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To Track or Not To Track?

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Old 02-24-2006, 11:44 PM   #1
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Old 02-25-2006, 12:12 AM   #2
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*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!!
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Old 02-25-2006, 03:55 AM   #3
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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.
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Old 02-25-2006, 08:56 AM   #4
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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.

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Old 02-25-2006, 11:03 AM   #5
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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.
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Old 02-25-2006, 11:10 AM   #6
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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...
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Old 02-25-2006, 12:45 PM   #7
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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.
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Old 02-25-2006, 01:31 PM   #8
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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.
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Old 02-25-2006, 01:39 PM   #9
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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!

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Old 02-25-2006, 03:23 PM   #10
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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.
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Old 02-25-2006, 04:07 PM   #11
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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!

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Old 02-25-2006, 05:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dance4joy
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.
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Old 02-25-2006, 05:13 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LLV
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? 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.

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Old 02-25-2006, 05:30 PM   #14
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I use fitday religously, but I don't go to it a million times a day 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
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Old 02-25-2006, 07:02 PM   #15
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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.

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