Today I began.
My first move was to drop my portions and document what I was eating. I picked an arbitrary goal of 1000 calories. This seemed the common sense thing. Let’s face it, many Americans consume three or four times what they really need.
I started with reading labels. I nearly went into shock
when I discovered that what I considered to be two healthy bean wraps, almost all the calories were in the shell. Each shell was 170 calories a piece. That was over a third of my target for the entire day without considering breakfast or dinner or snacks!
This day was a bust.
Then I found http://www.MyPyramid.gov which is helpful with unlabeled foods like fruits and vegetables. If you register with them and log in, you can actually enter your diet using a search field allowing you to store up to seven days based on 2400 Calories in a day. It also projects “Extras” or junk in your diet like sugars, solid fats and alcohol. The search function has some packaged stuff, but can sometimes be way off, like the large tortilla shells it had listed as 90 calories when packaging showed 170. I would have loved to have used only the Menu Tracker function, BUT this lack of accuracy and flexibility was enough to submarine the entire purpose of tracking my progress.
It’s a good reference, but certainly not the only tool for me to use for now.
So I set up a small spreadsheet. Initially I’m starting out with a Date, Intake or Output, and a Calorie column. Simplistic for now. Who knows what it will look like later.