First of all, today went well. I went to the Y and did the elliptical for 50 minutes. There won’t be any workout tomorrow, but there will be Friday.
My question for today is: should I count calories? I know that calories count – consume fewer calories than you burn, and you’ll lose weight – haven’t we all heard that a thousand times? But does that mean I need to journal all my food and add up all the calories each day. The truth is, I ate whatever amount of calories I ate, regardless of what I record in my food journal. And it’s a big chore to record at the end of each day. Ideally I would journal each thing before I ate it, but that doesn’t work for me, since I’m gone to work all day and then often go somewhere directly after work. So it ends up being that at the end of the day I go back and try to remember everything I ate that day. And I get way too caught up in and worried about the numbers. I worry about whether I had one serving or two of this or that. Here’s what goes through my head:
That hamburger that was served when eating at a friend’s house – was that 85% lean, 75% lean, or worse yet? Well, it didn’t seem to be that greasy, but I bet these folks would buy the cheapest meat there is. Yeah, we’ll go with 75%. And how much did eat? Well, a normal serving is 4 oz, but this seemed pretty big, it could have been 6 or even 8. And the bun – that was a large bun – it wasn’t your average 110-calorie bun. I’ll guess it was 220. I hope that’s not too low. And the cheesy potatoes – those were swimming in butter an cheese. How many calories was that? Well, I probably had about 1/4 cup, which is 4 Tbsp. Pure fat is 120 cals a Tbsp and it couldn’t have been that because there were a few potatoes and some cheese in there that would bring the overall calorie density down. I’m gonna say 80 calories a Tbsp, so that’d be 320 calories. Okay, so 820 calories for the meal. That’s seems awfully high. Was I off on something? What if I was too low? I could have had a 1/2 cup of those potatoes – I obviously didn’t have measuring instruments ….
So I think you get the idea. It just adds stress. If I have to eat at somebody’s house, I have to eat at somebody’s house – and the best I can do is make the best decisions there. I need to choose the lowest calorie option, whatever that may be. And it does not matter if that meal had 80 calories or 800 calories – it doesn’t change what I should do next. I need to focus on establishing good habits – like not eating dessert daily, learning to pass up the sweets that are offered to me, learning to eat more veggies and fruits, learning to snack less (or at least snack more healthfully). And the calories – well, they just don’t change any of those things. So, along with ditching the scale, I’m ditching the counting – there go the numbers. I don’t need the numbers – I need to change my mindset, attitude, outlook, and habits. I will try this approach for the next 4 weeks – the worst that can possibly happen is that I won’t lose much, or any, weight – but I wasn’t doing that anyway.
What do you think?