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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Tracking Calories

Thursday, August 03, 2017

The Good -

It is a great way to keep track of your calorie intake, especially when you are first starting off on your health journey, or just trying to maintain. You can see exactly how much your consuming daily, because sometimes we think we aren't eating a lot, but then when you track you shock yourself! Even still, being able to track not just the calories, but sodium intake, fat intake... etc, can help with medical issues. For example, knowing how much sodium a food item has is good to know for people who have high blood pressure. Sparkpeople's food tracker is actually pretty amazing. I feel like it has been the most hopefully, and can be very easy. Especially the app where you can scan an food item's bar-code to help add that to your food tracker!

The Bad -

Sometimes it takes so much time to enter in every meal, especially if you are having a busy day. Even though Sparkpeople makes it easy, it still can take some time. Another thing is sometimes I don't know how to track something! Like for example, I am having arroz con gondules (yellow rice with pigeon peas) for lunch right now, and it is homemade. I have no idea how to track it... I end up just putting "spanish rice" in the search bar of the food tracker, and just randomly picking one of the options that pop up. My intake count ends up being inaccurate, so I could either be over my calorie intake, or under.

The Ugly -

Since I have fallen off the wagon for the last few years I have not been tracking at all! At times I would be like "eh I am sure I am under my calories for the day so it's no big deal," or "this can't be that many calories so I should be fine." Now that I am making an effort to start fresh on spark, and track what I eat, I see that I have TOTALLY been wrong! emoticon I AM going over my calorie count for the day, even though I feel like I don't eat much throughout the day, but I have to remember that it is also WHAT I am putting in my body that just isn't the healthier option. So I am thinking to myself, while tracking my food, "THIS is why you haven't reached your goal yet!"

So lesson learned! As much as I sometimes dislike having to take the time to track my food, it is still a very important part of my journey to a healthier lifestyle! I am not a believer in completely cutting out certain food groups. That may work for some but not for others, and it definitely doesn't work for me lol. It all comes down to eating in moderation! So no I will not cut out pizza! lol but tracking it will help keep me accountable!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • no profile photo CD18003375
    Tracking can be overwhelming at first but I notice that I eat lots of the same things so, I "group" those together. When I eat that meal again, I click the group with that meal and add it to the tracker. Saves listing each ingredient separately. Or if I'm having leftovers the next day, I "copy" that day's meal to whatever day I'm going to eat it again.

    On foods like spanish rice... I track ingredients with the most calories (rice, beans, meat, oil), and add them to the tracker and don't bother with veggies. For example: 2 cups cooked white rice, 1 cup pidgeon peas, 2 TBSP oil, and 1/2 cup chicken. Where I went over in guesstimating the ingredients makes up for not adding veggies.. plus I'd rather be over than under counting calories but that's me. Hope this helps.

    1280 days ago
  • CAROL_31649731
    Nice blog, Nadine! I learned a lot, and I agree. Not a tracker ... yet, but you've convinced me to give it a try, though. Thanks! Makes a lot of sense, and I need to try something different.
    1304 days ago
  • no profile photo CD17994349
    I could have written this blog, except I use paper and pen and not an online tracker. Paper and pen just seems simpler to me. Of course, I'm tracking calories only.

    One of the drawbacks for me is some days when I see I'm not going to stay within goal, I will allow myself to go well over instead of just over my limit. But still, calorie counting is the only way I've lost weight in the past and I know it's something I'm going to have to do for a lifetime to keep the weight off when I lose it this time around.

    Great blog!
    1305 days ago
    Tracking can absolutely be an eye opener!!!
    1305 days ago
  • JUNETTA2002
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1305 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

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