In previous posts, I wrote about how I gained 20 lbs with alarming speed after the birth of my youngest child 2 years ago. And I wrote here about the book and meal plan I used to finally get my food intake in check.
The app that helped me keep it together
Another part of this puzzle was knowing exactly what I was eating. Before making these changes to my diet, I had no idea how many calories I was consuming. So, when I started on the 6-week plan, I started using an app called Fooducate to track my daily food intake.
Fooducate (one of many, many calorie-tracking apps out there) became my daily companion. I would enter what I ate (fairly compulsively, I’ll be honest) and how much I had worked out that day. It tracks not only the calories, but the overall quality of your food, including how much is processed, what your sodium intake is and how many carbs, etc. you’re eating.
You enter a few pieces of data about yourself and you set your weight loss goals. Then, the app lets you know how you’re doing. I liked watching my weight loss being charted, as well as being able to see, in a weekly or monthly layout, how well I was doing with my calorie goals. The app saves my most-eaten foods and I can choose them quickly from my list. Again, there are a million of these kinds of apps, this one just fit my needs. I know a ton of people, including my 24-year-old son the physical trainer, who use My Fitness Pal, for example.
Most importantly, it just helped me actually know how much I was eating. Knowing that an egg has 70 calories and a Pop Tart has 210 calories helped me feel really good about the choices I was making. I started looking at food very differently. Where before I would just pop a fish stick in my mouth that my son hadn’t eaten, now I’d look at that fish stick as 100 calories I’d rather eat elsewhere. Or not eat at all. Again, it was the knowing.
Let me say that I did, for a little bit at the beginning, get overly compulsive with calorie counting. But then, a wise, wise friend of mine reminded me that, while I could force myself under 1,000 calories a day, that wasn’t going to equal real weight loss, just “fake”, or short term loss that would come right back. I quickly realized I wanted long term results and wanted plenty of energy for my day, so I settled in at 1,300 calories a day and never looked back. Because this is not about being compulsive or living for certain numbers. This is about feeling good in our bodies. Period.
Next post, the workout routine that helped me rev up my metabolism and get firm again. Preview: it only involves 4 workouts at 30 minutes a piece. Totally do-able.