it in those quantities. So I keep on doing that. I also have rough ideas in my head of what meals should be calorifically, so if I'm grabbing a salad for lunch I can check it's roughly right without having to add things up to the tiniest detail.

01-27-2006, 12:21 PM
I'm a Fitday user. I normally plan out my day the night before and enter it into Fitday then. I'm like Dawnyal - if I deviate from my plan, I'll go back into Fitday and make the necessary adjustments.

The funny thing is I started losing weight without logging anything - just started eating smaller portions and exercising more. I lost 30 pounds that way. I'm a calorie counting addict now. I think even if I don't continue to log calories after I make it to my goal, this practice will at least have taught me the value of different foods which I think will always stick with me.


01-27-2006, 12:57 PM
I can remember back in the day when my mom was losing weight...Probably in the late 70's. The one main diet I remember her doing was the "1/2" cup diet. You could have a 1/2 cup of anything you wanted. Doing that, plus exercise, she dropped about 100 lbs. There was not much to keep track of on that eating plan. :)

I keep a running tab in my head. I've done this long enough to definately know when I am doing good and when I am blowing it. :) You can't go wrong by tracking your food. And you will know right away if you are goofing on your eating plan which is a very good thing so you are keeping yourself in check. As for doing it for life, I think as time goes by you will be able to tell whether or not you are going to have to track your food.

There is great advice here from those who have lost their weight and their knowledge can carry us a long way.

01-27-2006, 03:20 PM
The one main diet I remember her doing was the "1/2" cup diet. You could have a 1/2 cup of anything you wanted. Doing that, plus exercise, she dropped about 100 lbs.

That makes a certain amount of sense to me. One of the FIRST things I struggled with was portion sizes. That's why recording everything I ate was so important a tool for me. It was the only way I could learn what was "normal" when I hadn't been eating normal portions for years.

Then once I had rather a good idea about proper portions for some things, I began looking up portions for other things. A half cup of ice cream or yogurt isn't as bad calorie-wise as I thought. A half cup of cottage cheese packs a protein wallop! The serving spoons at the cafeteria at work are 4 oz scoops -- half a cup. So I've learned half a cup of mac and cheese is okay once in a while... but much higher in calories than I would expect, and I have to adjust the rest of my meal accordingly. Half a cup of veggies is negligible calories. Half a cup of grape tomatoes gives me much more than I expected. Half a cup of whole wheat pasta is enough for my meal, and gives me enough "leftover" calories to enjoy a glass of red wine. Half a cup of french fries is a treat, but I choose my carbs selectively. I'll eat the burger and leave the bun if the place has good fries for me to eat instead.

And there were the nasty surprises... even half a cup of orange juice has WAY too many calories and carbs to be a common part of my plan. Half a cup of nuts is murder on the daily calorie limit. Half a cup of soup just doesn't do it for me unless it's really rich soup (like crab bisque).

I think the KIND of food choices one makes is as important as how MUCH food one eats. Calorie limits and portion sizes give us a framework, but the choices within that framework need to 1) satisfy the mouth and stomach, 2) give us good nutrition, 3) cut back on the things that we wish to avoid, and 4) be flexible enough for our lifestyle and culture.

01-27-2006, 06:46 PM
I have never had any sustained success, but I do believe that in order to have it I will ALWAYS have to log my food. No way around it. I think it'll be a small price to pay considering I always say I'd do *anything* to be thin.