Tracking calories. With gifs.

OK, so I’ve finally decided to do something about my weight. After chatting in various places I’ve decided that I’m going to have to track my calories (at least initially, so I can find out how much I actually eat) and eat smaller portions.


2200 on regular days & 2900 on lifting/conditioning days. According to the calculations this is what I need to maintain my weight; however I think I’ve been eating way more than that, so if I eat fewer calories the excess weight should come off, right?

I won’t deny I hate this. It’s a mindfuck. Everywhere you look on powerlifting/weightlifting/Crossfit communities everyone is saying “Eat moar food! Eat all the food! Just eat the food! GAINZZZZZZZ!” Meanwhile I have to eat less. Well, fuck.

Fuck everything

I find the idea of tracking calories to be quite, well, disordered. Someone on the Eating the Food group suggested I look at it as a way of making sure I eat enough, rather than a way of restricting. That would be great if I had any issues at all getting enough calories. I don’t. I could quite easily pour 3000kcals a day into my gullet, no problem. So this is about restricting, sadly. So much for Eating the Food being about the end of restricting! LE SIGH.

Happily, Matt is on board with it and has said he’ll make me more protein-y lunches (like pulled pork! and roast beef!) and fewer things with pasta, potatoes etc. Normally I’m the one who eats the larger portion out of the two of us. If he can’t manage the larger portion it’s going to mean more leftovers, which is something!

I’m struggling with how to track accurately when I eat out quite a lot. Apparently (according to ETF) trying to be accurate is better than guesstimating. But I am not going to be that person who walks into Beigel Bake and asks how many calories are in a salt beef beigel, for fuck’s sake. Seriously, people like that should probably be shot.

OK, maybe not shot, but put into Room 101 with the people who go to Burger Monday & take the bun off their burger.


I also don’t want to be the person who stays home measuring every bite, instead of going out and eating, you know?

Yesterday I tracked as accurately as I could (which was still pretty rough) to give myself an example. I ate:

  • 2 Oatibix, semi-skimmed milk, honey & raisins
  • A ham & cheese sandwich on seeded bread, with an apple
  • Roughly 20 pecans (as snacks over the day)
  • Flatiron steak, 5 new potatoes roasted in EVOO, wilted spinach

That came to 2200kcals, roughly, and I went to bed pretty hungry. That felt, to me, like a really light day, foodwise. Sticking to it regularly is going to be hard 😦

Oh well, nothing I can really do except give it a go, I suppose.

Do you track your food? Do you track accurately or roughly? Any wise words for me?


9 thoughts on “Tracking calories. With gifs.

  1. jh

    Quite a bit different end of the spectrum than what I am on.. though so many people really struggle to get to 2000 calories; maybe find substitutes for things that you do eat now but ways to make them less calorically dense? That doesn’t sound like a lot of food but guess it added up quickly.

    What about subbing eggs instead of oatibix (no idea what this is; maybe like oatmeal)? And maybe cut out the sandwich bread and sub for a lettuce wrap? It’s tough for me to think backwards.. 🙂

    1. lozette Post author

      Someone else mentioned it elsewhere – I should point out that yesterday’s food was *not* planned out to be tracked. I just happened to decide to track yesterday & was curious to see how much food I had that day, IYSWIM?

      I don’t usually have sandwiches, but that day we had no leftovers so Matt made me a sandwich. I’m not sure about the idea of a lettuce wrap, TBH :-/ Normally I’d have leftover bolognese with rice; leftover chicken & roast potatoes; houmous & veggies with oatcakes etc.

      I know I *should* be eating eggs for breakfast, but I love oat cereals SO MUCH. I always thought the idea of Eating the Food was to not restrict the foods you love, but I’ve found that’s not the case 😦

      I ate eggs for breakfast every morning back during the last time I dieted and TBH it’s put me off them, massively. Plus I love oats. LOVE THEM. But maybe I should restrict oats to twice a week or something *cries*

  2. G

    I’ve tracked, under the excuse of making sure I get enough protein, and tbh I should probably pick up the habit again, but it makes me a little crazy. I find it hard to track without restricting, and while restricting might lead to a couple pounds down, they bounce back on once I stop restricting (usually bringing friends, of course.) Which is frustrating because my weight is normally rock stable. But now thanks to the tracking I have an idea of how much of certain foods I need to get that protein, and I think I’ve gotten better at choosing how to put meals together. (Protein powder is my BFF for breakfasts. And Greek yogurt.)

    Most of my eating is done in two paradigms that don’t work all that well with tracking: cooking from scratch (usually), and eating at restaurants (rarely). How do you accurately estimate “soup stock made from bones and drippings from last week’s slow cooker chicken”? And who knows what my weekly lunch spot puts in their kung pao chicken?

    Please don’t give up your beloved oats! 🙂 Maybe cut back on rice or bread or something you don’t like as much? I hope you can find a solution that works and makes you feel empowered, not constrained.

    1. lozette Post author

      I am def going to try to get more protein, especially for breakfast. I had Fage greek yogurt this morning with oatbran, and after tracking it I’m a bit shocked at how low in protein even that is! Maybe I need to add a protein shake with my breakfast. I need more protein shakers.

      My amazing boyfriend does most of our cooking & I don’t want to start asking him to weigh everything out! Although I might start weighing stuff like rice/pasta, on the advice I’ve got elsewhere. And bread is out, for now (although we’re having pot pies next week, with pastry….)

  3. Randomly Typing

    I started tracking when I started lifting since the goal at the time was body recomposition. Did it religiously for a year straight, as accurately as possible. I’m way too OCD to guesstimate, so any home-cooked meals were measured, I looked-up nutrition data before eating out, and even logged seasonings, cooking sprays, and my fish oil pills. Shoot me. lol. (The obsessive-compulsive thing is a personality quirk and not food specific, btw).

    Now I no longer track unless I’m prepping for a meet, and that is mainly to monitor my macros since I perform and recover better at specific Protein/Carb/Fat percentages — which I learned by tracking in the first place.

    That said, this meet prep is a little different since I’m considering dropping a weight class if the diet isn’t too onerous. I’m sitting exactly at weight now and can lose 2 kilos with a water-load, so I figured what the heck!

    Just started week 3 with a 500 calorie/day cut and I haven’t killed anyone… yet. I’m a volume eater and hate not feeling full. Loading up on veggies and lean proteins has helped, as has reducing my eating frequency. I’d rather move the calories I munch on throughout the day to bigger, more belly-busting meals, but that’s just me.

    I would suggest you look at the condiments and “extras” you add to your foods since those can add up quickly. If you want to keep your Oatibix in the morning, maybe replace the honey and raisins with sweetener and fresh berries?

    Eating more protein will also keep you feeling fuller for longer. I “hide” those dreaded egg whites by sandwiching cooked slices in between meat, or stirring the pasteurized liquid form into my Greek yogurt.

    Good luck in the quest to make weight, Laura! I cook for one and rarely eat out, which makes tracking MUCH easier. I know some ladies who are planning to drop 7 to 10 kilos in the next couple months for their meets. Do NOT envy them the task (or the high probability for loss of strength).

    You’re fairly close to weight. Have you tried a water load in the past? It’s 5 days of misery vs. weeks of dieting. You have time before your next meet to test it out and see if it works for you, giving you time to adjust your diet –if that’s what you want to do– in the meantime 🙂

    1. lozette Post author

      I do need to eat more protein – I’m thinking if aiming for a 40/30/30 split if I can. I just hate to have to do it because I came to fat acceptance before lifting, and this basically violates all those principles, you know?

      I’m mostly just cross because I was spot-on with my weight in September, had no food issues at all (never really have) and now I’m 5kg heavier and all I can think about is calories calories calories. Fuck you, Eating The Food and “health”!!

      I’ve done water manip before & it does work well. I’ll no doubt use it in June.

  4. mandy @ fatgirlgonehealthy

    I’m at a stage in my own journey where I have mixed feelings about calorie counting. Calorie counting helped me lose 60 pounds. Since I quit, I’ve struggled to lose weight. But I hate it, and like you said it can be disordered. To me, what you listed above doesn’t seem like 2200 calories but I could be wrong. I would be willing to bet that was closer to 1800-2000 calories. The really positive thing about tracking food is learning about food portions. It was eye opening for me when I saw what different portions actually looked like. That was sooo helpful for me. Experiment with this and you will figure out what can work for YOU!

  5. Cr

    Gah, it’s all so loaded with fucked up messages, eh?

    When I was tracking, I found that after a week, I got a sense of things that were “better” choices for my increased protein goal. I ended up having protein shakes for breakfast at least 3 times a week, purely for convenience, and also because I got so sick of eggs.

    1. lozette Post author

      I’m thinking more protein shakes are the way to go! At the moment I only have about 4-5 a week. I had Fage Greek yogurt for breakfast for the last 2 days and am surprised how (relatively) low in protein it is!!

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