And the scale says…plus more information about calorie counting and Noom

I promised last week that every Monday I would share my weight. Here goes…

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I don’t want to get ahead of myself or jinx anything, but it seems like I am busting through the plateau. Since I started this blog I have lost 5 pounds. I’m sure hiking for 5 hours on Saturday probably helped me lose a little more than I normally would. However, I coupled the hiking with calorie counting and did not go overboard with my eating just because I hiked all day. I think the calorie counting really helps prevent me from getting in my own way. I am very excited about this downward trend, and I plan on keeping the momentum going. This is also the longest I have ever honestly and completely tracked my calories and stayed reasonably within my calorie limits since I started using Noom. I’m starting to think that maybe I was not really experiencing a plateau as much as I was just merely not complying with the program.

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This is a screen shot of what Noom’s accountability system looks like. When you log all your food for the day, the check mark is blue.

Taking a day off here and there was really killing my momentum. I’m no physicist, but I do know that Newton’s First Law of Motion ~roughly~ states that an object at rest will remain at rest and an object in motion will remain in motion unless acted upon by a force. For me this means that I must continue to be “in motion” with tracking my calories honestly every day and staying within my daily calorie goal range.

 

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This is now what my weeks look like on Noom. It is not a coincidence that my increased compliance with logging all my food is resulting in the downward trend in my weight.

There are people who believe that calorie counting is not the way to go because it is not sustainable and prevents you from using “mindful” eating. I agree that it can negatively compete with mindful eating if you are a person who can reasonably trust your own hunger cues. Some people say that they can’t count calories because they become obsessed with eating fewer and fewer calories every day and go overboard with it. If that is honestly how you deal with it then obviously calorie counting is dangerous and should be avoided. My problem is that I cannot abstractly monitor my food intake. If I don’t keep concrete (as in a specific caloric amount) tabs on exactly what I am eating, then I underestimate what I have eaten and eat too much. Unfortunately I have been overeating, ignoring my body’s natural hunger cues, and  succumbing to cravings for so long that I am out of touch with my body. Basically what I am saying is that physiologically I have trained my body to consume a larger amount of food than I need. My fat cells have increased, and we all know that fat cells are not here for us! All of this means that I cannot trust my hunger cues until I train my body to eat fewer calories every day for long enough that it becomes the norm and not the anomaly. It all comes down to establishing healthy habits.

I would also like to add that when I count calories with Noom it is a little bit different than when I used to do it by hand using a written food log (started doing that at 18 years old to avoid the freshman 15!) and then when I started using the computer program Calorie King, and then finally when I graduated to using MyFitnessPal on my iPhone. Noom is different, because it actually gives you a break down of the types of food you are eating. It classifies each food you eat as a green food, a yellow food or a red food. Red foods are more calorically dense and should be consumed in smaller quantities. It even tells you how many calories of each type of food you should be eating per day in order to be healthy.

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This is how Noom breaks down what you are eating into the different “colors” of food. This was my food log from yesterday. I obviously need to try to eat more yellow foods and reduce the amount of red foods that I eat. Clearly I love chocolate! You can add your own recipes to Noom and it will break down the different ingredients in the recipe based on the portion size.

So when I calorie count I am not just looking at calories consumed versus calories burned. I actively try to consume as many unprocessed and “whole” foods as I can. This means I try to eat more fruits and vegetables and leaner meats. It is true that calorie counting is not really an exact science. If we are not in a laboratory it is very difficult for us to know with scientific precision exactly how many calories we have consumed. However, when calorie counting is coupled with healthier food choices, I think it is a valuable tool.

3 thoughts on “And the scale says…plus more information about calorie counting and Noom

  1. Thanks for addressing this important point! Calorie counting and weighing in frequently were so critical to my weight loss journey but I think that a lot of people shy away from it. Love the Newtonian physics reference!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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