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looking back and moving forward....pt 3

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Track everything…

On top of tracking steps and activity with the FITBIT Zip and/or SPAT (see pt 1 for details), I was more consistent in my tracking of food and weight this year. Again, it was vacations and funk times that lead me astray. However, I tracked more than I've ever done in the past and it was quite an eye opener.

I try to weigh in at least once a month, but when I’m really trying to lose I weigh in once or twice a week. This time of year, since I’m more prone to the mindless reach and taste, I weigh in 2-3 times a week for maintenance reasons.

I've been tracking the good, bad and ugly with my eating habits. Amazingly enough, my BAD and UGLY weren’t nearly as bad as I thought. I was still making healthy choices for the most part; I just eating what I thought was too much. But I’ve learned that isn’t always the case.

With consistent tracking I was able to discover that 1200 calories for my slightly active body at the first of the year did not cut it as my activity increased. One of my plateaus was broken by accidentally upping my calories to a maximum of 1500, while having a presumed UGLY week in which I had more than a bit more to eat. I found I was losing again and I continued with the upped number of 1500, until sometime later, when I upped it to 1700.

With my recent commitment to an increased stop count, and activity in general, I’ve recently upped the calorie count from 1700 to a maximum of 1800. I mostly never go under 1200 (see paragraph below) and I usually am within 20—300 calories of my maximum. I try to follow a 40—55 carb/20—30 fat/25—35 protein plan. I don’t always make the mark, but I’m not suffering or feeling guilty over it.

The thing I have to consistently remember is to space the calories out during the day. I hate having a busy weekend where I’ve forgotten to eat breakfast and lunch and then trying to squeeze in calories at the end of the day. I want to make healthy choices and trust me when I say that 1400-1800 calories which consists of mostly whole, unprocessed foods, is A LOT TO EAT. I prefer a meal in the 150 – 600 calorie range. I try not to let it happen often but if it does than I claim it as a “PARTIAL FAST day” and eat a higher calorie dinner (around 600 – 800 steak/fish/chicken or turkey breast, potato baked (sweet or russet no butter or toppings), kale salad (posted on SPARK ACES What’s on the menu) , 100 calorie whole wheat bread, 1% milk and maybe a 5oz of wine if it’s date night) instead of making a poor choice by eating anything to fill the calorie count.

I’ve found that it’s ok for me to occasionally have 200 – 400 calories of something “SINFUL” and I’m still good. This comes in handy when your DH waits to eat until YOU fix dinner and then snacks all night. If I cave to the handful or two of chips it won’t kill me. I generally try to leave between 100 – 500 calories a day as a cushion anyway, it helps me to readily keep the guilt at bay too… and I think we all know that can be a plus. The calorie cushion really is a win-win. If I use it there is not guilt, after all that’s what it’s there for(sometimes for snacking, added toppings to potatoes or salads, or left for busy days or office when I’m going out and I’m not sure what is on the menu). If I don’t use it then more power to me – it’s just that much more of a calorie deficit. =)

By the way, I've recently put the apps on my tablet in order for me to stay focused during vacations too.

I will track everything.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Tracking food does help alot. I tend to not eat enough on alot of days but my sodium levels are always over and never get enough protein.
    1902 days ago
  • SPEEDY143
    YOU are doing emoticon Tracking daily and weighing most days is what's kept me focused. I've been doing this long enough now that I don't have to measure or weigh everything I eat. Eating enough protein helps me lose weight. It's not a diet... it's a life style and you are doing emoticon
    1904 days ago
    Great strategies!~
    1905 days ago
  • BLUEJAY1969
    You have a great plan and are putting it into action! emoticon
    1905 days ago
  • no profile photo CD14959796
    You're doing terrific. I can have 1500-1600 calories as long as I keep my sodium very low.
    1905 days ago
    Well done Erin! Tracking what you eat has helped you make informed decisions about your caloric intake. It is these "lessons learned" that make your weight loss a success. I bet it feels great to discover that you're doing what you need to be doing to stay fit and healthy. It's nice to be in control! Congratulations and keep up the great work! You motivate me!
    1905 days ago
  • no profile photo CD14892622
    I had an eye opener using the Mayo Clinic's calorie counter and putting in the weight I wanted to weigh and the amount of exercise I wanted to do? The number of calories to "maintain" that weight is huge :-) That's why I'm doing my year-long program, to see if I live "naturally" and quit with the trying to lose X pounds in Y time and all the hoopla, if I will lose weight just paying attention to eating within a range (less than 2000 calories) and being everyday active.

    1905 days ago
  • no profile photo CD15089684
    You are such a motivation!! You can do this :) I know you can...Wishing you all the successes that are coming your way. Thank you so much for being my spark friend :) emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1906 days ago
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