After nearly a week of trying to restrict my calories, I can post an update.
1) Losing weight is hard. It is hard to not eat when you want to, and to stop when you are still hungry. The first couple of days I was light headed and dizzy a few times. Even the meals that are the same as always don’t fill me up any more, my body knows it is in deprivation mode.
2) Tracking is not easy either. Making sure you write everything down, takes a bit of persistence. Since I am using software, finding the appropriate food does as well. I have to admit, more than once I’ve just said “close enough”. The nice thing is, since I eat foods multiple times, once it’s in there, I can just add it to another day. Also, I have to get more serious about measuring. Often foods are listed as grams. I would recommend a gram measuring scale to anyone serious about weight control.
3) Persistence pays off. Everything mentioned above is getting easier. For one thing, I recommended the software to my daughter who is trying to gain weight, since she is pregnant. She showed me there is a bar code scan feature that I didn’t even know about. That’ll speed things up. For another, going without as much food as I’d like is not as stressful as it was the first few days.
The software itself, myfitnesspal.com, was one of my targets of investigation. So far I am neutral about it. I think software in general is very helpful, I like the scan bar feature and it is not too difficult to use. On the down side, the search feature is not very efficient. If I type in “onion” I would expect some form of plain onion to be at the top of the list. This is not the case. Searching by relevance, rather than name is better. Often, you can’t get an easy answer, no matter how specific you are. Some of this is to be expected. If there are 400 brands of chicken soup, It isn’t easy to get homemade to come up to the top. There is a place to enter your own recipes, which is the right way to do it. That is the other thing, if you do most of your own cooking, which is the best way to eat healthy, you do need to enter your recipes for any degree of accuracy.
It bugs me how they figure out calories. They don’t assign them for strength training, citing that it is too variable, yet they assume 530 calories an hour for karate, which I find extravagant. They do allow for “calisthenics” which is what I use to cover my strength training. When I used my pedometer software to go for a walk, and the calories assumed by both peices of software were pretty close. The proof will be in the numbers on the scale, which I can’t start looking at yet.
I also am not sure about their measurements of the other nutrients. According to it, I am not making my USRDA of vitamins. While I do take a multi vitamin, it seems I ought to at least make “A” on the day I eat squash. I just found out last night you can use it to add your vitamins and other supplements. Now I’m over on all my nutrients.
The other thing I like about the software is you can use it to gain weight or maintain as well. Also, it yells at you if you go under your calorie goal, making it a responsible partner.
I don’t have anything earth shattering to say about losing weight. Let’s face it, it is probably one of the most talked about subjects on earth, I do think my experience will help me when others ask for advice. I know people might get upset hearing this, but it’s also kind of fun.