Dr. Fuhrman Dr. Fuhrman

Track Everything You Eat

I used to be fat. Morbidly obese, they call it. Now, my BMI is 20, my waist circumference is healthy, and I feel much better now that I have 100 pounds less to carry every day. My secret formula: I entered every bite of food in a nutritional analysis program. The program would tell me how many calories I had eaten that day. This may seem not that helpful, but it actually is a time tested proven approach to weight loss.

I tracked everything meticulously for a couple of weeks. After that, I had found a healthy daily rhythm where I knew what I could eat most of the day. I still often check the calories of a new recipe.

Why it works

  • It makes you aware of the amount of calories in certain foods. I still remember how shocked I was to find out that one milkshake accounted for half of my daily calories.
  • It makes you accountable and less likely to cheat. I didn't think this would work, but it did. I was less likely to eat a snack when I knew I had to account for it later.
  • It can help you feel in control of your weight loss.

The tools

There are dozens of programs that can help you with this. A few popular ones:

You will also want a good kitchen scale . I found it really helpful to measure out normal portions of nuts/raisins. And to find out that homemade bread is twice as heavy per slice as store brought bread...

Update 3 April:If you just want to quickly calculate the amount of calories in a recipe, check out Calories.

March 6, 2006