On counting calories

I’ve had an account at myfitnesspal for years and largely ignored it beyond making sure my exercise (when it happens) gets logged.  I never got into the whole calorie counting thing because, well, I know how… focused… I can get on such things and I didn’t want that to take over my every waking thought.

Since acquiring my fitness band last week I’ve discovered that while it does track my exercise, it also tracks the calories I burn just by being alive.  For some reason, that made me want to start actually tracking my food calories in MFP.  So I started doing that Thursday night.

It’s actually pretty easy to do.  Lots of foods are already in their system.  You just scan the barcode on a package with the app on your phone and record how much of it you ate.  Or you can do a simple search for things.  But entering items that don’t have bar codes (produce, fresh meat, stuff from the bulk bins, etc.) helped me realize that while I had an idea of what smart portions looked like, I didn’t really know.

So today I went out and bought a food scale.  I was afraid it would add a lot of time to my meal prep, but it really doesn’t.  (At least, it didn’t tonight.)  I can actually put my baking vessel on the scale, zero it out, then it pretty much automagically weighs each ingredient as I add it as long as I remember to zero the scale after each addition.  Makes it super easy to record accurate amounts of pretty much everything.  And I’m not dirtying any extra equipment since I can weigh right in whatever vessel is about to go into the oven.

So that’s new to my routine.

I’ve also learned just in the last three days that my proportions of carbs to fat to protein are WAY off.  I’m eating way too much fat and not nearly enough carbs, apparently.  Protein is pretty much right on.  And I have a tendency to overdo the sodium.  At least, according to what MFP says I should be eating.  So now I have a better idea of what to change and how.

It’s too soon to say if it really helps, but it’s another step along the road.  Let’s see where it goes.

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