Making Tracks

If you missed the first post about my nifty little fitness gadget, you can read it here.  Today I’m going to tell you what I learned about my eating.

It had been a while since I tracked my eating so I found it rather illuminating.  I was pretty consistent in recording everything I ate for the period from June 8, when I first started wearing the MyTrak, through August 14, the day before I left for our college road trip.  But, and this is a very big but, there were a handful of days that I did not keep track.  My reasoning (or excuse, if you prefer) was that I was eating out on each of those days and it was hard to guess at the nutritional value of the foods.  But, along with this social eating often came small, or sometimes BIG, binges that probably resulted in part from my typical issues with eating out but also in part due to the momentary freedom from tracking.

So the first thing I can tell you that I learned:  when I don’t track, I’m more likely to go off plan or overeat.  Hello!  Yes, there is a clear correlation between not tracking what I ate and number of calories ingested!  So, if you read far enough in this post to get to my caloric averages, please keep in mind that they are rather skewed in a positive direction because they don’t include the few binge days.

Another thing I learned is that I ingest entirely too much sodium despite not adding salt to foods I eat.  A lot of it comes from cheese.  A good amount comes from the processed food items I regularly eat, like black bean burgers.  Fortunately, my blood pressure is fine, so, while I’d still like to lower my sodium intake, I’m not too worried about it.

Which I can’t say about my saturated fat intake.  I did not pay much attention to this when I was first analyzing the MyTrak information.  But after my doctor asked me to lower this because of my cholesterol, I realized that while the sat fat number was not horrible, it was indeed above what is recommended for someone with heart disease risk.  Since then, I’ve definitely improved in this area, but it’s been tough and I need to make even more progress.

I also found that tracking made me much more aware of the actual calorie count of foods I was eating.  And at the end of the day when I was sitting in front of the TV and thinking about snacking, it was great to be able to pull up my numbers for the day to see if I had any wiggle room or to find a deterrent to just one more piece of cheese.  Although, as I write this, it does occur to me that I should be eating if I’m hungry and NOT eating if I’m not hungry – rather than playing with the math.  (Such a simple concept I have yet to master.)  I also sometimes was deterred from further late night snacking because I did not want to get up and add the food to the tracker!  Love that little bonus.

When you see my stats, it might help to know a bit about my summer eating, because if I was reporting for the winter, my numbers would be very different.  I ate a lot of fruit.  I mean… a lot!  So keep that in mind with my high fiber intake.  Also, it might surprise you to know that I do, in theory, loosely follow what many would consider to be a low-carb eating plan, but what I consider to be a “good” carb eating plan.  Most of my carbs come from beans, veggies and fruits.  (So this number was also higher thanks to my little berry obsession and would be lower at a different time of year.)  Typically I have a serving of whole grains a day.  And please don’t forget, since I am keeping it honest with myself and with you, that the numbers below are for about two months but DO NOT include a handful of days in which I absolutely, positively “cheated.”  Sometimes a little, but sometimes a whole heck of a lot.  So the calories would be higher.  Not sure how much higher because, oh yeah, I didn’t track them!

As for the actual numbers, see for yourself:

  • Average daily calories:  1470
  • Highest daily caloric intake: 1730
  • Lowest daily caloric intake:  1103
  • Average percentage of calories from protein:  22.6
  • Highest daily percentage of calories from protein:  30
  • Lowest daily percentage of calories from protein:  17
  • Average percentage of calories from carbs:  61
  • Highest daily percentage of calories from carbs:  63
  • Lowest daily percentage of calories from carbs:  38
  • Average daily grams of fiber:  63
  • Highest daily fiber intake:  85
  • Lowest daily fiber intake:  43

Except for my high sodium, which is bad, and my high fiber, which is good, my numbers are in line with most recommendations.  Now that berry season is over and I’m (still) struggling a bit to get back on track after my road trip, my numbers would show less fiber and carbs and more protein.

I’d like to gradually adjust my daily caloric intake higher, if possible.  Which I’m hoping it will be if I, ahem, cut out the occasional bingeing.  I’m not sure if my metabolism will allow it, but if so, I’d sure like the freedom to eat more calories each day!  And that mathematical theory of calories in vs. calories out suggests I should be able to do so.

As to whether or not I’m still tracking.  Not.  I just never got back into the habit after our trip.  Honestly, it is a bit of a hassle.  Not only to go to the computer and input the information, but to measure foods.  And the biggest hassle is calculating the nutritional value for recipes that I make that don’t have that math already computed for me.  If not for that, I’d probably be much more inclined to keep up with the tracking.

I do have one other thought about the whole food tracking concept.  I have read, time and again, that “they” say it works.  So that is a positive.  But there is also a part of me that thinks that in my quest for “normal,” tracking food is one more way I am overly focused on it and maybe it would be nice to let that focus go.  Just thinking.

So, there you have it.

Do you track what you eat?  Have you learned anything interesting by doing so?

Many thanks to Rita and Fitblogger for having such a great giveaway challenge:)

 

 

 

 

 

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78 Comments

Filed under cheating/overeating, food, low-carb/South Beach, trends and/or technology

78 responses to “Making Tracks

  1. What a great analysis. I lost most of my weight on Weight Watchers which means I tracked. When I track I find that I can stay in control of my eating better. I also feel less guilty when I have an indulgence. When I don’t track and eat an indulgence my inner critic comes out and tells me I “shouldn’t” be indulging. When I track and plan for an indulgence, the guilt disappears and I enjoy my treat. With that said, I have been trying to move away from tracking for the same reasons as you. It is a hassle and I am trying to have a “normal” relationship with food. Sometimes when I track I can become a bit obsessive about food- giving food too much power. Not tracking has been quite freeing and I am learning to “mentally” keep track of what I am putting in my mouth each day. As I get older however and more forgetful I might need to go back to tracking so I can see why my jeans are getting tighter! 🙂

    • Karen

      I have done WW before and became the queen of low-point foods! Seems I really put too much energy into that vs. nutritional value. That was the old points plan. I went back in January to check out the new plan and really debated trying again but just could not do the point thing. I was not doing any kind of tracking at that point. My thinking is that tracking is helpful for losing and initial maintenance but eventually we should, I hope, have a good routine and good eating habits and good feel for how much we can and are eating so can stop. But maybe a periodic revisit now and then or if the pants are tightening is a good thing:)

  2. I track off and on. I do it through caloriecount.com and in all honesty, do it more for the nutritional tracking than for losing weight. When I am in full weight loss mode, it is an encouragement when I can mark the day “complete” and see that I’ve been within guidelines in both calories and nutrition. I’d like to do it more consistently as I know it makes me more aware.

    • Karen

      I tried that one! When I asked readers for suggestions for online trackers I actually was using 5 at one point. Yes, five! And had notes about what I liked and did not like about each. I thought if I found one that was easy I’d be more likely to use it. What I most liked were the recipe calculators but can’t remember which one had the best of that. BTW – I’ve been tracking my weight on caloriecount since then, for months. I like their chart the best.

  3. I’ve been tracking my food for quite some time – at first within a points system resembling WW, and now according to caloric value. And I have to say it helps me learn more about my food. Of course calories is not all there is to food, but I am learning how to better balance the nutritional value of the things I put in my mouth. In the long run, I think I won’t track everything I eat for the rest of my life, but right now it is a handy tool.

    • Karen

      I think your approach is a great one. I just was responding to a comment above with a similar thought about long-term. It is interesting how many different theories there are about caloric value. The “a calorie is a calorie” vs. “all calories are not created equal,” for example.

  4. Wow! You really are getting plenty of fiber. I’m curious as to what the high sodium numbers are.

    And now — I’m so torn over tracking (and I can tell you more later) because it can approach obsessive-compulsive. There was a time when I was tracking without fail… to the point that I refused to eat in restaurants because I couldn’t accurately record the numbers. This was during the time I was actively losing weight consistently. And then it got to be insanity; so, I gave up the counting… and continued to lose for a few months. And then one day, I saw someone mix peanut butter into yogurt to create a mousse-like treat. That was the day I stopped losing weight and have struggled ever since.

    At this point, I’m learning that tracking is just an emotion-management tool… a good one or a bad one if it starts to interfere. Generally, we KNOW what to eat. When I address the underlying stressors that lead to overeating, my eating gets better. I have good weeks and bad, but it’s always correlated directly with what’s going on in my life.

    • Karen

      Ah… I have thought about that emotional component for myself. I have seen suggested formats, in books, that have you rate your hunger and describe emotions each time you eat. That might be a good thing for me to try now.

  5. Yes, I started tracking back in May. It was illuminating to do so. I let it go last week when we were in Devon, but started it back up again today. For me it works. I do it the paper way and do not use technology. For me it is very easy. I save my tracking logs, although, I rarely refer back to them. Tracking just keeps me on track!

    • Karen

      I tried paper too. Didn’t like it as much because I didn’t get the nutritional info easily like I do online. And many of the online trackers have a huge amount of foods at your finger tips to add, with the nutritional data there. The MyTrak system has no fun charts though. I miss that. I liked seeing a breakdown of what I was eating and other fun details.

  6. Tracking is the one thing that I do very well in this battle of the scales. I wanted to comment on the salt issue because I just read about a study that says salt is not the enemy. Honestly, I think moderation is the best way to go as the studies keep us guessing. If interested, here’s a link to an article about it. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/04/health/research/04salt.html

    • I read that same study. I also heard from my neighbor that her mother’s geriatric doctor told her that sodium quells appetite. Her mom was living off canned soup and had no hunger. Apparently the sodium in the soup was at least a partial culprit in the appetite loss. I had to control my desire to go gulp down a few cans.

    • Karen

      Thanks, I will check that out. I am a big believer that we each need to find what works for us. Whether that be tracking or avoiding certain foods or joining a group or… You have obviously had success at this for yourself:)

  7. Hi, Karen. I’ve found much of this post to be true for me re: tracking. I’ve been tracking consistnelty for over a year on SparkPeople. (I’m currently in revolt, ahhh, taking a rest break.)

    I do enjoy the ability to look back.

    The thing I’ve found, tho, that’s troubling is what you refeerred to re: eating when hungry rather than doing the numbers game. When I’m seriously on plan, I find that I look at the day end tally and realize that I HAVE CALORIES LEFT from my cal goal. Well! Can’t have that, can we?

    Sometimes my effort to bring my calories up by eating when I’m not even hungry…and wasn’t even interested…(Why would I do that?!) ends up in an overeating episode–or worse. Which can end up in days of overeating.

    And then there’s the whole “focus on food” thing that I’m pretty sure food-normal people do not do and tracking makes us do. sigh.

    I just need to be more mature about this whole food thing, I think. Yeah. That might be it.

    Deb

    • Karen

      I’m not sure what I’d find if I only ate when I was hungry. I’ve never done that, that I know of. Would I be eating less? I’m sure. But how much? No idea. Interesting to see if I can ever get that one little thing under control. Actually, I’ve thought that is really the only thing I need to do… eat when I’m hungry and don’t eat when I’m not. So simple, really. So hard.

  8. Ewa

    I think I will be a voice of minority here but I am just weird this way. Tracking does not make me eat less. It just seems to have no effect on how much and how often I eat. When I used to track, I noticed that the correlation between calorie intake and weight loss is not that simple and depended on what kinds of food I ate.
    Still, it was interesting to see what nutrients were difficult to get with my diet.

    • Karen

      I’m a big believer in “one size does not fit all” and us each having to find what works for us. And I agree… that correlation is not that simple at all! But I do find the nutritional info pretty interesting:)

  9. I’ve been paying much more attention to my eating in the past few days, but have not formally started tracking again. I’ve been manually writing down every mouthful I eat — from years of dieting I know the calorie content of most foods, but I didn’t actually look up anything. I just wanted to see if this would work for me. Well, I didn’t gain anything, but I didn’t lose despite not eating any treats and going to bed just a little hungry each night (this used to always be a sign to me that I was losing, but it didn’t show up on the scale this time.) However, yesterday when I looked in the mirror, I could see that my face was beginning to lose some of its roundness. I plan to re-review all of the programs available online and look for the most accurate, but least complicated one. From reading everyone’s posts, it is obvious that we all do better at losing when we are tracking, but it is just a tedious habit to employ every day.

    • Karen

      So… I know I’m a bit anal… but after readers gave me suggestions, I was actually trying FIVE online trackers for a while. I wanted to find the one I liked the most but I was probably looking for different functions. I gradually cut all out but one, until I cut that one too.

      I still remember Oprah saying that you need to feel that little hunger in your belly before you go to bed at night to lose weight. I hate that feeling!

  10. It is very illuminating to *really* track what we eat. I love to track my food and do it whether I am maintaining or losing. I guess I am a numbers geek that way. It really does help to keep me “in line” because I will track any binge or overeating days and – wow, that really gives me pause. It adds up fast!

    Some people don’t do well with tracking as it causes them to go off the deep end, like weighing every day can do. I just like to see it (not the scale, though, I don’t weight on a number scale)

    • Karen

      You are one a few blogs I read that have the visual tracking of photographing food. But, I’ll be honest, I sometimes don’t look at the photos because they make me want the stuff! Bagels…. ah. You burn off wayyy more calories than me. It would be fun to track if I had such a big number to play with.

  11. I don’t write down what I eat anymore but being at this so long, I do track in my mind & visually & I know what I am eating & know how to make changes like I have had to with the change of life years – UGH! I know you think it makes you focus too much Karen but in your post, you write that it does keep you from binging and/or eating too much & the times you don’t track, all heel wreaks lose so.. that might answer the question right there. Hopefully you will get to a point you don’t have to track anymore like where I am at after lots & lots of years…

    As for the carb number, I am at about 40% carbs for me to stay the way I want to look but that is just me.

    Loved this post!

    • Julie

      Jody, did you have to drop your carb number as a result/during your change of life years? As I am approaching that time (I’m 49) I want to be prepared as well as I can be 🙂

      • Julie, I always ate more protein than the average lady BUT I have had to cut back & change the types of carbs I eat right now & yes during this whole process. I made changes as the years went by & as things got more difficult. At first I could just up the intensity of my workouts but over time, the food HAD to change…. I am still working it too.. seems to fight me more every year…

        • Julie

          Thanks for the info Jody – I was told last year by a woman slightly older than me that when you hit 50 20lb just shows up around your middle. To say I was unimpressed it an understatement! However, I do not that when I eat carbs my middle does bloat up badly now, this from a lifetime extreme pear 😦 So I am keen to gather as much information as I can to fight anything just `showing up’ on my butt or middle or anywhere else!

    • Karen

      Well if I didn’t snack so much I guess I’d not need to track because it would be easier to do that math in my head:) I am thinking I will go back to it, for a while, now and then. Good thing I don’t like to cook since the recipe calculations are my biggest deterrent:)

      Julie has an interesting question.

  12. KLA

    I tracked during the CBT. I wrote down what I was going to eat before the meal. If I ate more than I planned for, I wrote down the extra food plus the reasons for the unplanned eating and thoughts. The purpose was to track behaviour more than actual food intake. It was an interesting process.

    • Karen

      That IS interesting. On my “diet” forum, several of the gals post their intended menus every day. I’ve always thought that would be hard to do but can really see how it would help curtail my snacking… particularly if I made it public! Someone above commented on the tracking of the emotional component and I think a great thing for me would be to write why I am eating, what I am feeling, and how hungry I actually am at the time.

  13. I don’t track and honestly, I think that is a huge part of my problem. If I had to measure out food and count calories or fat or whatever, I am sure I would eat less because you’re right – it is a big pain!
    The only time I was ever faithful about tracking was the last time I did WW…but with that also came the potential for me to eat processed foods because all of the nutritional info was right there for me – all figured out!
    You seem to have a good grip on what works for you – but I agree it is hard once you have gotten away from tracking to get back “on track” to to speak.
    Bummer that berry season is just about over (just raspberries left)….I guess apples will have to do for the fall! (And I’m Ok with that – I love them).

    • Karen

      I did WW too! Years ago. I was the queen of low-point foods. But that was probably not the most nutritional way to go, for me. The new plan I think makes it more complicated to calculate points; I checked it out in January.

      Yep, I picked up blueberries at Costco the other day and then put them back down. We are eating a lot of apples already and I’d like to go picking when we can. Yum.

  14. Jan

    Tracking – yep, always, almost. What makes it easy for me is that I have a limited food range (by choice), rarely eat out, and prepare simple meals that are easily tracked by my program. For those who cook recipes, taking the time to find a site that allows you to input them is a pain, but one has to decide if it’s worth it. Having an iPad or similar device that allows you to input from anywhere and automatically syncs data is extremely helpful. Also, since I do not believe calories in = calories out is the only factor in weight loss, estimates are just fine. It is more about the quality of food and amounts that I have set for myself.

    The reason that I track food intake is: 1) prospective studies of weight losers repeatedly show that those who track (among other behaviors) are much more likely to keep their weight off; 2) I believe that it is truly all about mindfulness. Having to write down or estimate that I snarfed down a cup rather than 1/4 cup of almonds slams me back to reality and keeps my brain and body honest with each other.

    • Okay — what’s so fascinating about your comment, Jan, is that you grouped the importance of tracking WITH mindfulness. So often, they’re discussed as incompatible acts. I like the combination of the two.

    • Karen

      Yes, that mindfulness is certainly a big part. I don’t have any fun devices like that. BUT, maybe we will be getting one in the coming months so that would be fun to track on there. While I am so with you on the calories in vs. out thing, I do think it was good for me to have a sort of upper target.

      • Jan

        I agree completely about having a calorie target! I keep mine around 1200 because no matter if I eat the quality of food I intend, I know that I can overwhelm my ability to store (rather NOT store) fat that I consume. So I believe there is a combination of caloric intake and food quality. Also, there is data showing improved longevity with caloric restriction – of course at what price quality of life 😉

  15. Well, they do say that it counts more what you do over time so day to day, if you cut out the binges, you could theoretically eat more. Maybe that would nix the binges – if you were able to eat more and maybe able to add in certain things day to day.

    I read KLA’s comment about how she wrote down the reason for the extra eating. I think that is a darn good idea (at least for me!).

    Good news – you get lots of fiber. You will have a kick ass colonoscopy! LOL Blarg.

    • Karen

      Well, I have several things I could say about fiber… but I WON’T. Suffice to say I’ve always wondered how Dr. Oz would answer some of my questions:)

      Yes, cutting out the binges would only be a good thing. Sounds so simple. Actually, for a while there I was cruising along, binge-free. My problem is one leads to another…

      • Ya know they have… OK I HAVE a name for what you are doing: Withholding the funny. I completely object to that and count that as one of the bigger sins against nature and general well being.

        Just saying – you are preventing my good health and well being today. Sigh.

  16. Hi Karen! Since I’ve been listing all the food I’ve been eating on my blog, I’ve also been too lazy to overeat. Like you, It’s just too much work to list a bunch of nibbling various things or late night snacks, so I just don’t eat it. What a great consequence of tracking food we are both having.

    🙂 Marion

    • Karen

      Once upon a time when I was really struggling to stay on track I thought about putting what I eat on here, either as a separate page or part of my post. Or, as others have done, even as a new blog. I think having people see what I eat could be a big deterrent for me to binge or oversnack.

  17. Must admit that I’m too lazy to track, especially recipes that I don’t make or even the complicated ones that I do. Too much time and, as you said Karen, too much focus on the numbers rather than listening to my body.

    What I do like to occasionally do is track by food group to make sure I’m getting at least the minimum amount of fruits, veggies, lean proteins, and whole grains in me. I find making room for even the minimums of each of these doesn’t leave much room for extras anyway!

    • Karen

      I have to admit that I have always been scared off by the notion of listening to my body. I don’t trust it! I think it will cry out for bagels and bread and all those things I can’t eat in moderation. Sigh.

  18. i still say this gadget is really cool

  19. I record what I eat in a notebook most days. Just what I ate, not weights or measures. I guesstimate the calories (usually rounding up) and hope for the best. Most of my problems with weight came from simply not being mindful of what I ate. There’s something about the act of writing it by hand that keeps my indulgences in the forefront of my mind when someone offers a tempting treat. If I’m lucky, there haven’t been any indulgences lately and I can dig in! 🙂

    • Karen

      I wondered if you tracked or not. I love that in this, as all things related to “dieting,” you have found what works for you and it is so sane and sensible. I hope you rub off on me:)

  20. This is one of those posts where I’d like to take the time to read everyone else’s comments. Maybe later…
    I just started tracking for real and look forward to having a span of time to see the data from.
    You’re doing really well with it.
    great post!

    • Karen

      Well, I used to have an option for you to sign up for comments right below but when I had all that email go out at once, I decided I’d better remove that! But, FYI, if you use a reader you can still subscribe to the comments RSS feed in my sidebar. But that will only give you the ones after yours.

      I’ll be interested to see what you learn about your own eating, Teresa.

  21. I do track what I eat and used to do it by hand until earlier this summer. Was writing a piece on online food trackers, figured i should try one and have really found http://www.myfooddiary.com to be useful. It’s a helpful tool that keeps me paying attention, although most weeks i don’t bother to track Saturdays so that I come back fresh and motivated on Sundays. 🙂

    • Karen

      I need to check if I tried that one when I was testing out online trackers months back. For now, I’ll go back to the MyTrak if I do it again since it syncs with the exercise part. It’s okay, as far as tracking, but not my favorite. I’m pretty picky, though.

  22. I track when I need to lose weight or feel like my eating is going down a wrong path! Writing it all down even if I am the only one who is going to see the food journal just makes me more in control!

    I think you are doing fabulous!

  23. Julie

    I track from time to time but to check the composition more than the calorie count of what I am eating. Like many others decades of dieting means I know the calorie count of a lot of food and, by choice, I eat a limited variety of food. When I have something like home made soup I work out the calories and divide it by the number of serves. It is not an exact science but gives me a pretty good estimate across the week. Seeing what I have eaten written down can help solve that why didn’t I lose/how did I gain weight question. A handful of nuts here, a slice of cheese there and bingo – no scale shift this week. But if it is written down then I can look back and see what I can change this week instead of giving up.

    • Karen

      A few times I’ve wished I tracked more in the past so I could go back and see what I was eating in the times I had my best weight loss! Historical info is interesting.

  24. I haven’t been keeping track of what I eat for a while. I think I got a bit sick of it over the last several years! When I am trying to lose weight, keeping track of everything can be kinda fun! But I do get bored easily.

    • Karen

      Oh me too, getting bored, I mean. Maybe since it has been a little while since I’ve done it I’ll get a kick out of picking it up again:)

  25. Wow! Kudos to you for getting in all that daily fiber! I know what you mean about the tracking being a hassle. Sometimes, no matter how hard we try, some things just never become a habit. I have 4 sets of measuring cups in my kitchen and when I used to measure out my food I’d use almost every one of them in a day. I never found it to be second nature, even doing it for as long as I did. But like you said, it did work and helped me lose the weight I needed to lose.

    • Karen

      I thought my fiber might surprise people:) I’d be interested to see what I was getting before I started with eating beans and working hard to eat more veggies. Not much, I’m guessing.

  26. I’ve found it easier to stay on track when I track my calories, too. I agree it can be a bit of a hassle, but worth it for me right now. It helps me to learn my portion sizes, so that once I’ve reached my goal weight, I’ll hopefully have a good sense of how much I should eat.

    • Karen

      I think that is a big benefit – learning portion size. I am pretty good now at estimating for something like a serving of chicken, for example.

  27. I find that I stay on track much more consistently when I track my food. I’ve become pretty good at measuring out portions without the actual measuring. When I fall off track with food, I fall off track with recording as well. *sigh*

    • Karen

      I guess there is a correlation for many of us. I’ve gotten pretty good at eyeballing some things, like a portion of chicken breast. Some I measure whether I track or not, like nuts, since they are so calorie dense and a portion is so tiny, IMO.

  28. Roz@weightingfor50

    Hi Karen, I’m on weight watchers, and KNOW the tracking component of the food I eat has helped me lose weight so far. Love this post. Have a great Wednesday.

    • Karen

      I did WW successfully about a decade ago. I was the queen of low-point foods! If only I had not stopped following the plan and going to meetings once I hit lifetime. Sigh.

  29. I dont track
    I did for a bit when I started down this path and for some reason it made this LAID BACK LADY begin to veeeer toward obsessive.
    so I stoped 🙂

  30. I am not a tracker. I have occasionally tried it, but really didn’t track anything when I lost all my weight except calculating the fat in foods and being super strict with my portions.

  31. Karen, I SAY I am going to track. I am going to write everything down. Then I don’t. I have NO idea why i do this. I have to track! I have now put over 30 pounds bzck on … so … clearly I neeeeeed to.
    As always , thank you for the motivation.
    Have a pretty day!
    Kristin

    • Karen

      So… my first thought… get a pretty notebook:) Yes, even tracking can be pretty. Well, maybe online tracking would be pretty too.

  32. I keep thinking about “them” saying I should track and I do for a while, but only because I like numbers. When it stops being fun, then I stop doing it. However, all the weight I have lost I’ve done without tracking, just making sure I’m eating on target. What tracking does do to me is make me think I can have something just because it fits the numbers instead of it fitting my plan (and the whole not hungry but still have calories left thing). Wow, I just totally talked myself out of tracking again. 🙂

  33. When I need to shed a few – I certainly do – it helps keep me honest.

  34. I missed your post on the device, so I had to go back and read it. I am a techno-geek, so I love stuff like that. I am just too cheap to buy them. 🙂 This might be a worthwhile investment though. Of course you know from reading my blog that I love tracking progress (or the lack thereof). Thanks for sharing.

  35. Nice analysis! I have realized that tracking for me leads to obsessing which leads to under-eating to beat that numbers game which leads to over-eating out of feeling deprived, tired, etc. I think it was a necessary part of my weight loss learning process, but I don’t think I could go back to it — maybe I could write down what I eat, but not the calories.

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