Friday, April 01, 2016

Counting Calories

Counting calories is hard.
Sure, it's manageable IF you're eating food straight out of a box, with a nutrition label that tells you how many calories are in it.  But that's not the best nutrition.  Nor the best taste. 

Daughter1 told Daughter3 about her discovery:  
The website harnesses the power of the internet to do all sorts of figuring for you.  For example, if you type in "banana," it will offer you choices of a small, medium, or large banana (with lengths to help you figure out size), and then it adds in a calorie count.  It has restaurant food in its search engines.  It has brand names, so you can look up Aldi spaghetti sauce or Starkist tuna or King Arthur flour.  

Best of all -- you can add recipes and it will figure that calorie count for you.  One time, Andrew had a project at school to evaluate his diet; it was far too difficult to eat the real food he was accustomed to.  Instead, he spent a few days eating instafood and fast food.  During that project, his goal was that all food come with a label listing the calories, protein, fat, etc.  But with LoseIt, we can record what went into the stirfry or casserole or salad, and the program figures up how many calories there are.  Maggie can also have "recipes" for things she eats regularly (such as the sandwich she frequently takes with her on school days) to simplify even further the record-keeping.

Maggie is motivated to use this.  She finds it easier to avoid the junk food when she knows she'll have to admit it to herself and watch the calories add up on her daily tote board.  She finds that exercise is easier when she enjoys the reward of typing in how far she walked or how many minutes she rode her bike, and sees her day's calorie-budget increase.  She set herself a goal of 2# loss per month, but she's far ahead of that for her first month.  

After a month of using the program, an added [math] bonus is that both Maggie and I are getting much better at estimating weights, volumes, and calorie counts.  

By the way, this program would be way easier with a smart phone, but LoseIt works just fine with a desktop.


  1. I'm getting fluffier here. Noted.

  2. I've used Lose It for the past year, not faithfully. The site has changed and offers less free information than last year. I really miss the vitamin and mineral stats. They were great to determine what I was missing consistently from my diet. It's still a great site and good tool for dieting.