Thursday, July 29, 2010

Free Online Food Diary

I have been having a lot of trouble figuring out what I need to do to get my bod back to where it was a year ago.  Well, it's not that puzzling: I'm no longer spending 2+ hours working out in the gym six days a week (cardio/cross training/running) and counting calories consistently.  This year I have been all over the place trying to compensate for that lifestyle change.  However, I usually fall into the same pattern of either doing really good with my diet and letting my activity level slip, or being stellar about working out and then indulging too much.

Clearly, it's no secret that balance is key and that you need a great diet (as in food intake) and daily exercise to feel your best.  It's just hard sometimes!

This week I decided to change up my meal plan and eat eggs and toast for breakfast, trying to get that whole protein + carb thing down.  I bought lots of veggies to make tasty salads because my body has been craving fresh vegetables lately.

While I occasionally track calories on my own in an Excel spreedsheet, yesterday I remembered about an online meal tracker I had played with once.

SparkPeople is a lot like the online version of Weight Watchers in that you search/enter in the nutrional value of the foods that you eat and then can see how you're spending your calories.  Also, it's FREE!  Love it.

Yesterday I entered my food values and was a bit shocked.  Even though I had breakfast, a snack, and lunch, I had only consumed around 500 calories.  Hello, that's not good!  I went out and ran last night and, like has been the case, I struggled.  I keep blaming the humidity/heat/laziness, but clearly my body is out of whack.  (I tracked my calories after I ran, so yeah, PTL I didn't die out on the streets).

The fact that I've been all over the place with my diet this summer makes me think that my body and metabolism are confused.  One week or day I eat poorly, then the next I clearly cut too many calories.  Throw in sporadic medicore workouts and we have a problem.

I'm excited to keep playing with SparkPeople.  There is also a place to log in workouts, and they even suggest activities and strength training exercises for you to do.  When you're finished for the day you can actually see via pie charts how you spent your calories.  This visual learner "likes" this!

 PS: I did consume more calories after my run!  Chocolate milk, a salad, peach, and cheese :)  And I felt much, much better!


Running 365 said...

I need to check that out! I just signed up for 2 different free programs: dailymile for tracking my runs and myplate for tracking my food. I'm really happy with both so far but I'm interested to hear how you like your program too.

Kate said...

I used spark, before I got preggers.. and it's pretty cool. Esp the daily calorie counter!

Melissa-D said...

Very cool web site! I am going to use this to get my butt back in shape after the baby is born!