Recording Food Intake - Counting Calories and/or Carbs
- POSTED ON: Feb 21, 2011

                      

 

                         

I found the DietPower food journaling program in September 2004, while surfing the net.  I started using it.  I had good success, and still really like it.  

 

   I have logged all of my food into DietPowerevery day since 9/20/04, today, 2/21/11 makes 2346 consecutive days.

 

DietPower is my most essential tool for weight-loss and maintenance.……….However, like any tool, it won't be helpful unless………you make, and follow through with, a commitment to consistently use it.

Before using DietPower I tried many times to keep track of my food and calories. That was very hard to do using only paper, a pen, and a calorie dictionary, I was never able to keep doing that for more than a week or so.


Diet Power changed all that for me. As entering all my food was easy, it became an enjoyable Habit. It is now as natural to me as brushing my teeth or making my bed every day. DietPower works with every diet one might care to use,
and no matter what specific diet I’m on, I still use DietPower.

 

Counting calories long-term used to be very time consuming and difficult, however, using a computer software program like DietPower lets one do it with ease. In fact, because of my habitual use of DietPower, counting calories is now a Habit for me.  I’m currently doing a Low-CarbExperiment and DietPower also makes it easy for me to count my carbs.

DietPower is a very small company, and it gives great personal support. There is a free 2 week trial, and the program pretty much explains itself. When I first got it, I downloaded the free 2 weeks and I liked it
so much immediately, that I bought it after using it for only 3 days.

Although DietPower is a simple program, learning anything requires effort.Also, installing a habit is not energy free.  One must keep one’s commitment to consistent action for the weeks that it takes to establish the habit

of logging in one’s food. Consistent effort can result in habitual behavior.

 

 DietPower has a big food dictionary with thousands of foods of all types and brands. For example it has tons of generic granola bars, and if you want to input quickly, you can just pull up whatever appears to be the closest to what you're eating. However, one thing I really I like, is the ease with which I can input the exact info from the label of my favorite food (for example: a specific Atkins bar) into DietPower's food dictionary, and then from that day forward, I have that EXACT information in my program.

I use DietPower’s recipe function all the time.  Although initially DietPower’s
recipe dictionary contains a number of recipes,  I must admit that I've never used any of them.  However, I’ve put all of my own recipes into DietPower, by using ingredients from the food dictionary. So I know exactly what the nutrients are in one serving of any of my favorite recipes.  When I eat that serving, or part of it,  I simply input that choice into my food log which then tells me the exact amount of calories, carbs, protein, fat etc. in my food intake.

Another good use for the recipe dictionary is that I can combine foods to make
my usual salad or sandwich; or even combine all the foods of a standard meal including a salad, a main dish, fruit etc. and then just  a few clicks puts all of that food information into my daily food log. 

 DietPower can be used just as it is, and you will want to do that at first
until you learn the program well,  but the benefits of individualizing the program are fantastic.

There is a lot of information about DietPower on its online website, and I've found it all to be true.  I have no financial interest in it, and I’ve chosen
not to receive any payment for people who buy the program after clicking my DietPower links.


If you buy the program, my advice is to pay the small extra charge for them
to ship you a disk. I don't like that "key" process, because it can take a day or two to implement, and having the program disk has really saved me a few times from computer glitches.

Personally, I’m not fond of the metabolism function of DietPower, except as an area of interest.  I find it much more effective to set myself a "constant calorie budget" than let DietPower zigzag my calories up and down.
The program will tell you to eat far too few
and then far too many calories.  Perhaps that function works well for large men, but I've found it doesn't work very well for medium size to small women.

 

The thing to remember is that DietPower is just a tool. 
It doesn't work unless you use it.


If you have questions, feel free to ask them.  You can easily access the DietPower
website by clicking the icons located on the top and bottom of this page.

 

 

Update, January 2018: DietPower now only seems to work on an older Windows computer, and over the years, it has become relatively obsolete. Although I still choose to use it to journal my daily food, I supplement it with the use of My Fitness Pal, an online food journal which performs similar functions. As of this date, if I were just beginning to learn to use a food journal, my choice would be to use My Fitness Pal.


A Peek Into My Life
- POSTED ON: Feb 20, 2011

                                

 

The focus of DietHobby is the various aspects of Dieting.
However, since DietHobby is my site, participating here
makes you one of my online friends, so occasionally
I plan to share a bit of introductory personal information.

This is one of these times.

Here’s picture of me with my husband at our wedding.
FYI: I spent more than 6 months on a medically-supervised liquid diet
to drop down to 150 lbs, in order to fit into my wedding dress, but I still think it was worth it.

                             

 We’ve been together now for almost 30 years, and I’m still very fond of him.
Here is a recent picture of us, and the card he gave me on Valentine’s day.

   

I have an adult daughter, an adult son, and an adult step-son,
who are now in their 30s and 40s, but my mind still sees my son and my daughter like this.

     

I'm an Attorney, retired after 25 years of Practicing Family Law.
Here are pictures of my sign and former office.

                                  

 



 

 

 

 

 FYI - I probably weighed somewhere in the 180s in this office picture.

When the construction on this DietHobby site is completed,
there will be a gallery, where I intend to occasionally post
relevant photographs – hopefully most of them on interesting topics.

Enough for personal details. 
I look forward to sharing the adventure of DietHobby with you.

 

 


Setting a Goal Weight Range
- POSTED ON: Feb 20, 2011

    During my weight-loss phase, I participated in a diet forum of people who posted daily weights. Observing the behavior of the others provided me with extremely helpful information. When I neared my goal weight, I decided that it was important for me to set specific Goal weights, and to make them extremely VISUAL.

So I created this Weight Maintenance Chart,

which turned out to be a very successful way to BURN specific goal-weight-range numbers into my mind and heart.

Many people have asked me how and why I chose these particular numbers, for these specific categories.  My "creative" thought process went this way....

Over time, I’d learned that my body weight tends to bounce around quite a bit due to salt/water/waste issues. Three pound gains and losses are frequent. Five pound deviations are not unusual. After a 3 day vacation I can have an 8 to 10 lb up-bounce, most of which recedes after a week of eating carefully. Due to this, I decided to set myself a 10-lb maintenance weight range.


At a height of 5’0”, the "Expert" Charts said my "Healthy Weight Range" was between 95 and 128 lbs, and specifically gave 110 lbs as the most "Healthy" weight for my height and bone-structure. I chose the specific numbers from within that range which were meaningful to me.

I set my permanent Goal weight number as 115 lbs. and decided that more than 5 lbs above that number was unacceptable. Therefore I set the 4 lbs above 115 as a “lose weight” area.

I knew that, due to my love of food, dropping too far beneath my goal weight would never be a problem, however, I watched one of my 5'0" forum members, who was maintaining between 110 and 100 lbs, be continually hassled by her family and by other forum members who were worried she was going to “develop Anexoria” and allow her weight to drop too low.
My own family also began making occasional remarks like: “when will you decide to stop dieting?” So I decided to clarify my entire position by setting limits for my bottom weight,as well as limits for my top weight.

The Charts singled 110 out as the ideal number for me,and my lifetime secret fantasy was to weigh 105 lbs. So I decided to set my 10 lb maintenance range between 115 and 105 lbs,.  which placed 110 lbs at the mid-point of my range.

Even the positioning of my numbers have Meaning.  English is read from left to right, which means thatleft is where one has been, and right is where one is going.  I put my high numbers on the left and my low numbers on the right. because the high weight is my past, and the low weight is my future,

The bottom numbers of the "Healthy" Chart were 99-95 lbs so I set this 4 lb range as a "gain weight" area.

Any weight below my "gain weight area" (less than 95 lbs) is a weight that is Totally Unacceptable to me.

Any weight above my "lose weight area" (more than 119 lbs) is a weight that is Totally Unacceptable to me.


The colors I chose also have meaning for me.

Blue for the Maintenance area, because it's my favorite color.
Green for the Acceptably lower area... like Go, it's okay.
Red for the Lose and Gain Weight areas...like Danger or Stop.
Black for outside the high and low Boundaries...like Outer Darkness.

I put all of that information into a small Chart to make it Highly Visual. I did this primarily to firmly fix my goals in my mind,  but found that this also made it easy to share the details of my plan with others. During the past 5 years, this chart has proven to be a very effective tool.

My goal is to make DietHobby an interesting and informative place, rather than a boring monologue about myself. 

That said......
Here's a picture of my cat, Boodie.

 


The Scale and the Big Picture
- POSTED ON: Feb 19, 2011

                   

The Scale is a weight-measuring tool

Body fat is only a part of the scale number.
The scale measures the weight of everything in the body,
including all our bones and tissues, along with the
water and waste products that the body contains
at the time that we step on that scale.

Eating salty foods will affect the body's salt/water/waste levels for several days.
So will bowel functions. There are other functions of the body that involve
the body’s water levels as well. This means that the scale will sometimes
register higher numbers than it will at other times.
It is the Big Picture that counts, 
rather than one’s weight on one individual day.

Here is an example of how the Scale can change from day to day,
This is a graph that shows my own daily weights from spring 2009
thru mid February 2011. This weight range is between 109 -128 lbs.




Weight bounces happen.
Everyone has salt/water/waste issues.
Some have them more than others.
It is a RESULT,
a function of the body that is essentially outside one's control.

I’ve been tracking my food and my weight in my DietPower food journal
for more than six years, which has given me an enormous amount of detailed
personal data. As part of my hobby, I play around with that data, making various
graphs and charts.

Weight bounces are so common for me,
that a perfectly consistent weight is unusual.
This morning a comparison chart I’ve been running,
showed something that, for my body, is remarkable.
This graphic shows my weights on 2/19, for the years 2008-2009-2010-2011.



Due to my frequent bounces, the fact that each of these 4 year records show me
in the same lb range on the same date is incredibly unusual.
I was pleased to see this specific evidence of successful weight-loss maintenance.

If you are interested in seeing examples of day-to-day scale variations
You can access a great deal of that data by going to my
ABOUT ME page
and clicking the links to the charts and graphs contained there.

 Some of those links show my Maintenance numbers during 2006
through 2010 in detail, and show the differences between my highest weight of
each month, and my lowest weight of each month. This will show you that it is
common for me, during any one month, to have a bounce range of 8 or more lbs.
As I am over age 60, these weight fluctuations are not due to "female monthly issues".

These links will also show you my average monthly calorie intake,
and the gain/loss from the first day of each month to the last day of each month.
These numbers indicate that my bounce range is not explained by calorie excess.

I’ve posted my weights daily on the DietPower Challenge Forum for many years,
and shared my daily bouncing activity etc. After time, I got tired of "excusing" and
"explaining" my frequent gains and losses to new forum members,
and I now choose to share my weight on that forum by posting on a variable basis,
but normally at least once a week. This tends to show my "stabilized" weights,
instead of my extreme highs and lows. However, inside my links,
I still share that average monthly data.

 Weight Bounces Happen
Bounces are not EFFORT or BEHAVIOR
and therefore, are not under one's personal control.
...They are simply a RESULT, an OUTCOME,
which is not under one’s personal control.

There could be many reasons why one’s weight bounces.
One's Body Water shifts continually, due to salt and for other reasons.
Sometimes when one eats very low calorie, or low carb,
and engages in heavy exercise,
one drops a lot of water along with fat,
and one's body eventually replaces that water.
At times, one's intestines sometimes contain more than other times.
i.e. Salt/Water/Waste issues.

Although most of us know this in our Minds.
Our hearts …emotions… have difficulty accepting that Truth.
This is one basic reason why more people don't lose weight,
or maintain their weight-loss.

Losing weight or maintaining weight-loss takes an enormous amount
of Consistency and Patience, along with some Faith....
and personally, I often find Faith to be the most difficult.


 


What About the Scales?
- POSTED ON: Feb 18, 2011


                        
What about the Scales? 
Should I weigh? If so, how often?
Should I throw my scales away?

This issue is discussed frequently by those dealing with diet
and weight-loss. After a lifelong battle with food and
with weight (see ABOUT ME),
I’ve established what works for me.

Regarding the scales:
Over the years, I have had every reaction to them possible.

 I've eaten because they showed a loss,
and I've eaten because they showed a gain.
I've eaten because they didn't move up or down.

I've felt bad because they went up,
 I've felt good because they went down. 
Sometimes I've felt bad, and sometimes I've felt good,
when they didn't move at all.

Over time, I tried different variations to my use of the scales.
I tried weighing whenever I felt like it, even if it was many times a day.
I tried weighing once a day, and once a week, and once a month.
twice a day, not weighing myself, but having a club or doctor weigh me.
I spent several years not weighing at all.
I've bought many scales of various kinds,
and I've thrown away many scales.

The scales was never the problem.
I did not like the Reality of the numbers registered by them.
Like many overeaters, I have a strong tendency to lie to myself.
It's easy to lie to myself about how much I eat,
and I can also lie to myself about how much I weigh.

In order to face reality, I have to have an objective standard.
I weigh every morning after using the bathroom, but before I dress.
I write that weight down.
I then record that weight on charts and graphs that I keep.

I feel emotions during this process,
just like I feel emotions about lots of my other daily activities.
I can emotionally eat because I do or don't like the number the scale tells me
or I can emotionally eat over something I hear in the morning news.
............or over anything at all.....
Facts are facts, and emotions are emotions.

I continually work to avoid emotional eating, no matter what the cause.
Not facing the truth of facts isn't a solution to emotional eating.

Some mornings the scale shows me up 2-3 lbs from the prior morning.
I don't like that.
However, I KNOW I didn't really gain 2-3 lbs of fat overnight...
because I'm not a moron.

 I know that it's the Big Picture that counts,
rather than one individual day or one individual weight.
Since it takes approximately 3500 calories above what I burn to gain 1 fat lb.
I know that the calories I took in the day before wasn't even half of that.
I also know that eating salty foods,
will affect my body's salt/water/waste levels for several days.
This means that I will register numbers higher on the scale.

Whatever the reason, when I see higher numbers on the scale,
I know that for the next few days

I will need to eat smaller amounts of lower calorie foods.

Do I feel frustrated by this?
Am I angry and disgusted?

I hate the Reality of the fact
that I cannot eat everything I want to eat, all the time.

THAT is what I feel frustrated by.
THAT is what sometimes angers and disgusts me.
The number on the scale just reminds me of that Truth.

My determination
to stay the course and view the numbers on the scale in a positive way,
and
my determination
to accept the Reality of the fact that I cannot eat everything I want to eat all of the time,
is an ATTITUDE CHOICE, and that choice isn’t always pleasant or easy.

This is an ultimate Truth for me:
I must face Reality; Change what I can; and Accept what I can't Change.


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