My body – My choice
Most diet books and/or programs discuss the importance of knowing what is going in your body. It is my opinion you will not be successful in weight loss if you do not determine what is going into your body. How much? What kind? When? How many calories? This information is key.
Unlike 20 years ago, it is easy track your food. There are several phone apps that now make this virtually seamless. In previous weight loss adventures, I have used Lose It! – Calorie Counter. I have read good things about MyFitnessPal but have never used it. One can always just write it down on pen and paper. In a later post, I will discuss what app I used, why I used it, what I liked about it and what I didn’t like.
I chose to track what I ate on my phone. I am never far away from my phone. Additionally, most apps will allow you to scan the barcode and the relevant information will pop up immediately. For me, this was a game changer. In the beginning when I tracked precisely and daily, I always knew the score. I remember counting the number of grapes for my afternoon snack. I knew if I had calories left or was over budget. If I was not having the success I wanted, I looked at the data and found my answer.
Now with the above said, I do not think religiously tracking everything you eat, the amount, and the calories is a healthy long-term approach. Today, I mostly track the calories in my head or enter most of the calories into my app. It is more important to learn to listen to your body. Spoiler Alert: If you learn to listen to your body, it will tell you when you are hungry and/or thirsty.
By tracking my food, I learned
- I was taking in too many calories – aka eating too much on most days.
- I learned what foods were calorie budget busters.
- I learned what foods were calorie budget winners.
- I learned to listen to my body
Through tracking and the lessons that tracking taught me, it was easier to put together a food plan that was healthy, filling and allowed me to lose weight. While I will talk about specific food plans and eating in future posts, it is essential to understand that I was not forced to “give up” any foods. I have eliminated some foods from my diet. I have increased foods in my diet. Mostly, I have limited foods in my diet. Long story short, I spend more time in the produce section of the grocery store than anywhere else.
For those wanting specifics, I have reduced my dairy and meat intake. I am also very conscious of my alcohol intake. When your daily caloric intake budgeted is 1500-1750 calories for the day, you think twice before having that filet mignon (500 calories) and baked potato (150 calories) with a couple glasses of wine (240 calories) (Total of 890 calories). Doesn’t mean you can’t do it; just means you have to plan throughout the day. It was my choice to not eat the steak regularly.
But remember all this matter because of my why. Why was I doing this. Every morning my why provided my focus. With the end goal solid, the how is easier. Next time I will write about one strategy that I implemented which for me made all the difference.