Saturday, December 11, 2010


I was going to title this post "My Experiment - I Refuse to Count How Many Calories I Eat Each Day and Try to Figure Out How Many Calories I Am Burning Off Each Day in Order to Accurately Predict How Much Weight I Will Lose Each Week", but it was a little wordy.  Besides, all the counting calories that I did in the past never matched up to the amount of weight I gained or lost or maintained, anyway! 

I have not tracked my food for nine days now, and it's going pretty well.  I started out writing my food down on paper, then putting it onto fitday at the end of the week, but that got tedious.

So now what I am doing is going ahead and putting it onto fitday, but I don't look at the totals or the net carbs, so that the totals will not influence what I eat.  I want to see if I can just eat naturally without figuring it all out ahead of time.

Here is what I have learned in the past several days:

1.  I can eat as much vegetables as I like, and I do not overeat them or undereat them.  I end up eating between 15 and 20 net carbs from veggies, with a total net carbs of between 24 and 31.  This is good to know, because I used to weigh my veggies down to the tenth of an ounce to get the exact amount of net carbs I needed.  If there were 4 ounces of broccoli in the fridge, and I was only "allowed" 3.9 ounces, I would actually put 0.1 ounces back in the fridge.  What I do now is figure that a "serving" of veggies is between 4 and 5 oz. or so, so I eat what I feel like eating.  Sometimes a little more and sometimes a little less, but it doesn't matter.  It all averages out in the end.  What a relief!  I can relax about the veggies!  I am eating 10 to 15 oz. of veggies a day.  Close enough!

2.  If I eat bacon and eggs for breakfast and then eat around 5 oz. of protein at lunch and at dinner, I come out to around 95-100 grams of protein per day, which is what I should eat at one gram of protein for each pound of lean body mass.  My lean body mass right now is 96 pounds.  On the days that I lift weights, I get an extra 15g of protein before working out and another extra 15g after I work out.  So on workout days, instead of 95-100g per day, I get 125-130g per day.  I need the extra to help me build muscle.

3.  As far as added fats go, if I eat 1/2 Tbs. of butter with my breakfast, and then 2-4 Tbs. of added fat over the rest of the day, I come out to right about where I want to be for fat, which is around 60-65% of my total calories.  That's a lot easier than figuring out that I need exactly 3/4 tsp. of oil to get to the exact amount of fat grams I want for the day.  Some days I am over, and some days I am under.

4.  Treats for me are nuts, cheese, Greek yogurt, dark chocolate, whipped cream and fruit.  Most of those things make me want to have more of them, so I still have to be very careful.  I have been trying to allow myself to have one serving of one of these each day.  So far so good, but I almost feel like I do better on the days that I don't have them at all, rather than having a little and then wanting more.  Baby steps!

5.  I am not so interested any more in having each day equal the correct amount of fat, protein and carbs.  I read somewhere that it is probable that the body is not that sensitive, and if what you eat averaged over several days or a week is what your body needs, it doesn't matter if you have more one day and less on another day.  As a matter of fact, that may keep your body from adapting to what you are eating and adjusting your metabolism through adaptive thermogenesis to keep you at a certain weight.

That's what I am learning, and so far, I am less stressed about food.  It is nice to not have to be so exact.  I feel more like a human being, eating naturally.  I still weigh and measure my food, because I have a big appetite and I tend to overeat when given my head, but I am hoping that as time goes by and I lose more fat and gain more muscle, I may be able to stop weighing and measuring my portions.

And the results of all of this in the past nine days?  I have lost body fat and gained muscle, and I have lost inches.  I'll give those numbers tomorrow in my weekly results post.

The experiment has not been failure, as it has in the past when I have tried to stop tracking.

Here is the direction I am heading:  I want to stop tracking all together.  I want to stop using fitday.  Plus, I want to stop getting on the bathroom scale every day.  I want to weigh myself once a week and take my measurements at the same time while I am still losing.

That may be the ultimate goal, but I'm going to take things one week at a time, which means in this coming week, I'm going to continue to put food into fitday as I eat it, but not "go by it", if you know what I mean.  I am also going to continue weighing each morning and doing my body fat calculator, because I get such a kick out of it!

All in all, this has been a very interesting experiment, and one that I want to continue.


  1. I agree with the not weighing food every day. I still weigh myself daily! I'm afraid once a week will degrade to once a month then who cares. Been there done that! Ugh. Altho I do have other numbers to keep me honest and can not ever quit using them :(. Miss talking!

  2. I understand how my husband feels when he says, "Can't we just eat food?"