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Calorie Count Blog

4 New Ways to Log How You Eat


By +Carolyn Richardson on Sep 15, 2012 10:00 AM in Dieting & You

Do I have to quote the many studies that show that people using food logs lose more weight and keep it off more than those who don't? You're a Calorie Count member, so you know the power a food log can have in helping you start and maintain healthy eating habits. It's straightforward to log everything you eat, every meal, every day, but after you've got it down to a science, you may want to try something different. Don't give up the food log entirely, instead try a different approach. To get a new perspective on how you eat, try logging new ways. 

Loving Left Overs

If you're a member of the clean plate club, and considering quitting, keep track of your left overs. As you learn to stop eating when you're full, log what you consciously decide to leave behind. You can take a before-and-after picture of your plate, note it with a check in an existing food log, or create a separate list of leftovers on your fridge. The point is to make you more mindful of when you're full while you're eating, and remind you that leftovers can save you time and money on subsequent meals. Over time you logging your leftovers will lead to portion control. Though it may have seen foreign to clean plate clubber such as yourself, you may start to ask your server to box half of your meal before it makes it to the table.

Celebrate Portion Control

After you've mastered mindfully leaving more than you need behind, start keeping tabs on your portions. Learning portion control is important in making sure your weight loss is maintained. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends half of your plate be fruits and vegetables. Whether you eat at home or away, compare what you are served with the right portion. Keep Calorie Count's Picturing Portions Chart on hand to be sure you're eating the right portions of each food group. Determine how many servings of each food group you should have a day, and list that number at each meal. Replace the excessive portions  with fresh fruit and vegetables if you're not satisfied after your meal. Overtime you'll train your eyes and your stomach to recognize super-sized portions and eventually cut back.

Triumph Over Cravings

Don't ignore discretionary calories. Those daily small indulgences are a part of any healthy diet. You can't deprive yourself forever, so consider what you'll  crave, and write down how you do. When you give in, but have less than the 100 to 300 calories you're allowed, that's a triumph. If you get past the 10 minutes most cravings last and let it go, that's another win for you. Even when you overdo it, take note. As you get better at balancing the frequency and amount of discretionary calories you allow yourself, curbing your cravings will get easier.

Exchanges for Healthier Food

A turkey burger instead of beef, club soda with fresh lemon as opposed to lemonade, salad or soup instead of fries. As you make better choices at meal time, track those healthy exchanges. Add up how many calories, fat grams, or carbs you save when you do. On the bright side, count how much more fiber, potassium, or protein you add. It can be cumbersome to do this at every meal, but try to consciously think about exchanges at least two to three times a week and put it in black and white. After months of tracking healthy exchanges, you'll find it easy in any food situation to find the healthiest options.


Your thoughts...

List some alternative ways you keep track of what your meals?

 



Comments


i write down on papper but when i get after a full day i forget to log in ,sorry



On my most successful days, I pre log my foods based on what I have on hand. Then if the numbers don't look good, you can swap and play with it until you are satisfied. Then all I do is refer to my list when I am hungry and I am guaranteed success for the day!



I cook most meals from scratch  and often not from a recipe so find it useful to  write down ingredients and amounts used with their calorie count. Just add up and divide for your servings.   I do this on paper and pop it into my food journal. I simply divide the total by the number of servings we get from it and write this down. Saves time and working out for future meals.  I note how many ladlefuls or spoonfuls etc.  make a 'serving'.   I don't obsess, just jot them down.  Thinking of compiling a simple notebook with these in it.  It's a quick reference for easy journaling. 



I cook most meals from scratch  and often not from a recipe so find it useful to  write down ingredients and amounts used with their calorie count. Just add up and divide for your servings.   I do this on paper and pop it into my food journal. I simply divide the total by the number of servings we get from it and write this down. Saves time and working out for future meals.  I note how many ladlefuls or spoonfuls etc.  make a 'serving'.   I don't obsess, just jot them down.  Thinking of compiling a simple notebook with these in it.  It's a quick reference for easy journaling. 



That's what I do. When I can, I put down my intentions, so that I can see what the content is. I'm trying to use as little sugar and wheat as possible. This way I can't be caught out and will substitute in advance. Works for me.


I have tried to log my food and calories many, many times, only to get too busy and fail.  A food journal is great, but what if you leave it at home?  Or if you're logging on-line, what if you don't have internet or a CPU?  Ugh!  

I figured out a way to eat without having to log anything!  I figured out how many calories were in each of my meals and discovered if I just ate half, I could cut 500 to 1000 calories PER DAY out of my diet!  That's how I've been losing weight without logging...or worrying and stressing about "eating right."

Jim

Here's how you can eat half meals and cut out 500 to 1000 calories PER DAY painlessly



Logging the food does it for me. Also if I fancy something of a treat i will log it before to see what effect it has on my analysis. It can be surprising how the odd chocolate bar or glass of wine can still give you a good analysis score. (though the times it doesn't look good can also be a warning not to.

Main problem I have is if I have to stay in hotels (as I often have too in my job) where I have no real idea on weights and ingredients in what I am eating so have to estimate)

 



That's an awesome idea! 



Logging works best for me.  If I don't, I lose control.  My control lies in keeping a record of my calorie intake.  I like seeing how many calories I have left and allowing myself a treat when I do. 



Yes, it is good to cut back on portions, carbs, sugars, wrong kinds of fats, etc; but when all is said and done, I find it is not what I DON'T eat that counts, but what I DO eat that counts.Think about it.



I usually log my food in the morning.  I usually plan it out and that helps me, I also have access to a computer all day so have no problem updating it throughout the day but usually do it all in the morning.

This works well for me.

I don't cut out any type of food completely everything in moderation, as long as I stay within my calories.



I log my food as I eat each meal or snack.  I find it easier to do this as I go so I don't forget anything.  I use an Excel spreadsheet.  When I repeat an item, I don't have to go through the trouble of retyping it because Excel completes it for me.  Since I like to know not only the calories, I also log fat, sodium, carbs, fiber, sugar, protein, and calcium.  Excel also totals each column so I can see if I have too much sodium, sugar, fat, or carbs so I can cut back if needed.  Logging my food is the best thing I have done to help me on weight loss.



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