Another way to look at it is to remember that it's a NUTRITION tracker, not just a calorie tracker, and focus on what good things you do or don't get out of certain foods. A cup of broccoli will add a few calories, but it will also give you some fiber, calcium, and even protein. A single cookie gives you twice as many calories, but no fiber, calcium, or protein. If you look at it as "getting the best value for your calorie," it becomes easier to eat your veggies and skip other things you don't really need.
It was kind of a shock to me when I realized that I could eat a whole pound of strawberries or watermelon for fewer calories than two Chips Ahoy (which aren't even that good), and get fiber and vitamins to boot. I think a big key to weight control is realizing that eating enough of the good stuff is just as important as avoiding the "bad" stuff.
I think it depends on what is easier for you. The key is to find your preference, so you are more likely to stick with it.
My hubby & I are both trying to lose weight, be healthier. He keeps a notebook and writes in what he eats each day along with calories. I did that for a while, but I prefer Spark. (Have a mobile app so I can access thru my phone, which is convenient.) He would never go online to track.
You may find that tracking everything on Spark isn't as complicated as it seems. If there are foods you eat often, then there is a box you can check to add them to your favorites. Then when you go to add your foods for the day, select favorites and you can add them all at once.
I have found a good way to add bulk, without major calories, to my meals is thru salad. A cup of spinach with some other veggies (or sometimes without) works well for me. I add cheese & light dressing - don't care for many of the fat free options - but in small doses. For 50-70 calories, its a decent amount of food.
It sounds like the list of items your doc said to skip tracking are all fairly low in calories, so they won't make much overall difference in your daily count.
Thanks. She and I talked that I have good intentions often, but quite soon. and one of the reasons is feeling like "I'm starving", which she said is mental, not phsyical. So if I eat a huge salad my mind thinks the plate is full "old style".
I just "started" dieting, my 18millionth time. :-) I know what to eat, but DOING it is my problem.
I was suggested by my doc to try Sparks, both for the encouragement and the tools.
I do have one question though - I am very large (200 lbs, but 5 foot tall) and am used to eating A LOT (as in, huge portions). my doc suggested that until I am a few lbs lower, until I'm more comfortable with the idea of smaller portiosn, I can ignore tracking/counting a large variety of veg, to encourage me to fill my "eyes" with lots of veg. (She gave me a list of things i can skip tracking, like lettuce, tomatoes, green peppers, some squashes, and ones to track like potatoes, corn, peas, etc).
I don't know if it's better to skip writing it into the tracker, so it doesn't add the cals, or to track it, but ignore the "overage" at the end of the day.
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