When I began to explore the idea of a new and healthier me I told myself one thing – I was not going to sit and stress over each calorie that enters my body. A week into that I started using MyFitnessPal to keep track of the food I was eating, not so much to measure my caloric intake (cause really, you can’t always go by the calories shown in the app if your preparing a meal from scratch and not just scanning a label) but to keep a log of the food I was eating. For me, it was a good way of keeping track of what food I had already eaten that day or yesterday and see where I probably should be focusing on now.
I have since stopped using it regularly because I have become pretty attune to eating a good variety of protein and veg. throughout the day, with a little carb just thrown in. I know a lot of people that just decide they are going to give up every form of carbohydrates immediately as soon as they begin a new diet, but really, how realistic is that? Sure, maybe you’ll be able to keep carbs out of your diet for a month or two and you’ll lose some weight from that, but what are the chances that you’ll never eat carbs again? Once you begin to re-enter them into your diet the weight will come back on again faster than it took you to drop it.
It’s all about moderation and knowing which foods you should really be focusing on. I can’t give up on carbs, I refuse to give up carbs, but I will not make them the main attraction for any of my meals and I will not eat them throughout the day. I will also make sure to focus on:
- whole grain or multi grain breads instead white bread
- brown rice instead of white rice
- sweet potatoes instead of regular potatoes
Having fruit on hand has been a wonderful way to ensure that I don’t stray when I am craving a snack. If I’m sitting on the couch watching tv and I suddenly get the urge for cookies or chips, I just go get an orange or two instead or a bowl of grapes and munch on those. By the time I am done, my craving is gone and I have managed to fill up without having 500 calories worth of chips in my system.
And yea, if I feel like I deserve it sometimes after a particularly good week, I may have some pasta or a slice of pizza or a dessert, because again, everything needs to be in moderation. You can have a cheat meal (note: I said meal, not day!) and allow yourself to enjoy a guilty pleasure because you deserve it once in a while.
So don’t worry about the calories you are consuming. Don’t worry about cutting out carbs all together. Just focus on the food that you are allowing to enter your body. If you make smart decisions and plan your meals accordingly, you will lose weight. And you will not be starving yourself by not eating after 4pm cause you ate all your calories for the day.