Friday, March 19, 2010

Eating real food or tracking? Which is more key?

So, every other time I've lost weight, one of the keys that got me there was tracking my food intake. And, every time I gained it back, one of the pivotal moments was when I stopped tracking my food intake.

I have an admission to make. I haven't tracked my food in a week and a half. Yet, I'm feeling in control. I lost 1.6 pounds at weigh in last night. I'm confident that my portion sizes haven't gotten out of control.

Every other time that I've lost weight, I've relied heavily on artificial sweeteners, low fat, and diet food. My attitude was that obesity was a bigger health risk then consuming artificial sweeteners, so if they helped me get to my goal, it was worth it. Obesity is probably a bigger health risk, but did the artificial sweeteners and diet foods actually help me get to my goal? Even if they did, were they helpful or detrimental when it came time to maintain that goal?

This time, I've been very focused on eating real foods. I completely avoid artificial sweeteners and if I can't pronounce some of the ingredients, I really question whether I should eat it. Then I cut out sugar.

After the first few days, I started feeling more balanced and controlled. I didn't have constant cravings for various foods. I wasn't tracking, but I was eating reasonable portions at reasonable times.

I am now questioning one of my key beliefs about weight loss and maintenance: the necessity of tracking. Has the key to controlling my weight always been in strictly controlling refined carbohydrates? All of the sudden, I feel like I might just be a normal person and able to eat like a normal person, and I have no doubt it's due the fact that I've stopped consuming food that functions like a drug in my body.

I don't know the answer to that yet. However, I'm going to start tracking again. Even if I decide it isn't a necessity all of the time, I want to be able to look back on this. If I start to struggle again, I want to review the foods I was eating when things were working for me.


  1. It sounds like you may have answered the question for yourself. The fact that you feel so much better without the refined carbs is wonderful. That may have been exactly what you needed.

    I went to a nutrition presentation a few months ago and one thing that the presenter said stuck out to me. She said that when we start to nourish our bodies properly, weight loss tends to be a natural side effect.

  2. It's great that you're seeking these pearls of wisdom. Keep 'em coming, and congrats on the drop!

  3. One of the reasons I track my food intake is that I know exactly how much I'm eating and exercising so there's no guessing what I did right or wrong when I step on the scale.

    Another reason is precisely what you weeks that I feel hungry or want to know how I did, I can see why in my history.

    It works for me. I'm down 90 pounds so far, and it feels great.

    What works for you is the best thing for you to just keep being aware, and continue to take it one day at a time. :)

  4. sounds like youre doing great!