Can you count? Good. Because if you know that 300 calories are more than 250, and that 4 grams of fat are less than 6, youíll do just fine with the SparkDiet.
You may have guessed by now that tracking calories and other nutritional info is a large part of the SparkDiet. Why? Because weight loss in any form comes down to simply burning more calories than you take in. Even fad diets wouldnít have some short-term success if this werenít true.
Do you know how many calories you had for lunch? For dinner last night? The SparkPeople menu planner and nutrition tracker tool is an easy way to find out if youíre reaching the calorie goals that will open up the doors to weight loss. If youíre not used to keeping track of your calories or food, now is the right time to practice.
You could guess or estimate. But dieting-by-guessing is like buying a car over the phone Ė- you never know if youíre making decisions on good information. By tracking at least during Stage 1 and Stage 2, youíll have more ammo for choices down the road.
This is especially important in the age of exploding portion sizes. (Did you know that the average fast food hamburger grew 23% from 1977 to 1997?) Itís so easy to fool ourselves, and tracking doesnít lie.
Begin practicing with the food tracker right now, starting with todayís menu. Start to build the habit of tracking your food after every meal or at the end of every day. Look up some of your favorites and see how they stack up. You can also input your own foods and save them for easy access later on.
Donít worry about meeting your actual calorie goals every day yet. Save that for Stage 2. Think of this as practice, as a learning opportunity. Education is the foundation of a healthy lifestyle, and having a good understanding of what youíre putting in your body is one of the smartest things you can do.
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