You ever have one of those work weeks that by Friday make you feel like you’re panting and out of breath? I’ve had a couple of those back to back. But my games have launched finally and the worst is behind me—back to the grind!
One of the most important tools you can possibly keep in your repertoire for weight loss and maintenance is meal tracking. For weight loss, meal tracking can give you a sense of control over how quickly or slowly you lose weight. Your meal tracker won’t make food decisions for you, but it gives you control over your accountability. For weight maintenance, meal tracking is the perfect way to get yourself back on track—like when your company sends you to NYC and you decide to go a little nuts on NY pizza and street meat. Hypothetically, of course.
I use a great meal tracker that was created by the 20/20 Lifestyles program that I did my weight loss with (they’re hoping to make the program available to the public in the future). But there are a lot of great meal trackers online.
One of my good friends started using the LiveStrong.com My Plate program created by the Lance Armstrong Foundation (http://www.livestrong.com/myplate). She’s found the program to have almost all features she needs to help her track her weight loss (as well as some health issues). Here are her favorite features for My Plate:
- Provides numbers on calories, carbs, protein, fat, and sodium for each food. You can create saved meals (foods consumed at the same time) and recipes which provide the same numbers.
- Huge database of foods (even my weird gluten free foods) including foods that don’t have calories on the package (like Whole Foods’ sausages).
- Tracks weight, exercise and water intake as well.
- Has reasonable calorie goals (although the goals for fat, carbs, protein are a little skewed towards carbs). Can chart weight against calories and see if a change is necessary.
- Great recipe feature! Since my husband and I cook together, and we usually cook multiple portions to reheat later. What I do is I put all the ingredients into the system, and the servings, and it will tell me the calories/protein/carbs per serving (this helps me decide if it is worth making). Then when we make it, I weight the pot empty and full and put into the system the total weight so that it will remind me what the right serving size is each time I have it.
Have you discovered any online (or offline) meal trackers that have been helpful?