Weight Loss Support - To Track or Not To Track?




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snowflake0408
02-24-2006, 11:44 PM
..


x0xmelissax0x
02-25-2006, 12:12 AM
*swift kick*

ahem... *adjusts skirt* Now then...

If you feel like it's to hard to run back and forth from the computer, take a pen and paper with you and shove it in your purse... when you eat something, write it down on that paper then log it onto fitday.

How many meals do you eat a day? How many snacks?

Lets say you have 3 meals 1 snack and 1 dessert everyday. We'll say you eat a minimum of 1200 calories and a maximum of 1600 calories...
1200/4 = 300.
1600/4 = 400
So, for every meal eat/drink no less than 300 calories but no more than 400 and for your snack and desert (or another snack), make sure each doesn't go under 150 calories or higher than 200 calories.

Your plan doesn't have to be exactly like that, but, I have a hard time with tracking my food too... and I find that if I know what my limit for calories is for that meal... then I wont over eat and therefore I wont have to worry about logging it on fitday because I know that I didn't go over my daily calories.

I know some ladies here swear by fitday... but I don't really like it. It causes to much anxiety for me. So with my calorie thing... I know that I'm eating the right amount of calories, and as long as I'm eating fairly healthy... I'm okay. I just remember to take my multi vitamin and do as best as I can. The only time I consult fitday is if I'm unsure about calories in my portion.

Good luck girl! I have faith in you and know that you can do this!!

GreatBigMonsterMomma
02-25-2006, 03:55 AM
She's got a good idea. :)

I loathed having to run to FitDay to log in my food. It's a clunky interface at best (I've had several people swear to me the paid version is a thousand times better, but the free version is so bad I'm not gonna gamble $20 on that particular theory!).

That's the main reason I just invested $142 (including rush shipping) to buy the deluxe Weight Watchers @ Home kit. Weight Watchers is essentially calorie counting, but in a very simplified form. I actually rather enjoy spending a couple of minutes with the book and my food log, planning out what I'm going to eat.

Even with that, though, I have more or less followed the PP's advice. I have broken down the POINTS I am allotted (34 since I am nursing) to have 8 for breakfast, 10 for lunch, 10 for dinner, and six for snacks.

Way back when I first started out, I would check the nutrition info on all my food labels and jot it down in a little spiral notebook I carried with me. Fairly simple. But like Melissa said, I had an idea of how many calories I had for each meal, and eventually I sat down and figured out a few different meals in the appropriate range, so I didn't have to spend the time looking it up.


Misti in Seattle
02-25-2006, 08:56 AM
Well I have a different perspective than most because I agree with you, Snowflake! I don't keep a food journal as it causes me to spend half my time thinking about food and writing stuff down, etc. And I KNOW very well without logging it that carrots equals good, chocolate equals bad. :) I do have a close friend with whom I exchange emails daily saying generally what I had for my meals... i.e. a veggie salad for lunch with boiled egg, etc... but not every little detail.

Dance

lucky
02-25-2006, 11:03 AM
Tracking what you eat doesn't necessarily have to mean running back and forth to your computer all day. Take a few minutes before bed or first thing in the morning to plan what you'll eat ahead of time. That way, you know how many calories you are consuming and all you'll have to keep track of is any extra food that you eat (which won't be much, right?). The thing is that after you've logged your food (regardless of method) you'll eventually get a standard rotation of meals and know off the top of your head the calorie count for each. I still use fitday because I happen to like the reports I can generate but I can pretty much keep a running total of calories without it.

kayleystar
02-25-2006, 11:10 AM
Generally, I plan out my day and make out my fitday either the night before, or in the morning. And if I have no clue what I want to eat that day, I simply do it at night when I log my activities...I just remember what I ate...:)

lessthansign3
02-25-2006, 12:45 PM
I don't keep track of calories or what I eat most days. I tried fitday, but it frustrated the heck out of me. I prefer to eat according to my diet and know that if I stick to it that the calorie intake will remain low. The days I have tried calorie counting I was surprised because I felt like I'd eaten so much but I was still below 1500 calories!! Crazy stuff.

readyfreddy
02-25-2006, 01:31 PM
well i love fitday! it really keeps me accountable.... but i just plan out what i am going to eat at the begining of the day- and then i am not running to it every 3 hours. if i add something, i just add it in the evening.

also- i really like the "am i meeting my nutrition goals" part under reports. i love to see what nutrients i am getting... and if i am missing some of one, figuring out what foods to add the next day to get it! its kind of like a puzzle! and i feel so proud when i look at it and i got all my requirements! lol. okay yes im a huge dork. just sharing though.

Misti in Seattle
02-25-2006, 01:39 PM
This thread is bringing out one of the things I love about 3FC! We are all different and respond differently. I don't WANT to be in a "diet program" or something restrictive but to make my own plan and do what I know is right. But regardless of our method, we are all working toward similar goals... and the support is here for us! Also, it isn't just "putzing on the Internet" which of course will just make our rear ends fatter... but rather setting goals such as walking or exercise, and eating right... this is just the place where we share and receive ideas and support!

Dance

Tealeaf
02-25-2006, 03:23 PM
I tracked as the start of my weight loss regime and I found it invaluable. I think that really knowing how much you are eating to start with is very important to being able to figure out how you can go about eating less. Without having done the tracking, I don't think my success would have lasted very long.

But after several months, I learned to internalize the process. I can tell, more or less, how much I am eating now without having to log it into fitday. Once in a while I'll track what I eat just to make sure that I am still doing what I think I am, but I don't really have the need to track everyday. I think it is an individual thing. I know some maintainers track every day, and plan to do so forever. It just matters what works for you.

I will say that if tracking is working for you, that is, you are losing weight, and you don't lose weight when you don't track, then ya, it's really worth the hassle.

Misti in Seattle
02-25-2006, 04:07 PM
That is probably true, Annie... I've done it before successfully and just blew it all when I had thyroid surgery and afterward. It IS important to know what you are eating, etc... but from my past experience I know what is right to eat for me... it is just DOING it! :)

Dance

LLV
02-25-2006, 05:03 PM
Well I have a different perspective than most because I agree with you, Snowflake! I don't keep a food journal as it causes me to spend half my time thinking about food and writing stuff down, etc. And I KNOW very well without logging it that carrots equals good, chocolate equals bad. :)
While this is true, it's still about staying accountable for the amount of calories. You can still eat more calories in carrots than you can in chocolate.

I personally love fitday and I agree with what someone else said, it doesn't mean you have to run back and forth to your computer all day. How often you do that is totally up to you.

Misti in Seattle
02-25-2006, 05:13 PM
While this is true, it's still about staying accountable for the amount of calories. You can still eat more calories in carrots than you can in chocolate.


Yes but how many of us really DO? :carrot: Also, they are certainly much more nutritious.

I agree calories are important... I just don't think you necessarily have to COUNT them if you have a good idea of how much stuff is.

And it is REALLY hard to eat as many calories in carrots as in chocolate. :D

Dance

jillybean720
02-25-2006, 05:30 PM
I use fitday religously, but I don't go to it a million times a day :dizzy: I plan out what my menu for the day will be, like Kayley said, either in the morning or the night before. Then that night or the next morning, I go back and make any necessary adjustments, but planning my food ahead of time usually helps to keep me more on track than just winging it throughout the day.

The thing (for me) with the "carrots good, chocolate bad" mentality is that yes, we know chocolate is bad, so we know enough to limit it. However, we could have 1 chocolate bar a week at something like 210 calories and be able to stop and say that's enough because we know it's bad, or we could think of carrots as good and end up having 10 cups of carrots throughout the week (over 500 calories). So, for me, I guess my point is that it's all about accountability and a bit of a reality check regarding portion control. Of course, I'm also a religious calorie-counter, so maybe this makes more sense than if you're doing Atkin's or something. I also like counting calories more than WW Points only because calories are calories, and I don't think calories should count as any less or more based on fiber or fat content (which Points takes into account). I do also tend to keep an eye on my total fat % on Fitday, though, so it's right there if I need it :)

Also, in regard to "having a good idea of how much stuff is" can work for some people, but as for me, I know that the longer I go WITHOUT keeping track, the more my portions tend to grow and my calories seem to decrease in my head, ya know? I need the constant reality check or else I'll be having a cup and a half of ice cream and think it's only a cup :devil:

Misti in Seattle
02-25-2006, 07:02 PM
Hi Jill

Perhaps one difference in us is that when I am eating healthfully and working out, I don't eat ANY ice cream or chocolate, or anything else like that. I do eat yogurt. Once I get used to going without it I don't WANT it any more; I don't want to put anything into my body that isn't doing GOOD things to it. :)

But again we are all different and it helps to find the plan that works for US. I guess for me pigging out on carrots is just NOT my problem!! :) I can't imagine comparing one candy bar a week to 10 cups of carrots spread out over the week! :) Besides it is not ALL about calories IMO... it is about nutrition and good health. Of course I realize that is everyone else's goal too... we just have different ways of going about it. If I started eating a chocolate bar once a week it would just make me start craving more again. This way I am happy with none LOL.

Dance

LLV
02-25-2006, 07:13 PM
And it is REALLY hard to eat as many calories in carrots as in chocolate. :D

Dance
That all depends on how much chocolate you eat. For example, usually when I want some chocolate, I'll eat one or two Hershey Kisses or maybe 5 or 6 M&M's. I can eat a WHOLE lot more calories than that in carrots. So I'm more likely to count my carrot calories than my chocolate calories.

However, I do agree that once you count calories for so long and all the stuff that comes with it - weighing this, measuring that, etc - that it gets easier to know how many calories is in "so & so" serving size. In fact, I can probably get away with not counting calories at all now. But I still do it just for my own peace of mind :)

LLV
02-25-2006, 07:17 PM
So, for me, I guess my point is that it's all about accountability and a bit of a reality check regarding portion control. Of course, I'm also a religious calorie-counter,
Me too :)

Hey, where's my kick in the butt for falling off the "zig-zag" wagon? I've been chickening out! Although today I've definitely had my share of extra calories, munching this and that while putting some Sunday do-aheads together.

(pssst, plus I had those 5 or 6... okay, maybe 8 or 9 M&M's, lol)

jillybean720
02-25-2006, 07:23 PM
Dance--you're right (re: we are all different), so I wasn't responding only to you ;) I only used carrots and chocolate because that was what had previously been mentioned (I don't actually eat either--I hate carrots and am unlike most women in that I don't much care for chocolate :p ), but sometimes even things that we think are good for us can add up very quickly, and portion sizes can get out of control. Also, yes, I absolutely still eat junk food. Not every single day, mind you, but if I didn't eat it EVER, I would feel extremely deprived and would end up binging, as I have heard many other women on here confess to as well. So, my whole point was simply that Fitday acts as a way to keep me accountable because I am brutally honest about what I do eat from the big meals down to the licking of the peanut butter off the knife when I make my boyfriend's sandwich for lunch :o

For me right now, it IS all about calories--well, to an extent. It is my main factor of focus. I still eat more whole foods than processed and keep an eye on my fats (especially trans fats) and sodium and such and have had my blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose, and all that other good stuff tested--despite the junk food here and there (and the extra pounds I'm working to get rid of), I am quite healthy :cool:

In any case, snowflake, if you can successfully lose weight without keeping such structured track of everything in a program like Fitday, then I wouldn't worry about it! Nothing can make EVERYONE happy since we are all so different, but as long as you are successful (in whatever your individual goals may be, whether it is to lose weight or eat healthy or exercise your tail off or all of the above!), then who's to say, "You must use Fitday!" :dizzy:

Misti in Seattle
02-25-2006, 07:23 PM
That all depends on how much chocolate you eat. For example, usually when I want some chocolate, I'll eat one or two Hershey Kisses or maybe 5 or 6 M&M's. I can eat a WHOLE lot more calories than that in carrots. So I'm more likely to count my carrot calories than my chocolate calories.


LOL okay, I will accept that and stand corrected! :dizzy: If you just eat the small amount of chocolate YOU do, that will definitely not be a problem!!!

Dance

Misti in Seattle
02-25-2006, 07:27 PM
In any case, snowflake, if you can successfully lose weight without keeping such structured track of everything in a program like Fitday, then I wouldn't worry about it! Nothing can make EVERYONE happy since we are all so different, but as long as you are successful (in whatever your individual goals may be, whether it is to lose weight or eat healthy or exercise your tail off or all of the above!), then who's to say, "You must use Fitday!" :dizzy:

VERY well said! And sometimes if something is not working for us we need to CHANGE our strategy and try something else!!

Dance

LLV
02-25-2006, 07:41 PM
LOL okay, I will accept that and stand corrected! :dizzy: If you just eat the small amount of chocolate YOU do, that will definitely not be a problem!!!

Dance
Maybe if we eat chocolate-covered carrots?

lol

j/k ;)

Misti in Seattle
02-25-2006, 07:44 PM
Maybe if we eat chocolate-covered carrots?

lol

j/k ;)

LOL Bad bad bad! Don't even THINK about it!!!! :eek:

Maybe the nutrients in the carrots would cancel out the calories and fat in the chocolate....???

Dance

LLV
02-25-2006, 07:48 PM
LOL Bad bad bad! Don't even THINK about it!!!! :eek:

Maybe the nutrients in the carrots would cancel out the calories and fat in the chocolate....???

Dance
Ewwwww, I dunno, just the thought is enough to make me gag.

lol

Misti in Seattle
02-25-2006, 07:51 PM
Ewwwww, I dunno, just the thought is enough to make me gag.

lol

LOL I don't think it would be my thing either :)

Dance

LLV
02-25-2006, 07:52 PM
LOL I don't think it would be my thing either :)

Dance
Now, chocolate-covered pretzels? Yep, love those.

Chocolate-covered fruit is good, too. Strawberries, bananas, apples, etc.

Less of Lena
02-25-2006, 08:01 PM
Hehe I'm wilth Jilly on the chocolate issue. It seems there aren't many of us, Jilly, for whom chocolate is a non-issue, but we do exist! I know of at least one other here on the boards!

Regarding tracking vs non-tracking, I'd say the responses here to this thread show that it really is an individual thing. If tracking (by whatever means you've used) makes you C-R-A-Z-Y and if you can manage your weight-loss/maintenance without, don't do it! There is enough stress in weight-loss/management without introducing more!

By the same token, if tracking (by whatever means) helps you stay accountable, by all means, do it!

As for me, I track. I use FitdayPC and, for the most part, really like it. I'm a former accountant, so tracking and hard numbers really appeals to me, even though I keep in mind that all of it is really just a good approximation.

Do what makes you feel most comfortable and that's what you'll be most likely to keep up with.

Misti in Seattle
02-25-2006, 08:08 PM
Hehe I'm wilth Jilly on the chocolate issue. It seems there aren't many of us, Jilly, for whom chocolate is a non-issue, but we do exist! I know of at least one other here on the boards!



Well it could be for me if I let it get to me or started eating it. But if I am giving up all of that kind of thing it's not that big a deal to give up. I do make my own flavored mochas... we Seattleites are big on our coffee LOL... but I go to Cash 'N Carry and buy all my own sugar free (Splenda) coffee syrups, buy gourmet coffee, and make it with skim milk. Oh and I buy Hershey's dark chocolate powder and put a spoonful into the grounds before I brew the coffee. Yum... so that is good enough for me for my chocolate/dessert "fix." :dizzy:

Dance

LLV
02-25-2006, 08:18 PM
Hehe I'm wilth Jilly on the chocolate issue. It seems there aren't many of us, Jilly, for whom chocolate is a non-issue, but we do exist! I know of at least one other here on the boards!
Chocolate has never been an issue for me, either. I'm not a real big sweet-eater. Which is why I can get away with only eating one or two Hershey Kisses at a time. I've got a friend of mine that could sit down and eat a whole box of chocolates in one sitting if she'd let herself. Me, I've just never been that attracted to the sweet stuff. Heck, I'd rather have a good cookie than a chocolate bar anyday :)

Misti in Seattle
02-25-2006, 08:21 PM
I could easily eat a whole box of chocolates too and in fact I have, many times. :) Not recently though!!! But cookies are another of my weaknesses too as is cheesecake!!!

Dance

LLV
02-25-2006, 08:24 PM
I could easily eat a whole box of chocolates too and in fact I have, many times. :)
Ick, I definitely couldn't do that.

I don't like cheesecake either.

:barf:

Misti in Seattle
02-25-2006, 08:29 PM
Ick, I definitely couldn't do that.



:barf:

It's really not hard!! :o

Less of Lena
02-25-2006, 08:34 PM
Hehe when we were first dating, my now-husband used to do what he thought was the right thing and give me fancy chocolates for special occasions. When we were young, it was supermarket chocolates. As we got older, he graduated to more expensive stuff.

I'd graciously try to choke down a piece or two but inside I was going, "Ewww, patooey!" I'd put it in the fridge, let it sit a week or two, then sneak it into the trash on collection day. Felt guilty, but hey, it really didn't appeal to me.

When I do eat chocolate, I'm more than happy with a simple chocolate Kiss or two ((waves at LLV)) or half a handful of semi-sweet chocloate chips.

By the way, turns out, the now-husband actually is the chocoholic! Whenever I do buy a package of Kisses, he'll swoop them up and empty it out in one sitting! But even he can't stomach the fancy stuff :lol: And I finally told him what I was doing with them, so he's stopped buying them. Now I get flowers and spa certificates!

SimplySue
02-25-2006, 08:35 PM
Wow! This seems like a hot topic and just emphasizes that we're all different. When I joined WW, they wanted you to buy the trackers that looked like a checkbook. I even bought an electronic calculator. Now I keep a simple dollar store notebook on the table where I eat most of my meals. I tried not writing it down. Didn't work for me. I lost 43 lbs. originally and 25 creeped back over 2 years. I'm back on track because I'm writing it all down again. I guess the maintenance was the hardest for this lifer. I need to realize that writing things down keeps me accountable to me for the rest of my life. That will keep me healthy anyway. If I stray, I gain. Whatever you do and whatever you discover about yourself you need to realize that many people can tell you what to do and offer advice. You need to know what works for you. Good luck and remember it's all about a healthy lifestyle. :)

Less of Lena
02-25-2006, 08:36 PM
Whoops, this thread has officially been...

HIJACKED!

Sorry, Snowflake! And thanks, Sue, for getting it back on track!

LLV
02-25-2006, 08:41 PM
When I do eat chocolate, I'm more than happy with a simple chocolate Kiss or two ((waves at LLV)) or half a handful of semi-sweet chocloate chips.
I'm happy with my chocolate sugar-free pudding cups :)

LLV
02-25-2006, 08:42 PM
Whoops, this thread has officially been...

HIJACKED!

Sorry, Snowflake! And thanks, Sue, for getting it back on track!
Aww, there's nothing wrong with going off-track once in a while. That's how we learn about each other :)

penpal
02-25-2006, 08:51 PM
I use Nutridiary to keep track of my calories. Some days it's a real pain in the neck and I don't feel like doing it, but every time I stop writing down what I eat I start gaining.

Like it or not, this is the only thing that works for me. I pretty much know what calories are in everything by heart now, so I should be able to do it without a food diary, but somehow writing it down is making it "real" to me and I makes me acknowlege what I'm eating and be truthful about it. Without a food diary I kid myself that 'a little bit of this and a little bit of that won't hurt'.

I don't record my exercise, though, as I do the same thing all the time - 3 times a week at curves and walking on the other days.

chick_in_the_hat
02-26-2006, 12:30 AM
Great thread - I just wanted to toss in another vote for the "If I don't write it down, the weight creeps back" camp....We ARE all different - that's half the fun of 3FC....:D

YP1
02-26-2006, 01:14 AM
I don't track and never have. BUT I'm not ruling it out in the future if my weight loss stalls at a level I don't want to be at or I start regaining what I've lost. I might have lost faster if I'd tracked, but I didn't need to so I haven't done. I tried fitday once and really didn't get on with it (partly because it's set up for US foods/measurements), and haven't done anything since. It really does vary from person to person.

kykaree
02-26-2006, 02:47 AM
I journalled my food intake at the beginning, on paper. I don't get on with fitday either, and am also in the UK.

After a while I found journalling my food intake was giving me a really difficult relationship with food, rather than helping. Not only was I obsessing about what I ate, but also obsessing about writing it down, having my diary with me, etc etc.

So I stopped. And the weight continued to go. But I go back to journalling during plateaus or recovering from holidays etc.

It's one of those things that if it works for you and holds you accountable, it's fabulous, but if it hinders you, then ditch it.

Not only are all our bodies different, but so are our brains!!!

Misti in Seattle
02-26-2006, 09:01 AM
After a while I found journalling my food intake was giving me a really difficult relationship with food, rather than helping. Not only was I obsessing about what I ate, but also obsessing about writing it down, having my diary with me, etc etc.

!!!

Exactly my reaction to it! You said what I have been trying to say! It drives me up a wall and makes me focus waaaaaay too much on food!

Same thing for me joining a "program" such as WW or Prism, etc... I do much better setting my own plan and working toward rewards I set for myself rather than details of what I can and can't have.

But as you said, not only are our bodies different, but ya likewise our brains!

Dance