Do You Keep Track?

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Do You Keep Track?

Post by SapphireSongs on Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:31 pm

Recently I had an interesting conversation with my sister. She noticed that I have a tiny day planner in which I keep track of what food goes into my body and how I react to it (as well as water intake, weight, and general notes/impressions from the week's choices). As I made entries throughout the day, my sister voiced her amazement that I even thought to do so! Apparently it had never occurred to her to see how her body responded to what she ate, except to note that eating a lot of dairy will give her tonsil stones.

It's well established in my circles that I have a very fickle/trouble-making/sensitive stomach, and over the years I've gotten pretty good at figuring what will make me sick and what will sit well. Since choosing Primal, I've found that keeping closer track of my food is not only helpful so I can keep myself accountable, stay on target, and develop good long-term habits, but I can also see what keeps me happy and smiling versus what will make me nauseous.

To my sister I explained my general goals as far as what I eat, then went into the analysis of my intake: did that food give me energy, make my stomach upset, or bloat me? Perhaps I had a headache that day from not drinking enough water... Did I eat too much sugar and crash later in the day? Could I go a long time without eating because I'd eaten well leading up to it, or did I feel ill from a carb- and sugar-filled breakfast?

So, my question is: does anyone else do this or am I the only one? Question
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Re: Do You Keep Track?

Post by Acroyali on Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:01 pm

My answer: Yes and No.
I know, so helpful Razz

I think this is an extremely good habit to have (tracking what you eat and how it makes you feel.)
By yes, I mean I have done this in the past and found certain foods made me feel really sluggish and others do not. I don't keep it up though, maybe I should, but right now I've got a good handle on what works and what doesn't.
Anyone suffering from any kind of health problem would probably benefit from this, assuming the results of eating are easily track-able and don't take time to "pile up."

I also found it interesting to take it a step further and write down any cravings (non-pregnancy related!), and take note on how long they lasted and what happened if i gave in. A fleeting craving for cake or cookies or something is one thing, but if we crave something off the wall for a long period of time, it's kind of weird.
(A year or so ago, I craved bananas. I hate bananas. I ate them like disgusting candy. I'd take a bite, be all "OMG this is so nasty", polish it off, then have another while bitching about the flavor, texture, etc. 2 or 3 years ago, I craved parsley like no other and ate it raw and by the handful. I chewed it like gum. It was so weird.)

Personally, I've noticed certain carbs make me feel really sluggish, even though I love them (rice, potatoes, etc.) and others (fruits, certain veg, etc.) don't. Some greens (spinach especially) is like an adrenaline shot in my veins. I LOVE fatty meat but it makes me feel like taking a nap but lean meat does not.

I think you're onto a really good habit and will/are learning a lot about your own, unique body chemistry and what acts as fuel and what doesn't. Cool idea! Smile

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Re: Do You Keep Track?

Post by SapphireSongs on Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:59 pm


Acroyali wrote:
I think this is an extremely good habit to have (tracking what you eat and how it makes you feel.)
By yes, I mean I have done this in the past and found certain foods made me feel really sluggish and others do not.  I don't keep it up though, maybe I should, but right now I've got a good handle on what works and what doesn't.
Anyone suffering from any kind of health problem would probably benefit from this, assuming the results of eating are easily track-able and don't take time to "pile up."

Yes! Long term, like you, I know I'll have a better idea of what is working for me within the Primal parameters. But starting back anew, it's easier for me to stay focused with some accountability from myself, because even if I have a day of awful choices, I'll honestly write them down. (Sometimes knowing I'll do so is enough deterrent to stay away! "I don't want to have to write down 'Whoopie Pie' in my journal today and then have to kick myself, so I think I'll pass." Embarassed) I figured that if I kept the journal for a year I'd have a good record of my food choices, see my weight slowly drop over time, and ingrain solid habits.

And I'm old school: for me, physically writing on paper is SOOOOOO much easier and faster than trying to log foods into a website (which I have done and hated). So if I miss a day or two, either it's no biggie OR it's super quick to recall and fill in what I left out, then just keep be-bopping along in my day.

Acroyali wrote:
A fleeting craving for cake or cookies or something is one thing, but if we crave something off the wall for a long period of time, it's kind of weird.
(A year or so ago, I craved bananas. I hate bananas. I ate them like disgusting candy. I'd take a bite, be all "OMG this is so nasty", polish it off, then have another while bitching about the flavor, texture, etc. 2 or 3 years ago, I craved parsley like no other and ate it raw and by the handful. I chewed it like gum. It was so weird.)

I craved ice with my first pregnancy (iron deficiency?); for 8 months I'd freeze little pats of ice and munch all day long. During labor, I sent my husband across the street to Sunoco to buy a 10lb bag of ice, and he and my midwife fed me ice all night! It was amazing! And super strange, because the rest of the time my teeth are sensitive to cold, but they didn't even notice it then!
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Re: Do You Keep Track?

Post by Acroyali on Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:34 pm

Haha, like you I can jot stuff down way faster than I can log into a tracker. I like the physical copy, old school here as well!
I've had days of awful choices out of laziness, time constraints, or whatever. I can't say this is everyone's experience, but as a former junk food addict I can now indulge, enjoy it, and move on. I no longer spend the next 6 months thinking obsessively over the stuff I "shouldn't have" because my taste buds have changed; I still like baked yums but they've lost that hyper-excited "WOW" factor and settled into a "this is really good!...can I have more zucchini?" Plus, I think anytime someone like me (foodie!) orders ourselves to never EVER touch another (food item) we're screwing ourselves from the get go.

I've done Whole 30 and actually enjoyed it, but I did a more stringent type of fast (shorter time period) for religious/spiritual purposes and that was kind of eye opening in it's own way. Whole 30 wasn't a huge thing because it was a 30 day deal, I had the OK from myself that it was only a month rather than demanding that I no longer eat a huge list of stuff I liked and only eat stuff I hadn't turned onto yet.

Best advice I ever got was to not worry so much about subtracting the bad foods (at first,) but instead concentrate on adding in good stuff. Eventually, your taste buds (and body cells) demand the good stuff!


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Re: Do You Keep Track?

Post by OnTheBayou on Thu Feb 15, 2018 8:59 am

I think that your goal is admirable, but since it's n=1 and highly subjective without all the other controls a scientific experiment would require, I'm somewhat dubious. Way too many variables in daily life to say that A results in B at the nuance level.

Having said that, the only way I can consistently lose weight is to track all of my food intake. The numbers keep me honest, no, don't get that blue cheese out of the fridge, you've had your 1600 calories.

The advantage of computer records vs. paper is the ease of accumulating and sorting data. Ka-zing! There's graph of my weight over time, or macro ratios, etc.

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Re: Do You Keep Track?

Post by ONTARIO on Thu Feb 15, 2018 9:34 am

I keep track once in a while. I find the daily tracking of food, macros, etc makes me a little over the top crazy. I dwell too much on it. So every few months I will go to MyFitnessPal and track for a week or two just to see where I might be taking in too much of this or that or too little of something else. It helps me to get back to basics if I identify a problem.

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Re: Do You Keep Track?

Post by SapphireSongs on Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:41 pm

Acroyali wrote:Haha, like you I can jot stuff down way faster than I can log into a tracker.  I like the physical copy, old school here as well!  
I've had days of awful choices out of laziness, time constraints, or whatever.  I can't say this is everyone's experience, but as a former junk food addict I can now indulge, enjoy it, and move on.  I no longer spend the next 6 months thinking obsessively over the stuff I "shouldn't have" because my taste buds have changed; I still like baked yums but they've lost that hyper-excited "WOW" factor and settled into a "this is really good!...can I have more zucchini?"  Plus, I think anytime someone like me (foodie!) orders ourselves to never EVER touch another (food item) we're screwing ourselves from the get go.  

...

Best advice I ever got was to not worry so much about subtracting the bad foods (at first,) but instead concentrate on adding in good stuff.  Eventually, your taste buds (and body cells) demand the good stuff!


All of what you said! I find that if I prohibit myself from eating something less than ideal, then eventually I binge big time. But when I allow better choices to fill my days, my tastes change and develop and I no longer desire the crap I used to live on. Yay for progress!
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Re: Do You Keep Track?

Post by KetoJulia on Sun Feb 18, 2018 1:41 pm

I do track, but just the boring stuff, calories and macros.... and I also weigh every.single.thing. I eat cuz I'm weird and OCD like that. Eyeballing never worked for me.

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Re: Do You Keep Track?

Post by OnTheBayou on Sun Feb 18, 2018 4:30 pm

KetoJulia wrote:I do track, but just the boring stuff, calories and macros.... and I also weigh every.single.thing. I eat cuz I'm weird and OCD like that. Eyeballing never worked for me.

Julia

Exactly, and why I've been saying for years, "This is the only thing that works for me." YMMV. It IS such a drag, so I call it "Back on the chain gang." After a low of 198# late July, I then continued recording until early October. Went up ten pounds, but I was still happy. THEN I connected with Kirsten 11/19, and I have gained 14 pounds in three months! Fixing too much good food for us. How about chocolate-orange sweet and sour sauce on ribs for Valentine's Day? Ignoring carbs and even wheat.

She hasn't gained weight, grrrrrrr......... (but grateful!)

I still don't want to get back on the chain gang, but we are aiming for low carb. Again, for me, new for her. so it's a teaching process for me to her. She is a teacher, I'm retired, we don't live together, so I try to make as many nutritious lunches for her as I can. Thirty minutes ago I sent her home with two quarts of stir fried veggies, two boiled chicken legs, and two ribs.

Oops, of topic!


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Re: Do You Keep Track?

Post by Rig D on Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:36 am

OTB - Hope you are successful with your net low carb effort. I too have added a bunch and trying to knock it back down in 2018.
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Re: Do You Keep Track?

Post by OnTheBayou on Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:40 am

Rig D wrote:OTB - Hope you are successful with your net low carb effort. I too have added a bunch and trying to knock it back down in 2018.

The scale now went down two days in a row for a total of 4.9 pounds. Hooray!

Hope you get something similar. (We both know the early days are the big loss days.)

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Re: Do You Keep Track?

Post by KetoJulia on Mon Feb 19, 2018 11:21 am

Oh OTB, I know alllllll about the New Love poundage.. I never gave six shits at first, but then yeah, you look
down and you're like "wait... wuh happun?" Thankfully for you, 14 pounds ain't no thing but a chicken wing (low carb pun intended). You know you can do it.

And you know what, damn that Kirsten for not gaining an ounce! I mean, it's great and all, but NOT FAIR. Ha ha.

Good luck with low carb and tracking, you will rock it. You could maybe start a low carb support thread here if you need
some daily beration accountability......

Good luck to you too, RigD.. it's a commitment (to lose some poundage) for sure.

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Re: Do You Keep Track?

Post by sharperhawk on Mon Feb 19, 2018 1:41 pm

If you're counting calories, why bother with low carb? Some people eating LC have such low appetites that they lose fat without counting calories. But if you're not one of them, why not just embrace the flexibility that comes with the concept of calories - i.e., an energy equivalence across all kinds of foods?
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Re: Do You Keep Track?

Post by OnTheBayou on Mon Feb 19, 2018 2:03 pm

sharperhawk wrote:If you're counting calories, why bother with low carb? Some people eating LC have such low appetites that they lose fat without counting calories. But if you're not one of them, why not just embrace the flexibility that comes with the concept of calories - i.e., an energy equivalence across all kinds of foods?

Because losing fat isn't just about energy. It's also about minimizing insulin, which prevents the body from accessing fat stores.

LC does help on the hunger front, but it is certainly not a major effect, for me, at least.


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Re: Do You Keep Track?

Post by KetoJulia on Mon Feb 19, 2018 2:15 pm

Same.

If I just counted calories and ate all foods, I'd be starving.



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Re: Do You Keep Track?

Post by sharperhawk on Mon Feb 19, 2018 2:47 pm

OnTheBayou wrote:Because losing fat isn't just about energy.  It's also about minimizing insulin, which prevents the body from accessing fat stores.

When people are put in metabolic wards, macro differences produce only tiny differences in fat loss. Technically, low carb produces less fat loss when comparing isocaloric diets. It's really calories that account for almost all the variance when comparing diets with different calories.
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Re: Do You Keep Track?

Post by ONTARIO on Mon Feb 19, 2018 3:56 pm

This thread reminds me of the new calorie rules in Ontario. Restaurants now have to have the calories of every menu item posted beside the item. It's got to suck for them. I know that I have personally seen calorie numbers of items that I used to buy before the new rules and suddenly have a, "no thanks" reaction to eating that item. It really does make customers more aware. It's a great tool when eating out.

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Re: Do You Keep Track?

Post by Rocky07 on Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:28 pm

sharperhawk wrote:It's really calories that account for almost all the variance when comparing diets with different calories.

That has been my experience; I have been carefully tracking calories and macros for many years maintaining my weight within a few pounds. This has been a nice change considering I gained, lost and regained 20-30 pounds at least every ten years for most of my life. IF has also helped. I eat all of my daily calories in a 9 hour window. I am now 69.

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Re: Do You Keep Track?

Post by OnTheBayou on Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:40 pm

sharperhawk wrote:
OnTheBayou wrote:Because losing fat isn't just about energy.  It's also about minimizing insulin, which prevents the body from accessing fat stores.

When people are put in metabolic wards, macro differences produce only tiny differences in fat loss. Technically, low carb produces less fat loss when comparing isocaloric diets. It's really calories that account for almost all the variance when comparing diets with different calories.

That's true. However, in real life, people will feel more satiated on a LC diet and eat less food overall.

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Re: Do You Keep Track?

Post by OnTheBayou on Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:45 pm

ONTARIO wrote:This thread reminds me of the new calorie rules in Ontario. Restaurants now have to have the calories of every menu item posted beside the item. It's got to suck for them. I know that I have personally seen calorie numbers of items that I used to buy before the new rules and suddenly have a, "no thanks" reaction to eating that item. It really does make customers more aware. It's a great tool when eating out.

I'm sure a lot of restaurants just use "close enough" information from the USDA (is there a Canadian one?) food database. If it's a combination of things, like a salad or a stew, it's just a matter of adding ingredients and dividing to the portion. I'll bet a lot of restaurants are not going to strive for accuracy.

Fast food outlets have been providing calorie information for many years, at least here. Of course, they can afford to run everything through a lab.

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Re: Do You Keep Track?

Post by sharperhawk on Mon Feb 19, 2018 7:35 pm

In the real world, most people can't stick to LC. Even on this forum and the old MDA forum, people tell their stories about falling off the wagon. So LC people eat less food for 3, 6, 12 months, and then they eat more food. That's what the free-living diet studies say: after a while, the differences between diets disappear.
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Re: Do You Keep Track?

Post by OnTheBayou on Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:42 pm

sharperhawk wrote:In the real world, most people can't stick to LC. Even on this forum and the old MDA forum, people tell their stories about falling off the wagon. So LC people eat less food for 3, 6, 12 months, and then they eat more food. That's what the free-living diet studies say: after a while, the differences between diets disappear.

I lose fat on low carb. That I might regain weight down the road does not lessen the desired results when I am on it.

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Re: Do You Keep Track?

Post by Rocky07 on Tue Feb 20, 2018 3:27 am

OnTheBayou wrote:That's true.  However, in real life, people will feel more satiated on a LC diet and eat less food overall.

May be true for many or even most folks, but not me. LC (<75 g/d net carbs) dulls my appetite but leaves me feeling like my diet is lacking. I just don’t feel right. I feel much better all around when I keep net carbs at 100-125 g/d. Perhaps it is the definition. What do you consider LC?

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Re: Do You Keep Track?

Post by Rig D on Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:43 am

At 100-120 carbs, I would say you are definitely in the low carb camp Rocky. I found the lower carb (<150) to be an easy to manage dietary program for nearly 4 years or so until I had issues with knee joints and mobility and went back on a modified "see food" diet. I added weight, but still managed to keep my carb proportion fairly low, I'm sure I'd be up another 20-30 lbs if I'd gone back to my eating style pre 2012.

It may be just me, but I don't get the super low carb, keto type program that seems to be all the buzz right now.
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Re: Do You Keep Track?

Post by OnTheBayou on Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:05 am

Rocky and Rig; yes, one man's/woman's low carb is not another's. Anecdotally on these forums for nine years, plus other sources, it appears that going under 50g of carbs a day is often not effective. Meaning, other health issues come to the fore. It seems especially true for women, they apparently need more carbs.

For weight loss, lower is better to the point you may not feel great. But something like 80-120-ish is doable and you don't feel deprived. I think the standard of the Jaminet's Perfect Health Diet was about 25% "clean" carbs. That would be 125 grams on the mythological 2000cal/day diet. That diet is more about healthy maintenance than losing weight.

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