Giving Calorie Counting a Go

For a while now, I’ve entertained the idea of trying the 30-day Isagenix cleanse everyone at CAC has been raving about. Something’s been holding me back though. I worry I would use the program as a quick fix for everything that’s wrong with my eating and nutrition, then go back to however I was eating before.

I’d treat it like a fad diet. I would probably lose a bunch of weight, feel great, receive tons of compliments. Then I’d gain it all back one month later when I went back to eating burgers and cutting cupcakes in half, then ultimately devouring both halves (I’m not the only one who does this… right?).

I’m still not against trying Isagenix, but I decided I have some work to do on my own before I jump into the program and expect it to solve all my nutrition problems. I need to have a better sense of what I’m eating day-to-day. I convince myself I eat really well because I load up on vegetables at the grocery store, but I tend to block out how many glasses of wine or pieces of pizza I also might have consumed.

So, I’m trying something I’ve resisted for years and years: tracking what I eat. A food journal is a proven and effective way to improve your eating habits because you see “on paper” everything you might have forgotten that you ate each day. I downloaded the MyFitnessPal app, and I’m giving it a shot. After a few fits and starts, I am going to do my best to stick for this for one month.

I don’t like certain things about this. I tend to stay away from calories. I prefer to read ingredient lists and try to stay away from unprocessed foods because counting calories takes all the fun out everything. I don’t want to be obsessing about numbers all day.

But, I have to admit it does help put things into perspective. That pasta salad was 500 calories? Yikes. And that was just my afternoon snack. It also helps me realize what I already know to be a fact, but have trouble admitting to myself. An hour at the gym can be gobbled up in just a few seconds. By that I mean, I can spend an hour burning 500 calories in spin class, only to eat the same amount of calories in a few bites. I tend to convince myself it’s okay to have a little bit extra of this or that because I’m such a gym rat. But it kinda doesn’t work like that. Not at all, actually.

Now that I’ve publicly told the world I’m trying this thing, I really gotta keep it up! Hopefully I’ll be back next week with some insight. Have you tried tracking what you eat?

betsy pic--
Betsy Mikel |