Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Why We Track Food and Calories

Eight more days until the Slimmer This Summer challenge starts!  We already have a bunch of people committed to the challenge and ready to lose weight and get healthy. 

Here are some answers to some questions:

Why are we going to try to only eat 1200 - 1400 calories?

When I first started on my weight loss journey a couple years ago, I counted calories. It worked for me. I aimed for about 1400 calories and the weight came off fast.  For the last 6 months or so, I've been aiming for 1200 calories and doing just fine.  I'm well nourished, generally not hungry and sure enough, the weight was coming off.  Obviously if you have medical needs for a different amount of calories or some other valid reason, we're not going to be the calorie police here.  We're here to lose weight and we think that this is a healthy standard for losing weight. 

Why do you want us to track our food on our blogs?

This is only a suggestion. I realize this isn't for everyone, but here's the thing;  we're trying to come in under 10,000 calories per week.  You could choose to eat your 10,000 calories in twinkies if you want.  Aside from being malnourished, hungry and most likely sick to your stomach, you will still lose weight.  However, this is a challenge that includes motivation and encouragement.  We'd love to encourage each other to eat different foods and find out what keeps you full and what doesn't.  If you write it down, it's easier to see what food group is missing. For me, today, I was missing vegetables. I came in decent on calories but not enough veggies. 

I also am a boring eater. You're going to see that I eat the same breakfast for like 2 weeks straight. I like to get motivation to try something else.  Not to mention I'm a total foodie and I just LOVE to see what you are eating!  I'm going to try to post my meals daily.  With pictures if I can.

You up for a challenge?  Email me and let me know! 


  1. There are all sorts of good reasons for tracking. Among them--besides knowing how many calories you're consuming-->
    1. Studies show dieters who log calories tend to do BETTER at losing weight..it's one of the most useful tools. Period
    2. If you use a more comprehensive log like Sparkpeople (the one I like), it tells you if you fell short of certain nutrients or goals you can set. I learned I was CHRONICALLY low on Vit D, Zinc, Magnesium, Potassium, Iron, and Folate from logging food for months. I had no idea, cause i ate all sorts of foods, includingn high fiber beans and lots of fruits and veggies. BUT...ther it is I had nutritional holes I had to fill with supplements (due to allergies/food preferences).
    3. There is no better way to make sure you did really only eat X calories. People are notorious as UNDERESTIMATING calories. The only way to know (ballpark,, no one knows exactly) is to measure/weigh/and log.
    4. It's a tool that requires consistency and discipline and keeps you focused on goals.That alone, like blogging, is helpful during challenges. :D

    And as Debbi said, you note patterns. I noted last year that Zone type eating (40-30-30 ratios) had me losing more fat and feeling less hungry than higher carb eating. That led me to explore what my body needed to optimize loss without hunger.

    It's a tool. For 12 weeks, it can be eye-opening. :)

    Later, all

  2. I was gonna comment then read the Princess's comment and my mind wandered towards me going to get some better vitamins...then I forgot for a second what I was gonna type..then Oh yea I remembered. My food is sort of boring, too. If I ate multicolored cardboard, it would be more exiting. LOL.

  3. I use fatsecret for just this reason!

    Trying to follow a plan to the letter isn't always possible with our crazy lives right now, but I have my fatsecret app for that.

  4. Well said Mir!

    Susan; how many calories does multi-colored cardboard have? :-)


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