Thursday, August 6, 2009

Let me explain...

I've gotten some comments from friends about my new eating habits (calorie counting). Some are wondering how I'm doing, some are wondering why I'm doing, how long, and why I'm "on a diet" when I say how much diets don't work.

So, let me explain!

  • How are you counting your intake/outtake of calories? This does take planning, research, and diligence! I planned out lists of meals I could eat within my calorie range, bought the food I needed, and simply stuck to the plan. I researched some of my favorite foods and figured out how I could make it work within my calorie budget! I have a really cool iPhone application called "Lose It" and have been tracking my meals and workouts on that. It has an option to create recipes (planning ahead), use meals you've used before, look up grocery store and restaurant foods, and track your work outs. It's pretty cool. You can also track your weight. So it's been easy to track.
  • Why are you doing it? I am doing this so get back on track of losing weight. I've come a long way in my weight lose and have developed very good habits that I will keep for life; however I've hit a weight loss plateau and I'm not ready to stop loosing weight yet. There is more left to my goal, and I feel that getting on a good plan is the first step to getting back on track!
  • How long? I will not be tracking (strictly tracking) my intake/outtake forever. really, it's designed to help me become familiar with what I'm eating and really how that affects me. For example 3 tablespoons of Ranch Dressing has 220 calories, 1/4 cup of croutons has 50 calories, crispy chicken breast has over 300 calories...to me it's pointless to even eat a salad is this is what you're getting. Side note: did you know that the Red Robin Crispy Chicken Salad has more than 1300 calories in it? And that's without dressing!!! By doing this research and planning I am really allowing myself to make educated decisions. Example - I went out to lunch for a business meeting yesterday at a restaurant. My salad options where slim: "crispy chicken", "creamy ranch", "sweet Teriyake" in the title of the salad are all red flags for me. I then remembered the the whole wheat bun and burger had about 400 calories in it (without mayo or cheese)...I got a burger and ate half with a side of vegetables. Much better choice (in my opinion) than a possibly 900-1000 calorie salad. This also means that I'm watching my alcohol intake...
  • Why am I "on a diet?" I'm not! I don't consider this a diet. Eating 1500-1800 calories a day is perfectly reasonable for someone who wants to lose weight. I don't eat diet foods! I don't eat frozen foods processed foods. Very rarely will I buy something that has "Low Calorie", "Fat Free", "Reduced Fat" in the title. I try to eat whole grain and natural products. I don't buy the Fat Free peanut butter, I buy the organic peanut butter (only peanuts and salt). Since I'm not eating "Low Calorie", "Fat Free", "Reduced Fat" products, I watch the serving size. Hummus serving size is 2 tablespoons, not half a container (although I wish it were half a container sometimes). A lot of what I eat actually is "high fat" or "high calorie" but it's natural and limited. Peanuts, hummus, beans, they are not bad for you unless you eat half the container.
So there you have it. Not on a diet, just making educated decisions based on research and planning out my meals. I eat things in moderation, and I do watch the labels. One scoop of ice cream isn't going to kill me if I've been under my calorie limit. The key is one scoop every once in a while if I'm under my calorie budget!

So far so good. Don't worry I won't obsess over it. Some days I will be a little over, some days I will be way under. Other days I just won't care. Ultimately, I just want to be smart about it. Develop good/smart eating/exercising habits now so I can keep them for life!


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