I hope everyone is having a great day today!
So, as my title indicates, today is day #4 of my reboot. I guess I want to reflect on and share some of the things I've learned (or relearned), some of the insights I'm gaining, etc.
1. I cannot say enough about how important it is to track. I knew this at one time, but somehow I got away from that and forgot all the reasons it's so important. It makes me more mindful of the choices I am making regarding what I am eating, how much I am eating, etc. It's so easy to lie to yourself and say that what you're eating is healthy, or not that many calories, etc. Here is an example of just how powerful it is as a tool.
Today, I decided to have a large salad for lunch.
I knew the vegetables would not add up to many calories, but I dutifully weighed and measured to be sure. Then it came time to add croutons. (Love that little bit of crunch with my salad!) The serving size was 6 croutons for 30 calories. I suppose that's not too horrible, but in the past, I would just dump handfuls of croutons on my salad, and if I ran out, I didn't hesitate to add more. Those calories add up! Here's another example, related to the very same salad: dressing.
I had gotten used to pouring copious amounts of dressing on (It's fat free, after all!
Well, 2 tablespoons was 45 calories. After I saw that, I actually measured out a portion, put it in a dish on the side, and did the whole "dip your fork into the dressing before each bite" strategy that I learned a long time ago but had stopped doing. I'm guessing I was easily pouring 150 calories on my salad in just dressing, not to mention all the croutons!
2. Kind of a funny realization I had was related to how much I eat. I was kind of feeling like I've been eating even more since starting back on SparkPeople. Then it dawned on me: before, I wasn't even paying attention to how much I ate or how often. Now, I am more conscious of it and have to go through the work of weighing, measuring, tracking, etc. That is why I feel like I'm eating even more now. I was eating a lot before--but had no clue just how much!
3. It's very easy for alcohol to sabotage my success. In these past 4 days, the one day that I drank alcohol, I consumed WAY OVER my calorie range for that day. I had been doing well up until that point--but between the alcohol, the mixer, and the food I ate after I'd been drinking (not exactly healthy choices!), it just totally annihilated my calorie budget. This caused me to do some thinking, research on SparkPeople, etc. I will have to plan ahead better. For example, cutting down on how often/much I drink, using zero-calorie mixers and planning ahead for a meal at the end of the night that will be quick, easy to make, low in calorie, and is portion-controlled.
4. SparkPeople has SO MANY resources! Of course, I knew this from my previous times on the site, but it is easy to lose sight of those things when you're not using them. In addition to the food tracker and fitness tracker, I've done research on the community boards and in the articles. And then there are the positive interactions with other SparkPeople, which is so motivating. I have not even begun to scratch the tip of the iceberg, but I know there are all these resources available to help!
5. One thing alone which I think is awesome is the e-mail/article I received from SparkPeople about single-serving dessert recipes. There are certain desserts that I enjoy making, such as brownies and cookies, but I rarely do because it's so hard to have all that temptation around. It's just my husband and I, and he's not that into sweets, so to have a whole pan of brownies or 3 dozen cookies sitting around--it's just not a good thing. Well, thanks to this article, I have stumbled upon the perfect solution: single-serving desserts! Yesterday, I tried making the single-serving brownie. It was only 95 calories. It was the perfect portion size, and it satisfied my sweet tooth!
Well, those are the big things I've learned or realized so far.
What about you? What's an insight, a realization, something new you've learned, etc.?