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7/6/13 11:48 P

I've been getting better at tracking calories consistently!!! I even did so on the fourth of July, which felt like a huge accomplishment.

NONANURSE9 SparkPoints: (8,499)
Fitness Minutes: (7,328)
Posts: 34
7/6/13 11:41 P

It is amazing that once you see in print what you have been placing on your plate , it can be a real eye opener.with the help of the tools provided I can track exactly what i should be eating,. with the daily assessment of my nutrition I can see where I need to improve on my decision making. Little changes made everyday make for a successful outcome.

NONANURSE9 SparkPoints: (8,499)
Fitness Minutes: (7,328)
Posts: 34
7/6/13 11:07 P

I have always been able to convince myself that I could handle my diabetes. I am a nurse. I understand the ins and outs. But once i started actually being responsible for documenting what I ate I started feeling better about myself. tracking my blood sugars each morning . Being able to actually see I was making a difference. what a great feeling.

JOHNLIEN SparkPoints: (66,216)
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Posts: 112
7/5/13 7:55 P

Most of the time...

CTEMPLE SparkPoints: (43,283)
Fitness Minutes: (26,081)
Posts: 3,472
7/5/13 7:28 P

Hear hear! Stitch4ever

STITCH4EVER SparkPoints: (37,673)
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Posts: 4,033
7/5/13 3:12 P


LADYCROFT7 Posts: 92
7/5/13 11:44 A

One of the things I love about tracking is knowing that if I eat something then I'll put it on the tracker and it makes me think twice about eating it, especially if it's not the healthiest thing in the world for me. The other thing I wanted to mention here is that the recipe tracker is great for checking to make sure when you substitue something in a recipe it actually makes a difference! I got a favorite recipe reduced by almost 300 calories a serving by doing that. emoticon

QUOOTIE SparkPoints: (35,228)
Fitness Minutes: (23,456)
Posts: 364
7/5/13 11:04 A

For me tracking my intake is more important that anything else. This is what will make me NOT grab a handful of marshamllows, pour myself a bowl of chips, open a box of ritz and just go at it. It has also TAUGHT me about the nutrition content of the foods I am eating and the nutritonal requirements of my body. Even though I thought I was pretty knowledgable about food and nutrition I discovered that not only was ignoring what I did know I was also completely wrong about many things. Tracking my nutrition can be tedious sometimes, but it is also a really good way to understand portion control. When I decide to take a break from it my weight loss slows stops or reverses. I am not where I'd like to be , but I won't get there with out this tool. AND ITS FREE

CARMADAB Posts: 260
7/3/13 9:47 P

I can't lose weight without honest tracking. For awhile I was only tracking what I wish I had eaten. That DIDN"T work so well... The easiest way for me to track when I am busy is to eat the same thing on a consistent basis so I can copy from one day to another. (I love this feature!) I also do that because my body gets less hungry when it knows what it knows what is coming. I have heard that switching things up sparks the metabolism but only if you will stick to your calorie range when you do that - I won't .

SAOIRSE2011 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (2,735)
Posts: 3
7/3/13 3:12 P

When i log my nutrition and am in the range I am euphoric! It becomes a reward all its own! Those rare days when I log under my range then i look at that as able to have a rewarding snack!

EDELL1957 SparkPoints: (37,128)
Fitness Minutes: (48,857)
Posts: 107
7/3/13 9:01 A

I have been very bad about logging my food lately, so this morning I decided I am going back to be accountable for all the food and drink that I put in my body. I have 15 more to go, I could have been there by now, I have been working out on a regular base, I did not gain anything back, but did bit lose anymor either. So this is a new day, a new beginning.


AGRAMMIE1 SparkPoints: (9,487)
Fitness Minutes: (3,082)
Posts: 174
7/3/13 8:42 A

To THEBEANER you will be amazed if you just type what you have into the "what did you eat" section of the "calorie counter" on SPARKPEOPLE how many restaurant items are already in there. For example just type in "Olive Garden bread stick" and you will get your answer. Of course, this only works for major chain restaurant items. But that should help you even as a comparison if you have no idea what something might be calorie wise. Even before you order you can use your smart phone and look up the item to chose your meal. Just click on "See full nutritional info." Then exit the program and it will not add it to your daily count. I am new to SP and just finding my way around. So I hope this helps you and is not redundant.

GCARMSTRONG1977 Posts: 10
7/3/13 6:56 A

When I first started tracking, I found it very difficult to incorporate variety into my diet. I tended to go to places that I knew published nutritional information. Once I had a group of places I would frequent those places over and over. Now, having tracked off and on for the last 3 years, and consistently for the last 2 months, I find my "favorites" provide a nice variety of options. If I go to a place for the first time and I am unsure the nutrition, I try to think of a place that is similar that nutritional information is available For instance, I may use Cracker Barrel for the local home-style family restaurant.

MISSY_MAGOO Posts: 1,517
7/3/13 1:54 A

This is also for THEBEANER. Eating out is tough when the place doesn't have any nutritional info. even when you think you're ordering well, you never know. I always order dressings and sauces on the side for starters. Also when ordering something grilled (like chicken, steak, or fish) I ask if they butter it, the answer is usually yes (that's why it looks so much better and is so much juicier then when we grill at home) so I ask for no butter or oils on my meat. To track I assume everything at a restaurant is worse then at home, so I estimate on the high side to be safe.

FRANKI46 SparkPoints: (55,912)
Fitness Minutes: (102,919)
Posts: 496
7/2/13 8:04 P

This is for THEBEANER. I really don't like eating out for that reason. It is so hard to track. I usually try to order something as healthy as I think it is and only eat half. As for tracking, I try the best I can, if you've been tracking for a while you can kinda estimate. But I still don't think it's right.
They even had a news segment that stated that even when they do list the calories they are rarely correct. And hardly ever in our favor.
So, I try not to eat out as much as possible. But sometimes one doesn't have a choice.
I doubt I've been helpful but you asked. Lol

LIZZIE138 SparkPoints: (86,060)
Fitness Minutes: (9,393)
Posts: 5,405
7/2/13 7:09 P

I love the tracker option. I find it keeps me on track for the day. It is also teaching me proper portion sizes, something I never learned before on any diet. I love being accountable about what I eat. emoticon

7/2/13 4:57 P

How do you guys handle it when you go out to eat? I usually try to find something similar on spark, but what if your favorite restaurant doesn't post nutrition information. How do you guys tackle that one?

BUSLADY13 SparkPoints: (2,396)
Fitness Minutes: (1,235)
Posts: 3
7/2/13 3:47 P

I have learned this will probably be the biggest thing that will keep you on track.. Accountability, it is so easy to be in oblivian to how much you eat.

BUSLADY13 SparkPoints: (2,396)
Fitness Minutes: (1,235)
Posts: 3
7/2/13 3:43 P

I have learned this will probably be the biggest thing that will keep you on track.. Accountability, it is so easy to be in oblivian to how much you eat.

ANGEL1967 Posts: 28
7/2/13 4:38 A

I have a food journal where I track my carbs, fat, calories and blood sugar. It helps me to see what I am eating so I try to eat less and exercise more. emoticon

OKLAMEG1 SparkPoints: (23,458)
Fitness Minutes: (7,559)
Posts: 51
7/2/13 12:25 A

Using the nutrition tracker is my key tool. I have used if faithfully for over a year since joining SP. Even when I am over my daily calories, I track. It keeps me accountable. I know that if I don't track my calories, , my eating would be totally out of control and I would be right back where I started from and probably gained more.

FRANKI46 SparkPoints: (55,912)
Fitness Minutes: (102,919)
Posts: 496
7/1/13 3:33 P


just trying to be helpful ... but you can do that at the same place that you got your ticker.

Hope that helps.


AGRAMMIE1 SparkPoints: (9,487)
Fitness Minutes: (3,082)
Posts: 174
7/1/13 2:42 P

to RUBYDOODLE How did you get your Scripture above your ticker?

FRANKI46 SparkPoints: (55,912)
Fitness Minutes: (102,919)
Posts: 496
7/1/13 11:29 A

This is for " IGOTFATFAT"

Go to the top of the page.... In the search bar..... Type in " my ticker " ... Scroll down a little and viola.

Good luck

Edited by: FRANKI46 at: 7/1/2013 (11:29)
LJBRANDOK Posts: 183
7/1/13 11:02 A

I just had surgery and haven't been able to exercise for five weeks-three more to go. Consistent calorie tracking is helping me from gaining during the process. I've gone off track a few times, but I've recorded it and it has helped stop the binge.

AMBER0406 SparkPoints: (26,178)
Fitness Minutes: (24,672)
Posts: 134
7/1/13 10:49 A

I tend to log my food during the week and not so much on the weekends. Well, I usually don't stick to my eatting plan on the weekends, and I wonder if this is because I know I'm not tracking it so I can get away with it. Well this weekend I tracked and this weekend I stayed on track! emoticon

GREENE2010 SparkPoints: (1,781)
Fitness Minutes: (1,108)
Posts: 32
7/1/13 8:46 A

One day last week I did not use my nutrition tracker and that days calories were devastated. I love the tracker most of all because it keeps me updated with my calorie count for everything I'm eating. This count includes foods I prepare and meals purchased over the counter. As we all know the over the counter meals can get out of calorie count control fast. emoticon

Track on everyone

SUSANK16 Posts: 2,635
7/1/13 4:05 A

I agree the nutrition tracker is the best method to consistently track calories. It keeps me on task regarding staying in a good mode. I am working on a lifestyle change and continually have to keep myself moving forward for good results.

SKABELS2 Posts: 77
6/30/13 8:11 P

I have found the meal planner to be the best tool for keeping track of calories. It is so easy because it tells you a portion size and gives you a balanced meal all the time. If you don't like the protein, you can easily change it. I have also found that I can "borrow" items from other meals to have as a snack when I'm really hungry in the middle of the day.

I also look ahead to the next day and figure out my meal plan. Then I have a game plan for the next day, and it gets me to look forward to what I'm going to eat. If I plan ahead, I start to crave the things on my list and am less likely to impulsively binge on spontaneous cravings.

IGOTFATFAT SparkPoints: (195)
Fitness Minutes: (5)
Posts: 128
6/30/13 5:23 P

You guys are so organized, is amazing! How do you get that bar of progress? I don't know how to make one, so far I made 20 minutes of exercise today, maybe 30 wasn't sure...not good at organizing.

SCORP1082 Posts: 3
6/30/13 2:24 P

One thing I'll often do, esp if I'm packing food, is put everything I've packed into a "meal" I created called "planned" at the time I'm packing it. As I eat throughout the day, I move it to the appropriate actual meal in the tracker. That helps me to plan appropriately in packing and bring the right kinds of stuff - otherwise I'm more likely to find later in the day that I'm over or under on calories/carbs/protein.

The recipe calculator and groups are both great for when actually cooking, because they cut down on repetitive math.

Also, seriously, food scales! No, really! If you make something and then all future portions are weight based, tracking it is so much easier.

I try to pre-portion everything I can by weight. I might eat more than one of the "portions" (for example, 50g of strawberries isn't much), but it's much easier to track and I'm more conscious of what I'm consuming.

As to other people's entries - unless I can verify that it matches a label, or I just don't have access to one (like I was eating out and am estimating because there is no nutrition info available), I don't use them. I just enter my own directly from labels.

I go through phases of being really good and really bad about tracking, like my adherence to my diet in general, but that mostly just has to do with life and whether I am even able to prepare food, etc.

50YEARSAWIFE Posts: 7,668
6/30/13 1:17 P

I make sure to track after each meal either by computer or my app on my smartphone. I don't want to forget something I have eaten. At the end of the day, I run my report to monitor my cholesterol, sodium intake, etc.

6/30/13 10:27 A

This is the best way I have ever lost weight. I am more hopeful that I will succeed with SparkPeople than with all the other ways I have tried to lose weight. I thought I knew everything because of all the other times I have dieted. WRONG! I found out I was not getting enough protein most days. I also found that the day after those days, I felt sluggish and lazy - no energy. That has made a huge difference in my life. I use mapmywalk for my activity tracker because it uses my height and weight to figure how many calories I burn on my 50 minute walk at least five days a week. I am 64, and excited to be a SparkPerson!

BABCIATEA SparkPoints: (66,793)
Fitness Minutes: (60,853)
Posts: 2,015
6/30/13 5:10 A

I just love the way all the functions link together . I never saw it like this site. So a recipe I put in for tomorrow will be on the tracker pop up the next day and generate a shopping list
spark cheers to the founder and managers

6/30/13 12:16 A

I have the same frustration when foods are entered as "1 serving" without any information as to what constitutes a serving. I wish "1 serving" was not the default setting when entering a food. I suspect some people don't know that they can change that to specify a serving size.

Anyway, I sometimes have to search through several listings to find one that contains serving size information. Once I find a useful entry, I make it a favorite!

6/29/13 7:50 P

I'm starting to take my food tracker seriously again by using my phone app

LADYDL SparkPoints: (99,837)
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Posts: 1,263
6/29/13 9:25 A

I have found the nutrition tracker so helpful in helping me keep in calorie range and portion control. When I make my meals, I write down on paper my foods and serving size, then add it to tracker before end of day. Breakfast is usually the same, so I use the 'copy to' feature.
I also like the idea of taking a phone picture of meal, especially when dining out, so that you won't forget what you consumed.

LovingAfrica you can manage your favorites by using the favorites option drop down box.

6/29/13 4:52 A

Does anybody know how to solve my pet peeves with the food tracker?
What I don't like about it is that sometimes when another sparker has added a food like Vegetable Broth, it does not specify the serving size, it only says '1 serving' and I have not yet found a way to access or see all the information that person had read in about that food.
Yes, I know I should add my own things but it is faster to sometimes just use what someone else has already done. I would also like a way to delete something from favorites. I like keeping my list of favorites short, it makes it easier to find things.
Other than that, I just LOVE LOVE LOVE the food tracker. Can't do without it!

6/28/13 6:24 P

I plan my meals the day before by packing a healthy lunch and snacks for work, plus I defrost dinner for the next day in the refrigerator. I pre-cook most of my dinners Saturday afternoon, so I just have to defrost a meal in the refrigerator and reheat the next day. I have even started to pre-plan breakfast for the next day. I only record the food I have eaten after each meal. It takes some time to figure out what I can eat ahead of time, but in general I know that I have to limit the total calories for each meal and snack after the meal to approximately 500 calories.

JILLYBEAN60 SparkPoints: (9,722)
Fitness Minutes: (11,871)
Posts: 17
6/28/13 2:44 P

I've been " slacking on my tracking" lately. I plan to use my smart phone mobile app for when I don't have computer access. If I track as I eat, I do much better, instead of trying to recreate my day once it's over.

POLLYBLK SparkPoints: (1,290)
Fitness Minutes: (21)
Posts: 14
6/28/13 1:31 P

What a great idea! I am using it too because I just started am not quit in the groove for the tracker yet, especially after dinner. This will be a great help, Thanks emoticon

JOE14250 Posts: 214
6/28/13 12:57 P

Hey join my new group retirement transformation

SPARKFRAN514 Posts: 51,659
6/28/13 10:11 A

the tracker makes me nuts some time it can't find a food that i ate or gives me over 25 of the same food to decide which one i want to pick from and most of the time each entry is different when that happens it discourages me from tracking for a few days. i hope some of the improvements they have planned includes improving the food tracker.

SONJA50 SparkPoints: (1,357)
Fitness Minutes: (1,120)
Posts: 1
6/27/13 9:43 P

I do the same thing with breakfast and lunch and then I lie in bed at night and remember "oh, I forgot to add that banana, I forgot to add that apple and health bar..." Then I realize I went over my goal. So I started thinking about what I could have during the day and some of the items I might have for dinner that day and I put them into the tracker. I might have a tomato with dinner, i might have a hamburger with cheese on a roll, with 1 tsp ketchup. a diet ice tea. I might have an Edy's fruit bar for desert. I put them in the tracker and then edit and add items before i go to sleep. That gives me a better idea what to eat if I get hungry, and it shows me how close I am to my goals... so I don't over. Very helpful to me to do it that way. Good luck.

50YEARSAWIFE Posts: 7,668
6/27/13 7:10 P

Since I am retired, I am sure it is easier for me than those who work outside the home. I have the Spark app on my I phone which also helps me.

MBOART Posts: 37
6/27/13 5:18 P

I find it really easy to track breakfast and maybe even lunch... but when it gets later in the day I tend to "forget" to track what I eat. I'm thinking I need to have a notebook to write it all down at night.. then I can add it in later...even if it's a day later I can still see how well I'm keeping within my calorie range.

6/27/13 3:16 P

I am beginning to track food and love this easy tracker!! I am all about convenience and this is really a great tool. It really keeps me on track.

CWILSON88 Posts: 213
6/27/13 2:24 P

When I track every day consistently, I lose weight. When I don't, I gain weight. It really is that simple for me.

DOMINIQUE!!!!!! Posts: 8
6/27/13 11:45 A

And what about taking a picture of your food with your phone when you are away from your computer ? That way, you will have a visual of what you ate and will be able to track accordingly !

STITCH4EVER SparkPoints: (37,673)
Fitness Minutes: (56,956)
Posts: 4,033
6/27/13 11:24 A


6/27/13 8:55 A

I love the daily time to 'stop and think' about what I plan to eat for the day. Only that makes my eat a more mindful experience. I love the food tracker. It is the one thing on SPARKS that I can't do without.
Yes sometimes I guesstimate weights and portions, but I always try to get it as spot on as possible.

TEEDAGG Posts: 290
6/27/13 8:42 A

Since I make 98% of my meals from scratch, I use the recipe calculator for everything. I have been very good at measuring as of late - I never measured before...hmmm, wonder how those pounds kept creeping up?!?!?!

FULLBLOOM Posts: 3,056
6/26/13 5:39 P

I've been counting calories for so many years...... I can determine, the caloric value right on the spot. For the most part, it must be accurate, I lost over 70 lbs.


Edited by: FULLBLOOM at: 6/26/2013 (17:42)
IMELECTRIC SparkPoints: (14,798)
Fitness Minutes: (9,861)
Posts: 517
6/26/13 12:30 P

I do put all my homemade recipes in my favorites so it is easy to track. I also have the phone ap for tracking my nutrition....I love that.

HFAYE81 SparkPoints: (21,822)
Fitness Minutes: (12,388)
Posts: 287
6/26/13 10:41 A

I have to add, I absolutely LOVE the scan bar code option on my Sparkpeople app for my iPhone. It makes entering food quick and easy!

6/25/13 11:33 P

When I figure out the calories and servings for a homemade recipe, I enter that food as a favorite on my food tracker. Then I don't have to recompute it. For example, I made chili this weekend. I used a 1 pound package of ground beef, three cans of beans, one large can of crushed tomatoes, an onion, etc. I let it go all day in the slow cooker, then when it was done I measure out how many cups that recipe made, and computed the calories per cup. That's now a favorite called "Chili-mine" in my food tracker. Same thing with a pasta dish. By using a premeasured amount of ground beef, a certain size package of pasta, a certain size/type of sauce, and measuring out the yield into equal portions, I can compute the calories per serving and save that as a favorite.

There are a lot of vegetables that WW would consider "free" because they are so low in calories there's not much need to count them. Celery, onions, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, mushrooms, green beans are examples. I don't bother computing for those. I rarely eat at the top of my calorie range, and figure that I eat less than 100 calories a day of those low-cal "free" veggies. But starchy veg like corn, potatoes, peas are important to measure/count and compute calories for. Most spices are so low in calories it's not much use to count them. Sugar or flour (and fats/oils) are something to count, though.

IOWA51973 Posts: 124
6/25/13 10:07 P

On my second day of this and so far so good. I used to do Weight Watchers about a million years ago and it really worked then…..I like this much better though, since it is much easier to keep track of online. One thing that this does is makes me accountable in my choices since I know I have to keep track….I don't just eat anything….I eat meals and when I truly need the energy. I eat when I am stressed or bored, so this will be a test for me! emoticon

JKW1957 Posts: 185
6/25/13 8:59 P

I've counted calories on Sparkpeople everyday for over a year. I have groupings setup for breakfast and for a couple of other meals I eat frequently. I use the recipe calculator for new things I cook. The smart phone app is great to use if I am away from my computer. It only takes a few minutes for every meal to record. I've lost 40 lbs and reached my weight loss goal, but I am still counting calories because I do not want to regain the weight.

FRAUJENSEN SparkPoints: (26,628)
Fitness Minutes: (10,829)
Posts: 120
6/25/13 5:41 P

I also sometimes use a close estimate by choosing something close to what I've cooked. And I don't always track every little piece. I find if I do that, it takes the enjoyment out of my day and out of eating. I tried tracking every little thing meticulously last summer and got totally fried by the effort. This summer I'm doing a little a little more estimating and now feel more relaxed and haven't given up on tracking.

KRISKECK Posts: 741
6/25/13 4:36 P

I tracked before I knew about Spark, in a small notebook...I laughed when I found a few of them recently. I track religiously, even when I am not staying within the set range. I think it keeps me honest and keeps me from eating even more! And I KNOW that when I am tracking and being disciplined, I will lose weight!

LOST_IN_NY Posts: 31
6/25/13 3:35 P

I do a lot of cooking too and use the recipe calculator on the spark recipes page and save the recipe. The first time I make the recipe after entering it, I measure how much it makes (either by volume with measuring cups (one of mine is 4 cups big so that's helpful for a big pot of sauce or soup, etc.) or by weight (I have a decent kitchen scale too). It's a bit of a pain but you only have to do it once for each recipe. So let's say I made 10 cups of chicken noodle, so I figure a portion will be 1 cup and I update it to '10' for number of servings. Then I just measure out a cup (or a cup and a half if I'm really hungry!) and add that 1 or 1 1/2 servings to my tracker for that day.

I do tend to repeat my recipes more often than I made new ones - probably a lot more of a pain to do this if you experiment with new recipes a lot. Then I'd probably do what CHELHART does and guessitmate based on what seems close to my recipe.

MELJONES3478 SparkPoints: (15,754)
Fitness Minutes: (6,082)
Posts: 505
6/25/13 12:52 P

I add everything to my tracker. If I make a meal and it is not on the auto-populated list I go to the recipes and add the entire meal.

BONBONM SparkPoints: (1,094)
Fitness Minutes: (950)
Posts: 38
6/24/13 9:28 P

One of my sayings when someone asks how my day Is I always say today I see green not roots..bless you

BONBONM SparkPoints: (1,094)
Fitness Minutes: (950)
Posts: 38
6/24/13 9:25 P

I love your kitty I used to have Tonkinese kitty's Hanz and Franz they always pumped me up.... they were my support now it is sparks.

BONBONM SparkPoints: (1,094)
Fitness Minutes: (950)
Posts: 38
6/24/13 9:21 P

I need to do more of adding favorites. My husband and I entertain at least four to five times a week so it is hard to figure out the calories and nutrition values. By the grace of God I truly try to eat healthy no white starches and try to watch fat intake. Last week was my first week and I lost 2 pounds. We were out to lunch or dinner 5 times.

Edited by: BONBONM at: 6/24/2013 (21:22)
BONBONM SparkPoints: (1,094)
Fitness Minutes: (950)
Posts: 38
6/24/13 9:15 P

That is so funny... I quit last month, became to much money and such a hassle to track!

CRENSHAWLAX SparkPoints: (2,470)
Fitness Minutes: (2,071)
Posts: 3
6/24/13 11:50 A

Yes, I find the food tracker very helpful. If I forget a day, like I did this weekend, I always try to go back so I can have a realistic picture of where I am for the week.

1954MARG Posts: 243
6/24/13 11:22 A

I use the food tracker on a regular basis, but every now and then I just take a break for a week or so.
I find it is useful because I can enter foods I use regularly that are not on the basic list, different brands etc. and put them on my "Favourites" list. I can also enter recipes I use regularly onto the favourites list. Being able to transfer a whole meal over to particular dates is handier than having to enter every item each day, too.
Using the food tracker with its' summary of fats, protein, calories, and carbohydrates being displayed for each item I add to that day's tracker is helpful because it helps me to notice which options will best help me make wiser choices in the future.

BONBONM SparkPoints: (1,094)
Fitness Minutes: (950)
Posts: 38
6/24/13 10:47 A

Good for you. I need to do a better job as I keep falling off the wagon at times

HICKORYRN Posts: 279
6/23/13 6:35 P

Love the nutrition tracker and the Spark Summary Calendar! Being able to pull that calendar up and compare from week to week or month to month how well I did with caloric intake is great!

JUNEBUG1956 SparkPoints: (1,987)
Fitness Minutes: (666)
Posts: 32
6/22/13 11:53 P

That's your form of tracking! Keep up the great work! emoticon

JUNEBUG1956 SparkPoints: (1,987)
Fitness Minutes: (666)
Posts: 32
6/22/13 11:50 P

Tracking is the only way I lose weight. I was on Weight Watchers for years, lost 60+ lbs on WW and tracking played an important role in my weight loss. I joined Spark last week and cancelled WW yesterday. I love going to the meeting, but Spark has so much more to offer, and it's free vs $39.95 I paid each month for WW. Track and make good choices. Fruit & veggies are great for the body, and lower in calories. It's about adopting a healthy lifestyle. Good luck and Keep Sparking! emoticon emoticon

KOALA_BEAR SparkPoints: (18,475)
Fitness Minutes: (1,207)
Posts: 1,172
6/22/13 11:15 P

I have used a combination of methods. The recipe builder, what others have entered, restaurant menu items that are close to what I ate, especially if I was out at an independent place. I will check the counts and pick an average, or enter myself into either Groupings or Favorites.

I also have certain standard foods that I eat frequently and the Groupings has been great since it was added.

When I am really ambitious, I enter my food in advance as a day planner, then copy from week to week based on a meal planner calendar I set up. Sometimes breakfast, lunch & snacks are to the T but then dinner plans change - ie Hubby wants to go out or I work late and we do something else. It really saves time then, and also allows me to see ahead of time how many calories I have left - or how few. Really keeps me on track.

Per my most recent doctor visit, it is clear I need to do more of that as I gained back some of what I lost so am now strictly tracking again to the last bite.

One suggestion, if you've hit a plateau set up misc foods. Research suggests that most of us underestimate portions so if you aren't measuring - just eyeballing from practice, do so every now and then to stay honest and not get distorted, and throw in some of those misc a couple times a week. I set up some that are for 25, 50, 75 and 100 calories just based on what I suspect. Like a little taste of something someone brought to work that I didn't pass up or wasn't sure how to count. It makes me more aware of not just how many calories I'm eating but when I'm running short late in the day and have to eat a can of green beans to get in that extra veggie, it stops me from repeating that mistake the next time - usually the next day. emoticon

AMYRYLE SparkPoints: (44,202)
Fitness Minutes: (34,713)
Posts: 102
6/22/13 10:47 P

I plan out my meals a week in advance, so I can grocery shop efficiently. Then each morning while enjoying my coffee, I login and track all my planned food for the day. This also lets me enjoy the anticipation of what food I get to eat, rather than obsessing on what I can't have. At the end of the day I make any adjustments to what I actually ate, so I have a correct record.

MOTHERBOARDER SparkPoints: (284,264)
Fitness Minutes: (136,143)
Posts: 13,616
6/22/13 10:24 A

4 decades now

PAGANINIJ SparkPoints: (1,679)
Fitness Minutes: (2,326)
Posts: 1
6/22/13 5:20 A

I find tracking incredibly useful. There are times when my 'need' to eat something over-whelms sense, desire to get to my proper weight etc. etc. Logging exactly what I ate gets things into proportion.
1 - I can see how if I hadn't eaten all of whatever it was I could have remained on track
2 - Often I can see what calories, protein, carbs etc are left and plan a meal that takes that into account. (That was how I discovered that fat free cottage cheese, a handful of oatmeal and a couple of portions of fruit with a sprinkling of ground ginger and sweetener makes a meal that satisfies me.)
3 - Sometimes I get a shock eg., there was a day when I went way over target by eating about 12 portions of fruit and veg.
4 - I'm getting better at portion sizes, eg 1 banana may well be equivalent to 2 or more portions! So now I make sure I buy small ones or cut the big ones my husband loves to buy in half.

LPPTOGO Posts: 94
6/21/13 8:12 P

I cannot lose weight without tracking. The nutrition tracker here is great! It helps me control fat, as well as calories. Also, it's a great way to make sure I'm getting enough protein. When I don't track calories, I usually gain weight!

SCLEVERSLEY SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (869)
Posts: 5
6/20/13 6:37 P

I absolutely LOVE the "favorites" portion of the trackers on this site. Every time I eat a new food (or a food that I have never tracked before), I add it to my favorites list and I usually manually enter it so that it is the most accurate it can possibly be. Accuracy and consistency is key in your weight loss journey and this tracker is perfect for doing so :) Everyone has their favorite brands of bread, cheeses, low fat special yogurts, etc that are not universal like produce- this lets me customize my eating plan for ME and helps me to be the very best I can be while still enjoying the foods that I love. So far within the past year, I have lost 35 pounds and more fit than I have ever been in my life- all while on SparkPeople. Truly a blessing :)

SCAMP2004 Posts: 30
6/20/13 3:07 P

I definitely need to keep track of everything I eat. The tracker is really helpful. I know that when I don't track, I do overeat. Tracking is a great tool!

6/20/13 9:02 A

While I find consistency in calorie tracking important, for me, it is just as important to evaluate the nutrients to be sure I am getting healthier while losing the weight. We have started eating so differently than before.I can only say, I was not getting nearly enough of most of the nutrients I track.

LDYBGD Posts: 67
6/20/13 9:01 A

for me, tracking what I'm eating is just part of mindful eating. The OCD in me enjoys the tracking as much as my taste buds enjoy the food.

KAREN155 Posts: 50
6/19/13 11:29 P


Don't get too down on yourself. Life happens and we fall down. Getting back up is what's most important!!! You've gotten up. Congratulations!!!

MJLUVSANIMALS SparkPoints: (92,397)
Fitness Minutes: (25,031)
Posts: 3,372
6/19/13 11:07 P

I just lost 22 lbs in 3 months. And I can say my nutrition tracker was the best tool to make sure I didn't eat more than allotted. YAY TRACKER!!!!

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