I love lists: pro and con lists, grocery lists, top ten lists, to do lists…any list really. So, for a significant portion of my life, I applied this to my weight loss strategy. I had my lists of food rules, of course, but I also did a lot of food tracking. Long before the days of MyFitnessPal, I wrote down the food I ate, sometimes with calories and sometimes not.
So, the question is whether to embrace my strengths (eccentricities) and track all the way into maintenance (i.e., the rest of my life) or try something different. When I started right before the beginning of 2015, I decided I was willing to track forever if that’s what it would take. After a few months, I changed my mind. I would rather not have to, so I slowly and intentionally transitioned away from tracking. I still do so on occasion if I’m having a rough time or if I was to spot check what I’ve been eating, but that’s it.
Since this is a post about lists, here’s one for you:
A few pros to tracking your food
- Gives you a record to look back on to see what works better.
- Helps you plan around special meals and treats.
- Provides a built-in method to stay mindful about your eating.
- Keeps you accountable to put everything you put into your mouth.
And now a few cons
- Can lead to obsessive eating patterns (for me).
- It’s just a lot of work.
- Did I mention tedious?
The con list can apply to about a million other things related to weight loss. Losing weight is just hard. Being fat is also hard. The trick is finding what you’re okay with doing long-term. As I’ve heard many times, choose your hard.