Today was NOT a beautiful day in Kansas! We have currently about 8 inches of snow (after it all melted yesterday) and we are set to gain a few more overnight! Yuck! The only thing keeping me sane is it is supposed to be in the 50's next week so it will all melt again! Be lucky you don't live in Kansas....and if you do, at least we're all in it together;)
I have a new smoothie concoction to share with you! A little recipe from Carrots n Cake called the Gingerbread Smoothie! The only ingredients in it are milk, vanilla protein powder, pear and cinnamon and ginger. The first time I tried this I omitted the protein powder and added pumpkin. I mean, what's more gingerbread-y then pumpkin? Apparently vanilla protein powder is! Don't mess with perfection, peeps! For some reason this small-ingredient, fast-fix smoothie DOES taste like gingerbread! It's super delicious and healthy! 5 PointsPlus (sorry, my camera didn't take a great picture of this)
Since I'm following the Weight Watchers plan, I track my food everyday. When I first started WW back in 2006, I was religous about it until I met my goal weight. I thought I knew everything, and let's face it, tracking EVERYTHING you eat is not really that fun! Low and behold, I gained most of my weight back! I'm not saying it's because I didn't track everything I ate, but it was a big contributor! So today, I'd like to talk a little bit about tracking your food intake!
We all have different eating goals-whether it's losing or gaining weight, gaining muscle, low carbs/high protein-WHATEVER! We can all gain some insight by tracking what we eat! At this point in time, I happen to write everything down in a 3-month WW tracking book.
This book lasts for 3 months (you probably figured that one out!) and has a place for the time I ate, if I was hungry, satisfied or full when I ate it, what I ate, the points and how many points I have left for the day after I ate. On the right hand page, it has a place for me to track my water intake (WW wants at least 6 glasses, although I go way over this), at least 5 fruits and veggies, 2 low fat or fat free dairy products, and 2 healthy fats/oils. It also has a place for my workout and how many points I gained back along with a "thoughts of the day" area. I've learned that writing down EVERYTHING, whether I just take 1 bite or eat the whole thing, really makes me aware of my fuel intake. Why didn't I lose weight this week? Well, I only had 3 fruits and veggies this day, and I remember I had a few my husband's french fries and didn't track anything. Hmmmm...you can find the culpret right away!
So what if you aren't on Weight Watchers, no problem! If you are into writing things down, try a Fitbook!
These also last for 3 months and have everything you could ever want in them (even it's own cutie-pie pen)! These are small and can fit right in your purse (or man-bag!). This book focuses more on your workouts, but still has plenty of room for your food. You can track each strength training exercise you did for the day, weight and reps. You can track cardio and how hard your workout was. Write goals at the beginning of each week along with your weight and measurements if you are tracking them. The nice thing is that these books are fairly inexpensive (around $22) and you can keep them forever to track your progress while you reach your goals. I got one of these for Christmas and as soon as I'm done with my WW tracking book, I'm hitting this one up. I can't wait!
If you don't like the idea of physically writing everything down, maybe you can try the tech version? Go to calorieking.com, sparkpeople.com or livestrong.com to track online (calorieking you must pay to be a member of). I personally have used livestrong and sparkpeople and much prefer livestrong because of there extensive food gallery. (Lots of people love sparkpeople though-so to each their own!) Most things I eat I just type in "Light Laughing Cow cheese" and it comes right up with all of its stats! Easy-peasy! You can also track your weight, calorie goals, and water intake. Plus, it gives you the percentage of protein/fat/carbs that you've consumed for the day which is invaluable if you track your protein to carb ratio intake.
If you've never tracked your food intake before and are struggling with your fitness goals, I encourage you to try it for at least 1 week. I bet you will be really surprised at what you find out about yourself! Plus, you might start thinking of all those little "tastes" that go in your mouth that might be ruining your fitness goals!
Tell me about your experiences with tracking your food and exercises! Do you write things down or use a Web site/computer program? Do you find it useful or a waste of time?
Desserted Tip of the Day: Remember that brownie/cookie/cake/chips/cheeseball will be there tomorrow. You don't have to eat it all in one sitting! Everything in moderation, friends! (I have to remind myself of this everyday! Moderation is not my strong suite!)