Energy tracking & awareness
Numerous scientific studies show that the people who track their energy intake and their energy burn through exercise are the most successful when it comes to losing weight and keeping it off. So we recommend that for a period of 4 – 6 weeks you religiously track everything. It is really important that you develop an awareness of where your calories are coming from and what they look like on a plate.
This isn’t as hard as it sounds: we are all creatures of habit and tend to eat the same meals repeatedly. So once you have logged say ‘chilli con carne’ there’s no need to measure it again – because you already know the figures.
It’s the same with exercise. Once you have measured a particular activity you will know how many calories that type of exercise expends.
We have included two trackers on the Welcome page: one for recording meals and one for recording your weight. Over time you will be able to build up a picture of what is going on and the weight tracker creates a graph for you automatically.
In the ‘Keep Going’ part of the program you will find a link to the BUPA exercise calculator so you can check your calorie burn while exercising.
As part of building up your awareness of calories and what they look like on a plate you may want to photograph your meals – it can help some people.
Again once you become proficient at calorie awareness you could just move to portion control to help manage your calorie intake. You can buy these plates online to help you get started.
Really this should be the goal of everyone who is wanting to manage their weight long term. It is to do what Ancient Man did back in the day. Only eat when you are hungry and only eat enough to make you feel full. Think about animals in the wild. When a lion brings down a deer he doesn’t eat the whole beast. He eats what he wants and walks off!
In the ‘Downloads’ section of ‘Embrace your Lifestyle’ there is a document called the ‘Hunger Scale’ – it might help you to download it and put it on your fridge magnet to refer to. Also consider downloading the other documents in that section including the Intuitive Eating explainer.
So in conclusion we see the weight loss journey as a transition from calorie counting in the short-term through to portion control and then eating instinctively or intuitively. We have illustrated this idea with this graphic: