Thursday, August 12, 2010

How I Track

This is for Meli who asked, "i have no idea what i should be counting. calorie and proteins? everything? i don't know. :/ also how do you know how much calories are in a meal when you eat out? also, what about meat? how do you count the calories in that? or is that a stupid question?"

No way, my friend, these are not stupid questions! Not everyone takes a nutrition class in college. You've got to learn some time.

The simple answer to how I track is...I don't. Most of the time, as long as the scale is moving, I don't track. I let my beautiful band do its job.

(As a side note, I don't think I've ever told all of you that I call my band "Zuul" as in the gatekeeper from Ghostbusters. Silly, huh?)

Every once in awhile though, I audit myself and keep track of everything for a day or two to make sure I'm on track. As for Meli's specific questions...

"i have no idea what i should be counting. calorie and proteins?"

I don't track my protein because I did for awhile and I eat plenty of protein. I had a 5 oz. lean burger for dinner (no bun). I had chicken salad for breakfast and Thai chicken curry for lunch. Protein isn't an issue for me. I try to eat as healthy as possible and I have a pretty balanced diet of mostly meat, veggies, and whole grains so I only track calories. This might be different for other people though.

"how do you know how much calories are in a meal when you eat out?"

You can't always tell perfectly how many calories you're eating in restaurants, especially in really good restaurants or ethnic places. You can only estimate. It's really hard to know exactly how much butter or oil they're using, but you can always ask for what you want. Eating at home most of the time is a better bet, but if you're eating out, you can do your best. A lot of chain restaurants post their nutritional info online. One of my favorites is Peiwei because they have VERY detailed info on their website. I order the dish I do because I know that even if I eat the ENTIRE thing, it's 320 calories, and it's delicious. I get the Thai Dynamite shrimp, stock velveted (which means they cook it in veggie stock instead of oil) with extra steamed veggies. If I eat half of the brown rice, I know that's another 100 calories or so. Many, many restaurants are doing this now, and I LOVE it. I'm more likely to eat somewhere that posts nutritional info. Otherwise, I just do my best.

"also, what about meat? how do you count the calories in that?"

I use websites like or to calculate the calories in generic food items. I searched Google for "calories in flank steak" to get an approximation of what I ate and got this. There are a lot of online calorie counters. As long as you know about how much you ate, you can calculate calories. And you need to know how to eyeball a 3-4 ounce portion of protein, so I highly recommend you get a food scale to use for awhile, at least until you can eyeball it pretty successfully.

Hope this helps!


Meli said...

thank you steph!!!!! by the way i love that you don't track everything. i would prefer not to have to do it at all. but if i do it, its a lot easier to just track the calories. that dish sounds delicious by the way. when i'm eating food again i'll have to drive up and have thai with you again :)

thank you!!

She-Fit said...

That is great that you don't have to track. I've found that I've gotten to the point where I don't have to track because I've learned what is in each food. Balance is key and I don't want to get too wrapped up in numbers