Tag Archives: food tracking

Monday review

Another week is done in February! And I am happy with how the week went and what the number box said this morning.

This week’s stats:
Start weight (3/1/2011): 140.9kg (310 lbs)
Today’s weight: 95.4 kg (210 lbs)
Lost this week: 0.6kg (1.3 lbs)
Total lost: 45.5 kg (100 lbs)

There are many things I am happy about with this week.

My eating averaged out at 9330 kj a day, with some days over 9500 and some days at about 9000. There were a couple of special food things, we got takeaway last Tuesday night for Vday and it was nice to share a special meal with my man. On the not so good side, I made spicey plum jam last wednesday and ate alot of the fruit when I was trying to strain the spices out. It was wonderfully delicious but it was far too much sugar in one sitting for me. I need to start asking myself -how will I feel in 5 or 10 minutes?- before eating something. Apart from that, it was a highly successful week on the food front.

I exercised 5 times in the week, my 3 Up and Running workouts and 2 additional fast walks. And my 5K on Saturday! I am already up to 87km of running and walking in Feb!

I remembered my affirmation on most days. I tend to forget it on the weekend, I need to remember to say it then as well. I notice the difference when I do. Progress was made on the money front, too. I am getting organised and taking steps to make my financial situation better. Even taking small steps on this front is reducing my overall stress.

I am happy with the loss this week. I was hoping for more but I got back down to 100lbs and that makes me very excited.

This week I will stick with my target of 9500kJ a day and 5-6 workouts. This seems to be a good balance for me. I have already survived a work morning tea today and I did really well in sticking to my plan. I don’t know what else is happening but there will be things on the weekend, I am sure… I am starting to want to bake. I might need to investigate a cake option, and more importantly, cake disposal options.

It is almost the end of the month. This week I will start to think about my challange for next month. Still no chocolate for me so far!

Things are good. The upcoming week looks good. I am happy.

There be progress

I am not sure what happened last week on the scales, whether it was a real number or not… I am just happy to report today that the scales are down, that third number at the front is gone and I am feeling positive, energised and determined.

This morning I weighed in at 97.6kg (214.7 lbs) which is 2.7kg (6 lbs) lighter than last Wednesday. That is a total loss now of 43.3 kg (95.3 lbs). I am still not back at my lowest but I am only 2.5 kg away and now I am confident that I will get back there this month.

I don’t know what happened in the last 5 days with the number box on the floor; because it is only 5 days since my weigh in at the start of the month. But what I can say is that I have done really well food wise and exercise since last Wednesday. This is fact.

I went out for a run last Thursday and it was hard work after not having run for a week. Then on Saturday I ran 5K in 36.08 minutes which is a PB for me. I was stoked. This morning I went running again and it was a hard workout but I did it; 7.09km in 60 minutes with 40 minutes of that running and with some short walking segments and squats thrown in. I also did a 5K walk yesterday around one of the lakes nearby. After a week of cold and rainy weather it was lovely to be out in the sun! The exercise last week felt more balanced because it wasn’t every day and I was eating enough I think to cover for it.

From Wednesday to Sunday I averaged 9100kJ a day which was just over my target. I managed to fit the extra in by eating fruit. I love stone fruit and the peaches and plums are just wonderful right now. I buy several, thinking I have fruit for the week and then need to get more because I have already eaten it all. And I am finding that food planning is working well to give me varied meals which are healthy and tasty.

I am also doing really well on the no-chocolate front. I have not had any chocolate in any form since last Tuesday, so that is 6 days now. I did use the fruit those first couple of days for some extra sweetness and that helped. I also had a bad headache last week from giving up the chocolate and associated sugar, I have not had any biscuits or cake or other sweets either, but the headache passed and I am eating well and am satisfied.

The biggest food challenge of the week was at a birthday party yesterday. I had my snacks before arriving, chewed gum and and drank water. And I did not eat anything while I was there, not even chcolate brownie cake. Fortunately, I have had this brownie in my past and I know how wonderful it is so I did not need to taste it to learn that. (This is a trick I use sometimes at parties. If I have had something before, I don’t need to have it again, I would rather try something new if there is something new than have something that I know; even if that something is really good. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.)

I am saying my positive affirmation frequently and I think it is a good thing for me; I think it is helping with my motivation and general attitude.

And one new thing from last week is that I started reading my text book for the course I am about to start. Last year I decided to start studing nutrition formally. I find it so interesting and it will help me learn more about getting healthy and staying that way. It might be something I could move into career wise but I have now set plans there. I enrolled in course and classes start in March, all online with assignments and exams. I am doing two subjects this semester and I picked up one of the textbooks last week. I started reading and I am enjoying it. I am thinking again about why I eat what I do, about my choices and whether they could be better; what changes I could make to improve my diet. I am comparing my old diet to my new diet as well and I am really encouraged as the changes I have made seem to be very sensible ones. This bodes well for the future.

This coming week I am going to do more of the same. Eat well, plan meals, exercise consistently but not excessively, keep reading and thinking. I also want to cook something new and write it up. It is an age since I have posted a new recipe here here… I will see how the week progresses on that front.

January Review – Febuary Commitment

There were some great things in January and some less than ideal things. And I am frustrated that I am recording a weight gain for the month rather than a weight loss. But to not report the gain would be a bad sign… it would mean that I was continuing in denial rather than facing up to my poor decisions.

In January I had committed to eating well, doing my Up and Running workouts 3 times a week and reading one book about self acceptance and thinking about it.

I did my Up and Running Workouts consistently. I am now doing a series called Bridge to 10K which builds on the 5K course by providing workouts that are challenging but aimed at the 5K distance, improving stamina and time. The longest workout in terms of distance I did was 7.3km which took 57 minutes and I ran about 40 minutes of that time. They are hard and more challenging than I would devise on my own but I trust Julia Jones, the running coach who devised them and so I would argue with myself to push through to the end of the workout. And that sense of satisfaction when I am done is amazing.

I read Karen Anderson’s book called ‘After (the before and after)’ about her journey towards self acceptance on her weight loss journey. It was listening to Karen talk to Shauna Reid and Carla Birnberg on the Two Fit Chicks and a Microphone podcast last year that inspired me to look at my own issues around self acceptance. The book was not quite what I was looking for but was a good place for me to start. I started building a personal affirmation which reflects where I am now that I can use in a meditative way. I thought about different aspects of myself, especially those that are the negative voices in my head and how I can talk to those aspects of me and not let them hold me back. But these things did not become habit and I realise while writing that I have not thought of them in the last 2 weeks or so… the two weeks which coincide with my poor eating choices.

So why did my eating go off the rails? It did, obviously as I had started losing weight and now I have ended up with a net gain for the month. There are many reasons
– pushed myself too hard with exercise and did not eat enough which meant that I got really hungry and overate to compensate
– then I dropped the exercise a little (back to my 3 workouts a week) but still did not manage to balance energy in with the exercise
– stress about money and using food to avoid dealing with the money issues
– going to decaf coffee. I decided I wanted to reduce my caffeine intake. I was having two large (mug sized) espresso coffees a day plus 2 mugs of black tea. Over two weeks I transitioned to decaf coffee and kept the black tea. But I realised on the weekend that I am not reaching for sweet things to give myself a mental boost – especially at work. I need to find another way to manage less caffeine.
– feeling very virtuous after the first two weeks because I did so well, especially at a lunch with friends where I chose to leave 2 slices of pizza on my plate. The old feelings of entitlement came back with a vengence that night and I had chocolate.
– work has been really busy. It is not stressful like my last job but I am so busy and focussed on the tasks at hand that reaching for an extra snack helps get me through.
– I stopped tracking food, I stopped weighing myself on the scales every couple days, I stopped saying my affirmations which remind me of the big picture.

I need to think about all these things, the lessons I can learn, the ways I can manage stress and work pressures better. I hope that in learning I can start making better choices.

So today I got on the scales and that third number is back. Weight this morning was 100.3kg.

Fact. Information. Move on.
(I will try not to beat myself up for too long)

So, that was January. I made some really good progress in terms of exercise and building tools to help me on the journey. I stuck to my eating plan for the first two weeks but it was not enough for the intensity of exercise. And the last two weeks contained alot of poor food choices. I am not back where I started because my consistency with running has improved and I have some tools that I can pick up again.

February…

One of the things I ate in January was chocolate, too much chocolate. When I eat chocolate I want more chocolate. Maybe not immediately but the next day and the next day. It triggers bad eating habits for me and they cycle in a negative way. I need it to stop. February will be the month of no chocolate.

I will take steps toward selling my unit which will lead to sorting out my money a little better.

I will continue with 3 Up and Running Workouts a week but will not run on other days. I need to find a balance with exercise and food and running 5 days in a row upsets that balance.

I will track food and aim for 9000kJ a day. I will report my weight every week on Monday; I like that extra bit of accountability. I will aim for a loss of 3kg in the month.

I will work on my affirmation again and I will say it every morning when I get up. I will reread After and think some more.

I will keep going. There is no end to the journey, there are many small steps. There is today, there is far off. There is continuing.

Weekly wrap

The past week was really quite good now I look back. I had a great time doing the Up and Running workouts… I write that and I wonder at who this girl is who loves running!!! Anyway, the workouts this week were hard and pushed me and I saw myself improve in the week as my body got used to regularly exercising and eating well again. It was just so good to see. I did my longest workout yet in terms of distance with 7.3km in 57 minutes, which included a total of 5.8km of running. I was so proud of that workout and I was tired afterwards 🙂 And I loved having the stats from my garmin to see how I did over the different segments. Overall last week I had 2 rest days and did 6 workouts with a total of 29.2 km. Yes, I did two on one day because I had my new toy and I was trying it out.

My eating was pretty much spot on all week as well after starting on Tuesday. I felt better for eating properly. My energy levels were good, I enjoyed the food and I wasn’t hungry or feeling like I was missing anything. It was like I slipped back into the way I was eating last year and that felt normal. It was a big relief to just fall back into it so easily. I was aiming for about 9000kJ a day and averaged (over 5 days) at 8830kJ. I was interested in how my running impacted my hunger and energy needs for the day and I felt I was listening to my body and making good choices. I ate a little more on the days I ran (up to 9300kJ) and a little less on the days I didn’t (about 8500kJ). And so it averaged out and I was really happy with that. But the best part of the week with food was the awareness of how much better I felt when I eat well, when I get hungry between meals, when I listen to my body when it needs a little more and then I give it a little more of healthy food. So it was a great start to the year. The other positive thing I did over the weekend was do a meal plan for the week, go shopping, prepare foods for lunch this week and cook one meal for the freezer. This week will be easier because I have a plan and am prepared.

I did have one slip up yesterday (hence not tracking for 6 days last week)… I had not planned an outing well. I really should have thought about this one a little better. Firstly, my period started yesterday and the first 24 hours are difficult with back ache, cramping and general moodiness; after that it is usually bearable. Secondly, the outing was not quite what I expected, I was disappointed and that threw me a little. I had taken food with me that I was not planning to track and that was a bad call. I was a little tense because of the company. And so I ate the foods I was not planning to track in amounts greater than I would have eaten had I not been where I was. When I am tense, I eat to help me relax because having a full belly means comfort and security. I know this is how my brain works. So, what do I do next time? Think about the outing/event and plan the food a little better. Take chewing gum so that I can trick my brain into getting the relief from a tense situation without the calories. Do some positive self talk prior to the event. Continue working on my issues around self acceptance. I can’t do much about the timing with hormones but I can have painkillers with me if I need them.

The slip up was half of one day. And in the scheme of a week it isn’t much, in the scheme of a month it is only a a moment. I was frustrated this morning when I stepped on the scales and did not see as large a loss as I would have liked. But now, looking at the whole week and knowing what happened yesterday, I can accept it and move on. I had a relly good week with food and exercise and I am happy. The number box on the floor was down 0.8kg (almost 2bs) from last week and I am satisfied with that. I feel that it is a pretty accurate reflection of how the week went.

I also decided what to read to help me in the area of self acceptance. I will read Karen Anderson’s “After: (the before and after)”. I chose this book because it is Karen who partly inspired me to look at self acceptance from her discussion with Shauna Reid and Carla Birnberg on the podcast Two Fit Chicks and a Microphone in episode 27. (Insert Plug for the podcast Two Fit Chicks and a Microphone: Love your work, Shauna and Carla!!!) Listening to that podcast again late last year made me first realise there was work I could do in this space. Without having something on the shelf that spoke to me on this issue, without knowing where else to go, not wanting to spend hours browsing book shelves in shops (although that can be fun), I decided to go back to the original prompt and start there. I have a starting point.

A new week awaits. New training plans, a food plan and a commitment to making healthy choices today.

the nuts and bolts of it – food

At a weight of 65kg (143 lbs), I would need to eat about 9000 kJ (2100 cal) a day to maintain that weight, doing moderate exercise 3-5 times a week.

65kg is in the top half of my healthy BMI weight range and gives me a 5 kg buffer before I hit the overwieght category. It is the weight I am aiming for. I don’t know what it will look like or feel like and I have no timeframe for getting there. But in my head, that is a good aim.

At my current weight of about 95kg (210 lbs) and doing moderate exercise 3-5 times a week, I need to eat about 9000 kJ to lose 0.5kg a week.

I am going to start this year by setting my kj ‘budget’ at 9000kJ a day. There are a couple of reasons for this:
– I want to know what it is like to eat that much over a period of time, like a month. If this is going to be my food budget in maintenance I want to think about what that means in a practical sense.
– I am aiming for a weight loss rate of between 0.5kg and 1kg a week and as I plan to do moderate exercise 5-6 times a week this is a good food budget to help me with that.

I am going to start tracking again on Tuesday. I know it is the new year and all, and I know that I usually start on Mondays but given our plans tomorrow, the actual food tracking will start on Tuesday. There is a nice symmetry to that. Tuesday is the 3rd of Jan and I started last year on the 3rd of Jan. So, Tuesday 3rd of Jan it is. I will keep this food budget in place till the end of January and review then. I know what a normal day of food looked like at 8000kJ and I know how to build that to 8500kJ. I am going to start with that and then build in the additional 500kJ.

However, I am not waiting till Tuesday to start exercise. I am dressed in my gear and as soon as the boy goes down for his nap I am heading out to try a new 5km route. I am walking it today to break in my new running shoes (*squee*) and because it is about 30’C outside and also because I am doing a running workout tomorrow. I am looking foward to a nice walk to bring in the new year. I will think of my running friends and send them good wishes for their planned runs today.

More about the nuts and bolts of exercise later….

Check in

I just want to say I have had 4 days of eating properly and I feel better. I pushed myself a little far I think with the running and have had a couple rest days but I will be back out there tomorrow, rain or shine.

It boggles me how it can be so easy to be on track when everything is going well. For example, today at work I said that I did not want the free lunch after the orientation program – this was when I was looking at the food. I said I am watching what I eat, it would be difficult to guauge the kJ in what was provided and as I had bought my lunch in I would stick with that. I was respected for that choice. It was actually an easy choice for me to make today.

But then, when things are not ok, it is so hard to be on track. Every decision is a struggle. Sometimes I can make healthy decisions and sometimes I let it go and give in to whatever is driving me. What I find frustrating now is that I look back at last couple of weeks and I don’t understand why I acted that way – it is so foreign to my state of mind now.

I hope I get better at seeing that switch coming up so that I can manage it, even avoid it. I hope I get to a point where I can look at what is stressing me and channel that in ways that are not related to food. I am getting better but it still is a fallback for me.

Small steps. Today was a victory and each day of good choices reinforces a better way. This is not about perfection, it is about improvement. I will keep going.

The other thing I am really happy with today is that I had a surprise visit from my sister and her fam after work. They live about 4 hours drive away so it was very exciting to see them with about 40 minutes warning. They were at our place for dinner and on such short notice we got takeaway. We picked up some bbq chicken, shredded it and made wraps with tortillas, salad, light sour cream, salsa and light cheese. It was tasty and healthy. For my second wrap I used a large lettuce leaf rather than a second tortilla. It was a meal that I could track easily and while a little more work than straight takeaway it was still easy.

Four days in a row of good, clean eating. It is a good start. Already I can feel the difference in my body. Eating healthy food is better for me. I need to remember this.

Post 40 Weeks

I need to put some thought into what happens from Monday. Going into things without a plan is not a good idea for me; I am likely to get sidetracked when I don’t have clear goals and plans.

So, what happens from here???

I want to keep the current momentum going through to the beginning of December; so another 8 weeks. I have the Up and Running course which takes me through to the start of November and then I want to push through to December.

Up and Running gives me an exercise commitment. There are also running workout plans for the 5K level available from Up and Running that I can commit to once the course is over. I think this is a very good idea. Now that I am running and training I don’t want to lose it once the course is finished. I want to at least maintain my fitness in this area.

Generally, with exercise, I am getting in about 5 hours a week. That is 5-6 dedicated exercise sessions of about 40 minutes plus the incidental exercise to and from work 4 days a week which is an additional 20 minutes on those 4 days. I would like to keep up this amount of exercise; it fits into my life and it helps me stay sane. I know that no exercise is bad for my head; I feel that now when I miss as little as 3 consecutive days. But 5 hours a week is also not taking away from my other responsibilities. It feels like a good balance.

Foodwise, I like what I am eating at the moment, the food and the amount. My weekdays are pretty similar for breakfast, snacks and lunch. Dinner brings variation into the day. It is pretty easy and healthy. I like that weekends I have different breakfast options and greater flexibility for lunch and dinner. I am aiming for about 8000kJ a day at the moment and that allows me to have some treats but makes me think and plan my food. I like being aware. This amount of food is enough to lose weight but still support my body with the amount of exercise I do. And to maintain at a healthy weight, I would be eating about this amount of food so getting used to it is a good thing.

There are some variables which I will need to take into account. I start a new job in a new part of town at the beginning of November. That will impact starting and leaving times, where I park and the incidental exercise to and from the car and possibly my lunch time exercise. But I can work with this, I want to work exercise into my day so I will build it in right from the outset. It should also reduce my stress levels which would be a wonderful thing.

But then, what happens from December???

December and January are such social times. My thoughts are a little vague but I would like to track my food for most meals and snacks except for those social occasions, thinking of one or two a week. Most food then should be similar to what I am having now and that will give me some stability. Then, at social things, I will make healthy choices but try not be too concerned about not having total control. I would like to learn to trust myself a little in this area. I will plan to keep exercise going through the summer but might need to shift it to early mornings because of the summer temperatures. That is ok, I can do that. Over Christmas and New Year, I think my goal will be not to gain weight. If I can keep things stable that would be an excellent result.

I am also starting study next year. I am going to do a Graduate Diploma in Human Nutrition. I have found it so interesting to look at my food this year, looking at the kilojoules and macronutrients and building an eating plan that works for my body. And I want to learn more. The study is going to be a fascinating way to learn more and then I can look at applying it to me!

My longterm weight goal is 65 kg. If I can get to between 90 and 93 kg by the end of the year that will mean I have less than 30 kg to goal. I have lost 30 kg already, so that is not such a scary thing to think about. I know that the first 30 is different to the last 30 but I can apply the same principles. I am looking at consistency in my eating and exercise; making these patterns of behaviour ingrained; making healthy choices most of the time. That is what I want to do for the rest of my life; make healthy choices most of the time, live long and prosper.

Today’s food

Breakfast:
55g Sultana Bran
125 mL fat reduced milk
1 30g slice multigrain bread
2 tsp (10g) almond butter – I made it and it is just almonds and a bit of cinnamon and vanilla
Latte made with 180mL fat reduced milk and 60mL espresso

Exercise:
30 min DVD work out + 10 min resistance

Snack:
100g frozen blueberries
200g fat reduced natural yoghurt

Lunch:
48g multigrain tortilla
20g reduced fat cheddar cheese
60g ham
2 lettuce leaves, about 30g
1/2 lebanese cucumber, about 100g
capsicum slices (about 40g)
rainbow slaw (a mixture of shredded carrot, beetroot and broccoli), about 50g
Latte made with 180mL fat reduced milk and 60mL espresso

Snack:
40g raw cashews
apple, about 300g

Exercise:
2*15 min walks with a friend. We walked to the park 15 mins away with our toddlers in the prams. Toddlers played for 90 mins and then we walked back.

Dinner:
Kangaroo roast (roast weighed 400g raw and I had a little under half of the cooked meat)
100g potato wedges
100g carrot
100g broccoli
1 tbs chilli tomato sauce that my man made

I measure some things on the scales but not others. Things that already come in portion sizes (lettuce leaves, carrots, cucumber, apples, bread) I guestimate based on an initial weighing. Other things (cashews, blueberries, wedges, cereal) I do weigh every time because it is so easy to over estimate. My scales live out on the bench and it is easy just to put my bowl on the scales, measure what I need and then measure the next thing in.

Today’s food brings me to about 7500 kJ after dinner. My daily target is 8200kJ, so I am down a bit today. Although, I do try and look at my daily target as being an average over a week. This means that if I am over on a particular day, or have a special event planned, I can manage that over a week.

On a normal work day I would have had a bit more salad for lunch with a little bit of salad dressing; and slightly different snacks including another half a serve of fruit. I was down about 500kJ before dinner and tonight’s dinner was a light one.

I could have had a drink of alcohol with dinner but I generally don’t like taking my kilojoules as alcohol. I would much rather eat them. I could have some dessert or chocolate. Or a hot drink of milk before bed. I really like hot milk with a tsp of golden syrup at the moment! It is delicious!

I checked out how much icecream I could have and it is not enough for me. So it is better for me to avoid it then be left craving more. I could have 20g chocolate and that much usually satisfies me. Funny, isn’t it, how different foods play on one’s mind.

I think probably the hot milk wins but I will make that call after dinner. Sometimes it is nice to share a little bit of chocolate with my man while we are watching something together 🙂 Hot milk would add 600kJ and chocolate would add 500kJ. Both options leave me a little under my target and that is ok. Yesterday I was about 100 over…

One thing I find with tracking food is that I am able to look at what I have had in a day and then adjust. And I like that I can be flexible in this way. The knoweldge of how a particular day is going gives me the information I need to make better choices in light of my daily target and overall goals. As soon as I leave the tracking to the end of the day I discover that I underestimated how much I ate at the time – or I don’t remember it all – and I am then left short. I have only tracked at the end of a day a couple times. It was when I was on the road and I had not thought things through all that well. I find that even when I don’t know the actual values it is better for me to make a guess, log it and then come back later to check the kJ value.

Today has been a good day 🙂

Thursday….

I hab another head cold. This is my third cold this year – and over our summer. I know where it comes from… Daycare. My little one is in daycare 2 days a week and his immune system is being challenged and now so is mine.

It is only a head cold, so while I did not do my 40 min walk today at lunch I did do a 30 min walk this evening with the pram.

This week, I am doing well so far. I am eating a little more than previous weeks – I added a point back in and I am making sure I am eating all of my points every day (which is almost up to my kJ target). I think I will spend this week and next week counting in both systems and see what results I get at weigh in. I spent some more time today looking at the numbers and reassuring myself that I am ok. I did a little forecast for the rest of the year in terms of weightloss and kJ intake and am happy with how things look. I just need to keep on with the exercise, keep on with watching my portion sizes and intake and I will get there.

WW tracking vs kJ counting – and how I solved the tracking mystery

I have wanted to move away from the WW points system for a while now. I don’t go to WW, I am not a member. I am using the material I got when I had a brief fling with them last year, so, the material is not that out of date (but it is not the current system used in Australia, either). My issue is that I want to have more control. I want to be able to understand my intake on its own rather than relying on someone else’s calculations. This is going to be important if/when I get pregnant because I want to eat a healthy amount (rather than over-eat like last time). It is going to be important when maintaining a healthy goal weight. I needed to work it out and counting kilojoules (kJ) seemed to be a good answer for me. (I work in kJ here, not calories but it is the same concept just differnt measuring scales).

I hadn’t swapped to counting kJ because I was using a great app on my phone which helped me track ww points. It is so convenient to track on my phone!!! And I wanted something as convenient for counting kJ. Well, on the weekend I went looking for an app to help me out and I found two that look promising.

But I also needed to have a better idea of what my kJ target should be. There are so many quizzes online and they seem to give me different answers. So, I turned to something I trusted. I had previously followed the CSIRO Total WellBeing Diet and they provide information about how to calculate energy requirements so that you can pick a level of their program. They use the Harris-Benedict equation (see the article by the same name in Wikipedia) which is a way to calculate your Basal Metabolic Rate and from there energy requirements. I used this to work out my requirements for losing weight and established a kJ range to aim for in a day. I spent quite a while seeing how changing the activity level changed the kJ target. And I was pretty sure that I was on track with the calculations.

Once I had my kJ target range, I could start counting my kJ in my new phone apps.

One of the apps is really quite simple. It does not have a database to draw on, so you need to enter in the kJ amounts for every food. But it does remember the foods, so after a while I will only need to enter random or rare foods. I have a calorie counting book which I am using to help me start out. And then the app just does maths. You tell it your kJ target, you put in what you eat and it adds it up and tells you how much is left. Really simple. It can give you some weekly/monthly stats so you can see how you are managing over time. You can include exercise in the input. It has no weight tracking section, but I have spreadsheets at home, work and on my phone already for that 🙂

The other calorie counting app has a database to draw on. You can search for foods and enter portions. The food database can also tell you protein, carb and fat intake as well as kJ. It is not Australian, so alot of the foods are not relevant to me. I would need to make sure I am picking the right thing from the list. I have not yet created my own foods yet but the funtion is there. The app also has an exercise journal and a weight tracker. It is alot more complicated. The downside is you need to be connected to the internet to access it (I am often not connected) and the app uses alot of battery power. I think I would be interested to see how my fat/protein/carbs balance out but I don’t feel I need that at the moment. Really, all I need is somthing to do the maths…

So, for this week I am tracking in both WW points and kJ in the simple counter. And you know what? I have discovered a problem with the way I had calculated my points allocation back in January. For the last few days I have been at the top (or just over) my ww points allocation and under my kJ daily target by a good snack. It has been bugging me! I spent a long time working out my kJ intake and have confidence that it is a good target for me*.

And when I was walking this morning, I realised that I did not know if my ww points allocation included anything about exercise. I know that my kJ calculations do take exercise into account. So, tonight I went back to my ww material and realised I had selected the ‘no activity’ option in the quiz when I worked out my points allocation. That was true before I started but I am now exercising 5 or 6 days a week. I should have been up maybe 2 points a day for the last 6 weeks! I have adjusted my ww points up and now both my ww and kJ tracking are at the same place.

I am a little bit frustrated because I feel the quiz to work out WW points is misleading in relation to activity (it talks about how active are you at work – I picked the mostly sitting option. Well I do have a deskjob!). But I am pleased I am learning to listen to my body and to know when I am hungry. I am also pleased I have been able to work it out. I am excited that I can start to move away from WW and start doing more of my own thing and be in control of my own healthy life style.

I am going to track both points and kJ this week at least. I want the transition to be smooth. It will also help me build up the foods in my simple calorie tracker. My weight loss will likely slow a little if I am eating a little more. That is not a bad thing. The speed of my weight loss was a recurring niggle at the back of my mind. This puts me in control and better able to manage what I put in my mouth.

*I studied science at university and am quite analytical when it comes to data. So, I do have confidence in how I have calculated my energy requirements. I am also referring to the CSIRO Total WellBeing Diet which I have used before and was influencing how I used my WW points. In their publications they use the Harris-Benedict equation for people to work out their energy requirements. And more generally, I have confidence in the CSIRO. They are Australia’s scientific research organisation and are top people.