Wednesday, May 8, 2013

My Calorie Count

I was watching Good Morning America a few weeks ago and saw a story about Trisha Yearwood and how she recently lost weight.  The thing that stuck in my brain was that she stuck to 1200 calories per day.  I had just gained even more weight being at a new all-time high and this was just what I needed to hear to get me going.  My doctor had told me that the best way to lose weight that she knew of was to use a food diary which I have done on and off.  I had also started back on my Plate Method of eating, but was really hit and miss with that too.  So hearing about Trisha Yearwood's vigilance on the 1200 calorie limit made me wonder how I was doing and I made a goal to do my food journal every day.

I have used My Fitness Pal on and off for a few years, so I went back to what I know.  But in order to make it be a priority, I rearranged the app on my phone so it is one of the first apps that I see.  On my Ipad I rearranged my apps so only My Fitness Pal was at the bottom and is always where I can see it.

They say it takes 21 days to make or break a habit, I don't know if that is really true or not, but I have now been logging my food in My Fitness Pal for that many days.  It is interesting that in the beginning I was really shocked to see my numbers, 2400, 2500, 2200 calories per day.  No wonder I was gaining weight, I was taking in so many more calories than I realized.  During my really bad depression time period I was only taking in about 600 calories per day, again, no wonder I gained weight, my body thought it was starving and so it was hoarding all the fat.  Definitely time for somewhere in the middle.

After the first week of journaling my food, I started decreasing my calories a little more and more until I was consistently in the 1200 range.  Also, I took a pen and wrote on a picture the plate method I have sitting where I eat for a general idea of how to split up those calories as I realized that I needed to know where to stop or I wouldn't leave myself many calories for dinner.  Another thing I found was the "Complete This Entry" button in My Fitness Pal on the food journal page.  I had never used it in the past because I thought I might always have more entries to make.  What I really like about it is that when you push the button you get a little note that based on your calories for the day, in 5 weeks your estimated weight would be [blank].  Since I discovered this little tool, I have used it every day.  The interesting thing is that if you don't eat enough that day, you get a message like the one in this picture.  So I make sure that I am not under the 1200 calories and not too much over it.

I find myself talking about my calorie count now, not my weight, not my diet, just my calorie count for the day.  I am still eating a lot of yummy things, just more balanced and in smaller amounts.  So in my first 21 days I have lost 3.4 lbs so far.  Needless to say, I have a long ways to go, but something elses I liked that Trisha Yearwood said, was that she had no final weight goal in mind, this was just what she was going to do for life. 

This is a life plan, not a diet plan and seeing the numbers during the day is so helpful, I can actually see what I am doing.  When I am out I use the app on my phone, when I am home I use the app on my Ipad or go to the website myfitnesspal.com on my computer.  I have no excuses because I have an easy to track what I am eating with me at all times.  You can also join up with friends, so if anyone wants to join me, my user name is rmcbarro and you can also connect it through Facebook, so find me!

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