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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Track It!

My life has been a twisted experiment in gaining and losing weight. I have done both of them fanatically over the span of nearly 4 decades, so I know a little about the process for people like me. (Whatever that means!)

Some of us are afflicted with a form of sugar amnesia or selective carb coma syndrome that affects the part of our brain that regulates food portions. When I am off on a bender (you know, when you fall off the wagon completely and eat anything you want without even a passing thought of consequences) I lose all memory of what I ate 30 minutes ago, 3 hours ago, or the quantities.  
Ripping off a chunk of bread at Macaroni Grill and eating it doesn't imprint into my memory at all, and 5 minutes later I'm ripping off another chunk to dunk in the olive oil, forgetting I already ate a huge portion. I may recall eating a bowl of cereal.  I may not recall that the bowl was a Kitchen Aid mixing bowl.  

Once I stop weighing, measuring and tracking I lose all concept of what I am actually eating. Once I stop tracking, it's very easy, even if I am "dieting," to miss things or forget what I actually consumed that day and then eat much more than I realize.

According to one study by Kaiser Permanente in 2008, keeping a food diary helped people lose twice a much as people following the same overall food plan but who didn't write it down.(1) I know beyond any doubt that I am the kind of person who requires accountability in order to stay focused, on track, and honest with myself.

Over the years I have tracked in several ways:  writing in a daily journal, posting on an online forum, using the Weight Watchers online tool, Spark People, and currently I am using My Fitness Pal. It is free, offers a little social networking to keep track with friends, and has a handy mobile app to keep track no matter where I am. (Feel free to find me - my name there is CarlyWeb.)

The best success I have ever had with weight loss and maintenance was when I continued to track all the food that went into my mouth. If you have never tried it, experiment and you'll find it may help motivate you to stay on track and refocus your food choices day by day.

And don't try to cheat and not write it ALL may be able to deceive the mind, but the body KNOWS!


1. (Kaiser Permanente (2008, July 8). Keeping A Food Diary Doubles Diet Weight Loss, Study Suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 13,)


  1. I just started fitness pal again last night...great read Carlene!!!!


  2. Just added you on MyFitnessPal!


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