Thursday, 16 February 2012

Calorie Counting

I started a little over a week ago keeping track of my calorie intake using the myfitnesspal website and android app.  All daily food and drink consumption is recorded and the total daily intake can then be reduced by recording any exercise that you do each day i.e. running, walking, etc. to reach a target daily amount that is predetermined by the amount of weight you want to lose as stipulated when you set up a myfitnesspal account.

I did this partly to see what all the fuss was about, partly to see whether I could quickly shift the last few lbs required to get me down to my current target weight (under 13 stone) and partly as I was interested to see how much on average my current daily intake actually was. 

The trial for me lasted a little over a week; enough time for me to work out what my average daily intake is (approx 1800 calories) which was meeting my pre-set target to continue losing weight but, I took the decision to stop using it after a week and have since removed the app from my phone and deleted the website bookmark on my computer...

It was good fun to begin with seeing how much calories certain foods/meals contain but I had to let go in the end.  I felt that I was becoming tied to the site which is good if its 100% accurate but unfortunately it just doesn’t know enough food combinations / ingredients despite claiming it knows millions; takeaways can be difficult to accurately record and not all supermarket foods are listed.  Although, you can take the time to create recipe's for missing meals which does help to alleviate the issues but it can be time consuming.  Plus, to use it accurately you would need to weigh all your food to ensure you were correctly recording the correct serving sizes i.e. is the apple I’m eating 50g or 80g, did I eat 1/2 a packet or was it only 1/3 of a packet of Midget Gems, etc.

I was also getting to the stage of worrying what I was eating in case it pushed me over my target daily intake.  This is good I suppose as its making you think but when I've already lost 3-4 stone through just running and perhaps being a bit more sensible in what, when and how much  I eat without worrying up to this point too much about drastically changing my eating / drinking habits I had to ask myself is there any rush to lose the weight any quicker?  

Additionally, I don’t have the best smell or taste buds in the world so I didn’t want to become too accustomed to a site which warned/scared me away from foods that I can still manage to enjoy i.e. Ben & Jerry’s Cookie Dough Ice Cream or Midget Gems!

For some people, this kind of recording activity which makes you think about what your eating / drinking can certainly help with losing weight as it can help provide people with the shock needed to change their eating & drinking habits.  But, for me it’s too much and not what I need, especially as the weight is still coming off through running (when I’m not bunged up with a cold that is!) and sensible eating alone, albeit at a slower rate.  All I need is a little more patience as, I’ve come so far already!

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