I’m breaking stride from the usual blog postings about flowers, decorations, paint colors and furniture, to share a few helpful tools for anyone who wants to lose weight or to simply stay healthy. (and this may or may not be a successful way to keep myself on course!)
Please take into consideration that I am neither a) a dietician/trainer/nutritionist/gym-aholic/etc. or b) in shape as I want to be (I’m working on it), and all of what I say is from personal experience 🙂
I’ve found that counting calories is the easiest way for me to ‘diet’ and succeed – because 1. I don’t have to deprive myself of anything and 2. It teaches some serious portion control.
A few handy-dandy tools that make my calorie-counting a lot easier:
I came across this site on my cell phone, since it was an app simply called ‘Calorie Counter.’ If you have a smart phone (iPhone, Android phone, Blackberry, etc) you can download the Calorie Counter app and have all of the information on the site on your phone. If you don’t have one of those phones, the site is still incredibly handy, and it is 100% free!
You can personalize your page with how you eat your meals (mine is breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks, but if you eat 5 meals a day, you can customize it for that as well). You enter in what you want your RDI (Recommended Daily Intake) to be, or enter your age, weight, height and other info and it will calculate your RDI for you (this is how many calories you want to eat per day – mine is 1700), and then enter in what you eat for each meal and it will compare your intake with your RDI to help keep you on track.
Their food database has almost everything under the sun. It has a ton of restaurants, grocery store items, staple foods and so much more. It not only tracks your calories, but it tracks everything on any nutrition label (fat grams, cholesterol, sodium, carbs, etc.) so even if you aren’t a calorie counter, but do count your carbs, this site will work for you, since it keeps track of what you tell it to. There is a little altering with the serving sizes, and measuring your foods helps a lot, but that can come with time.
The site also has an exercise diary where you input your daily activity and it calculates your personal calories burned during the exercise based on your height, age and weight. It has everything calculated from running and cycling to mowing and washing dishes. Personally, I usually only input my ‘gym-like’ activities, but if you’re strict about your numbers, it comes in handy!
This site has made keeping track of my calories so much easier. The only thing the site doesn’t have is a way to input a recipe and have a total number of calories. As in, if I have a salad, with fatsecret, I’d have to input lettuce, whatever veggies I used, dressing, croutons, etc. individually (which can get a little cumbersome, especially if it is something you eat often). That is when I came across NutritionData.com:
This site is also totally free, and does what the other site was missing. I can input all of the ingredients of a meal (in this case it was the salad) and it will analyze those ingredients and spit out a nutrition label which I can then plug into my fatsecret.com site. It also has some really cool tools, like a conversion tool, where if I need to figure out how many grams are in an ounce, just plug in the numbers, change the measurement, and voila – totally accurate conversion.
There are so many other cool things about these sites that I could go on and on about, but I’ll leave it with what I have entered above.
I’ve been using both of these sites for about 15 days and I have lost about 3 pounds so far (which is a healthy and safe 1 pound per week loss). My goal is 20-25 pounds by the wedding day (or the honeymoon!) and with watching what I eat and staying active (training for the 10K with Pavement Pounders , playing soccer with SCOR (go Roop Roop!), dodgeball with RCSSC, and going to the gym) I feel like that goal is totally attainable.
I’ll check in from time to time with my progress, but hopefully some of you who need a little push to keep that new years resolution or who are interested in trying out a new plan will find this posting helpful.