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That calorie counting business

Posted Sep 28 2010 9:58pm

Two weeks ago, I nervously posted that I was going back to calorie counting . My binge eating had been non-existent for a bit and my weight was remaining steady. I had an inkling if I cleaned up some of a lot of the junk I was eating and watched my portions more closely, some, if not all, of the extra weight might come off pretty easily.

Over the past three years, I have counted calories/portion controlled my food a few different ways: Weight Watchers, pen and pencil calorie counting (a pain, but effective), and using Spark People ’s website. All of these methods have taught me something and served their purpose at that time in my life. WW aided me in losing the bulk of my weight, old-fashion writing it down reminded me I don’t need technology to keep my food sane, and SP taught me invaluable information about nutrition I never knew.

That was then… let’s talk about today.

My current method

I enjoyed using SP’s websiteit works great and there is an amazing and helpful community of users (much like the awesome healthy living blogging community). But it was a giant timewaster for me. I would log-on to SP to enter my food and start looking at member profiles, message boards, and all kinds of other things… before I knew it an hour or more had passed.

Enter Spark People’s iPhone application: You can do everything you need to count calories without ever stepping foot on their websiteperfect for me!

July2010 035 July2010 036 July2010 037

How’s it going?

I’ve been back to tracking for a little over two weeks. This is definitely the easiest calorie counting or portion control has ever been for me.

  • I’ve been loose about the numbers, something I’ve never done before: if I grab a small piece of chocolate after dinner, I don’t always go back and add that in. The actual numbers aren’t that important; It really is more about portion control this time.
  • I’ve not had any binge eating episodes, or any desire to do so that I can remember.
  • My choice of foods has cleaned itself up naturallyit really felt seamless. I’d venture to guess I eat clean, whole foods at the very least 80% of the time, but probably more.
  • I’ve been enjoying life and food, which was never possible for my “number obsessive” self. There’s been wine , pasta , ice cream , karaoke , a beach trip , and even a large going away party . I’ve enjoyed all of them, mostly without guilt.
  • My eating has been according to my hunger levelseat more when I am hungry and eat less when I am not. I haven’t aimed to hit certain caloric intakes the way I used to. I think it all kind of levels out anyway: one day I am less hungry and the next day I am more hungry.
  • I’ve NOT counted 3 or 4 days, mostly when we have been really busy or out of town.
  • The amount of time I spend worrying and obsessive over food has decreased significantly. I plan most of my meals the night before (I’ve done this for a really long time, counting or not, because it works very well for me) and plug those foods into my app. Then I add in snacks or changes as they happen. The whole process takes less than 15 minutes of my time a day.
    My progress

    You want the numbers, right? In a little over two weeks I have lost about two pounds. Nothing dramatic, but certainly a healthy rate of weight loss and sustainable for living my current life and enjoying upcoming events. Could I have lost more? Sureit wasn’t worth the extra effort or extremity it would have required, though.

    In the next few weeks I am going to continue exactly what I’ve been doing: eating mostly healthy, with a few indulgences here and there, and exercising. If I continue losing weight, that’s fine since I’m not at my ideal weight. But if I don’t… well I think I could be just fine with that too.

    All of this was mostly a desire to clean up my eating and get some control back over my food intake. I’d call it a success.

    I’ll write another short update before we go home at the beginning of August.

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