Carpe Run

Seizing the day (and the run) one day and mile at a time!

Slacking and Tracking: Food Photos and Livestrong

on January 10, 2013

Soooo I’ve been pretty bad about posting my meals.  I have taken a lot of pictures of them though or at least it seems like I have so get ready for a healthy food photo dump!  I actually managed to track all my meals via photo yesterday.  Side note, I track all my foods daily and have been doing on a regular basis for over a year.  I’ll get to that in a minute…

I made Skinnytaste Chicken Enchiladas Tuesday night which are one of my favorite meals!  Ben love them too and they are so yummy and filling.

Chicken Enchiladas with Sour Cream and Spinach Salad

Chicken Enchiladas with Sour Cream and Spinach Salad

Since I had some shredded chicken left over and plenty of fresh cilantro I made breakfast burritos for Ben and a simple egg white scramble for myself the next morning:

Shredded Seasoned Chicken with Egg Whites, Cilantro and Salsa

Shredded Seasoned Chicken with Egg Whites, Cilantro and Salsa

Lunch was leftover chili from the weekend plus a salad with lots o’ veggies.  Followed up with a clementine!

Turkey and Zucchini Chili with Spinach Salad, Baby Carrots and Cucumber

Turkey and Zucchini Chili with Spinach Salad, Baby Carrots and Cucumber

I was flying solo for dinner last night so I threw together a combination of random things I had to use up.  Turkey meatballs, a medium zucchini, tomato sauce and italian seasoning went into the skillet.

Italian Style Turkey Meatballs with Zucchini and Red Sauce Topped with Shredded Mozzerella

Italian Style Turkey Meatballs with Zucchini and Red Sauce Topped with Shredded Mozzarella

Not too shabby and it took me all of 10-15 minutes total with hardly any prep or cleanup!  It was super filling as well.  I had to eat and clean up fast to hit the gym to cross train and go to Body Pump!

On to tracking meals, although taking pictures of everything is new to me and definitely helps with perception and portion size, there is another tool I would definitely like to credit for the bulk of my weight loss.  I have been using Livestrong Myplate since 2010.  I haven’t tracked consistently the whole time but have been for at least the past 8 months or so.  I track my calories each and every day and THIS is really what I credit for my weight loss.  Sure the workouts and the running help A LOT but knowing what and how much I am consuming really made the weight come off.

I like that all the foods I commonly eat are already in the database and I can just type them in and they pop up.  Even store brands like Harris Teeter where I shop are listed which makes it a breeze!  There is always the option to add manual items as well if you can’t find the one you are looking for, but I usually just choose something comparable.  I also like looking at my percentages for the day to make sure I am taking in the correct amount of protein, carbs, and fat.  I can look at my breakdown by day and week and also track my workouts.  Calories burned for workouts are based on current weight but I am always cautious about the amount of calories Myplate says I burned.  I take it with a grain of salt or lessen the time to make it a more accurate burn.  Just like being leery of what cardio machines say, common sense can go a long way here.  Finally, I use the app to track my water intake as well.

My few complaints about this tool are that the app leaves some to be desired and that as mentioned, the calories burned under fitness seem to be a bit inflated.  I do use the app when I am on the go but I do most of my managing on the PC.  The database on the app isn’t as good and the views are obviously less detailed.  I know there are other highly touted tools out there such as My Fitness Pal and others, but this has worked for me for so long that I can’t think of switching!

Whichever program you use, I highly recommend doing this, especially for runners who are trying to drop a little bit of weight.  As I’ve mentioned, I actually gained weight when I started running which was annoying since I was using it as a way to lose initially.  Extra exercise DOES make me more hungry but knowing when to stop and realizing that running 3 miles doesn’t give you the green light to eat like a marathoner are key to avoiding weight gain or even encourage losing if desired.

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2 responses to “Slacking and Tracking: Food Photos and Livestrong

  1. Rachel says:

    Your turkey meatball dish looks delicious.

    I am also a Livestrong tracker, since 2008 when it was just The Daily Plate. Then LS bought it out. I dislike the app on my phone completely, so I just track on the PC.

  2. Laura says:

    Thanks! I definitely just threw it together. Yeah definitely don’t love the app.

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