Monday, March 28, 2011
Why I LOVE Livestrong.com
Livestrong.com has one of the best calorie counters out there under it's "myplate" section. Since individuals can add foods to the database it is probably the largest database of foods that I know of. I have waited for YEARS for something like this and no they are not paying me for all the advertising I am giving them :) I am just grateful they exist and for free!
I remember when the best way to count calories was to pull out an encyclopedia size book, that didn't have your specific item in it anyway, or go to a local University and use a system that cost money.
Livestrong has a system where you can easily see your calorie consumption and macro-nutrient intake with pie charts and graphs. It also calculates your calories burned through exercise so if you did running, scuba diving or zumba it also has a large database of those exercises and their calorie counts and it calculates it all for you. Also you can create meals and instead of logging in each item for your meal over and over you log it in once under meals and then use that meal (for example Tacos) every time after.
Some studies suggest that food journals can double your weight loss and I have even heard higher numbers than that.
If you are not good at counting calories...try it again. It isn't a perfect process, Even if you fail at it miserably you will see that your eating is better for just trying to keep a food journal. Realize that even when you only log in half your calories you are still making better choices at the very thought of logging them in.
Unless you are on a strict diet or in your active weight loss process you don't need to count calories every day. Just until you have a shocking awareness of how much is in everything and adjust meals accordingly. I would have people keep their food journals for at least a week straight without enforcing any adjustments on them. Not one client ended the week without significant changes in place already.
To be honest I can easily, EASILY consume 3000 calories in a day without any extra effort and that is a conservative estimate. Most Americans according to different sources consume between 2600-3700 calories a day. That is over double what most of us need and it makes sense why 2 out of 3 Americans are overweight.
So if you can't keep a food journal, try, try, try again. You don't fail until you stop trying. It is not a perfect process. It isn't about how well you keep track on paper or in a database it is about making changes in your heart and in your mind. Unite with a friend to keep a food journal. In the beginning make no goals at all except to keep a journal and you will see the start of great changes.