|Time to either stop eating for the day or hop on the treadmill!|
Sparkpeople is another popular online tracker that's free.
It would be easy to adapt my system to work with Weight Watchers points system (just track points instead of calories, and follow the guidelines of getting lean protein at every meal, eating lots of veggies, and add flaxseed to your diet). I have a great deal of respect for WW and it's the only online tool I'd ever pay to use.
Why do you need a tracker and what can it do for you?
|An online tracker will easily set your calorie goals and update them |
for you as you lose weight.
2) Look things up BEFORE you eat them. Most packaged foods & restaurant foods are in the database, so it's easy to check on things, as well as several versions of most homemade foods. This makes it really easy to test out different scenarios, research a restaurant, etc. before you decide what to eat. You can also figure out how to modify or include your favorite foods in your diet... like maybe you'll discover that you can still enjoy those two slices of pizza for lunch if you're willing to switch to thin crust and choose a leaner topping! TIP: Since a lot of foods are entered by users, there are some mistakes. Look over the calorie counts & check that they seem correct. For instance, I started to put in 'chicken breast, roasted, skinless' the other day and most of the listings had about 1.5 grams of fat but one listing showed 11.5.
|At Applebee's & wanting some steak? Salad's the best diet choice, right? |
Ummm... not so much :( Good thing you looked it up!
|Guess where on this graph I stopped messing around|
and started journalling my food?
3) Track your workouts. Your calorie tracker should have an extensive database of specific exercises, as well as generic categories like 'weightlifting-moderate.' TIP: I find these calorie expenditures to be on the high side, as much as double what I feel I've expended, especially for dance and yoga classes where lots of time goes into warmup, cooldown and instruction. I usually cut my exercise times in half for tracking purposes.
*to set your calorie count manually, you could use
The Harris-Benedict formula to determine your maintenance calories
Women: BMR = 655 + (9.6 X wt in kg) + (1.8 X ht in cm) - (4.7 X age in years)
Then for each pound you want to lose, subtract 500 calories per day. (there are 3500 calories in a pound of fat) Be warned, though, that this method doesn't account for body composition and is most accurate for people who are already at ideal weights. It tends to underestimate calorie counts for the very muscular and overestimate counts for people with more body fat. Personally, I find the MyPlate calculator under 'calorie goals' to be spot on and easy to use.