I was talking with a friend yesterday about my healthy lifestyle process and philosophies and she brought up an interesting point. She'd said how she hadn't tracked how many calories she'd eaten but since this was a lifestyle change it shouldn't really matter. After all, she wasn't going to count calories for the rest of her life.
And that really made me stop and think.
I track everything. Every bite that goes into my mouth, every minute I exercise, how many calories I've burned, even how many days of having only water to drink. Am I going to be tracking this for the rest of my life? How annoying would that be. (Although, right now I secretly enjoy all the tracking and I'm a compulsive list maker and stat keeper anyway -- but I do see how it might be annoying.)
Then I came to this conclusion:
I need to learn portion control (which I've had an epiphany on with reading labels which we'll get into tomorrow) and how much exactly is a tablespoon or a 1/2 cup. Plus I think it's also important to see how much you can actually EAT without going over on calories so you don't starve yourself and fall into the "diet mentality" which is an automatic fail.
So I track everything right now as a learning tool. Plus while my main goals are to be healthy and keep up with my kids the side benefit is weight loss and I have a whole lot I want to lose (a WHOLE lot). So when I get down to my goal, I imagine, I'll stop counting calories and instinctively know how much of what I should be eating with an occasional I-can-live-with-it splurge and from time to time measure just to make sure my portions haven't been getting unconsciously bigger.
So, while my friend does have a point, I think it depends on what your goals are and how fast you want to achieve them. I'm focused on two pounds a week. So I naturally will watch every morsel I decide to put in my mouth and account for it, doing so without depriving myself of anything or going hungry. But if you only have a few pounds to lose or just want to feel good and have energy then I think the Nazi hold I have over my calories might be a little extreme. :D
--Previous Day Tracking --
Exercise - 42 minutes on the Wii Fit -- burning 339 calories. Drank 12 glasses of water. Day 11 of no soda.
Breakfast - slice of toast w/ peanut butter and sliced bananas
Lunch - tuna salad, 2 dill pickle spears, and Ritz Reduced Fat Crackers
Mid-Afternoon Snack - 1/2 turkey sandwich, pretzels, and a Simply Gogurt
Dinner - pork tenderloin, Scalloped potatoes, and peas
Evening Snack - 1 cup of Frosted Mini-Wheats
total calories = 1379
total days = 17
total pounds lost = 8.1