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Old 09-05-2013, 06:34 AM   #1
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If you aren't losing as fast as you like...try this

I have been back to strict low carb (Atkins 72) since June 2nd. No cheats; all legal foods. At first I lost at a decent pace of 1-2 pounds a week. After the first 2 weeks, nothing.

Determined to succeed and get rid of this weight once and for all, I decided to actually keep a journal. I recorded everything that went into my mouth and the carbs. I had previously tried doing this online, but found it so frustrating when I had to create new foods for my recipes. I decided to use the old fashioned paper/pen and the Atkins carb counter booklet. I also tracked my water intake hoping to get to 8 glasses a day.

Guess what??? The weight began coming off again at a 2 lb a week rate. That is until August hit. I'm a bursar at a community college and we collect tuition in August from all 12,000 students. 50 - 60 hours a week is normal. In August, I thought I could stick to what I had been doing, but I had no time to journal. Bottom line is that I didn't cheat at all, but I was obviously eating too many legal foods. I actually went up 2 lbs in August.

I have been back to journaling for 2 days. I'm down 3 pounds already!

Moral of the story? If you find you are stuck or not losing as fast as you would like, just try journaling. Use the method that works best for you. Tell yourself you will do it for just a week if it overwhelms you. I bet you will see success.

Just wanted to share because the older I get, the harder this is.
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Old 09-05-2013, 06:56 AM   #2
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I agree. I've been journaling my foods since day 1. I also use a paper diary and just look up the calorie/carb counts online. I've been doing this for years so now I know the calories/carbs in all of the foods I eat regularly and only have to look up new foods.

It's easy to think you are eating well or not that much until you write it all down on paper and see what you are really eating. A friend of mine still falls for this trap - she will say oh I didn't eat anything for breakfast so I will treat myself for lunch and I know she went to starbucks and had one of those super calorific coffee drinks in the morning. It's way too easy to forget what you've had.

I'm glad you figured out what works for you and are back to losing.
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Old 09-05-2013, 07:05 AM   #3
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I might have to do this...
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Old 09-05-2013, 07:37 AM   #4
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I recently treated myself to a Moleskin fitness diary to keep myself motivated and to reward myself a little. I haven't been very consistent with writing everything down yet, but this post has motivated me to get a little more involved again! You never know, I may see the scales move downward again!
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Old 09-05-2013, 08:16 AM   #5
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So you only counted/tracked carbs in your journal?
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Old 09-05-2013, 09:56 AM   #6
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I need to journal every day too to keep things on track. I will also measure foods in the early days and not guesstimate serving sizes. When I stop tracking, my serving sizes tend to creep up or I add little things thinking they're low carb, and not realize how quickly even small totals can add up.

I have used an online tracker in the past, and am now using the tool at another low carb site I visit. It's a pain in the beginning to set up your custom foods, but once you get your staple items in the list, it goes much faster and isn't such a pain.

Pen and paper works fine, too, but I confess I enjoy the online tools because i like seeing the graphs and such showing my weight going down - it motivates me. I also like that the online tools will calculate your %s of fat, carbs, etc. I do well when I keep these things within a certain ratio range.
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Lost 65 lbs on Atkins in 2004 and met goal
Had two kids and kept eating for two even when they went to school. So here I go again...for the second and LAST time!

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Old 09-05-2013, 10:14 AM   #7
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So agree.
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Old 09-05-2013, 10:44 AM   #8
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I agree-- I track everything since soon after I started.
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Old 09-05-2013, 10:49 AM   #9
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Journaling seems to work for alot of people. Not just for weight loss but in many other areas of one's life.
I suspect that if I gave it an honest effort I would know myself better and be better off, but I just can't seem to find the motivation. It's too much like work. LOL
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Old 09-05-2013, 11:16 AM   #10
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I also journal everything I eat with the old paper & pencil method. I never clicked with online dairy. On the first page of my dairy I made a list of foods I usually eat with their calories/carbs/protein from a tracking site. I use a calculator and kitchen scale. It really does not take too much time. I write the calories and carbs, exercise, sleeping patterns, bathroom patterns and anything else I notice. I have been keeping track for more than a year. I find it very helpful.
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Old 09-05-2013, 12:56 PM   #11
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I find it so difficult to keep a journal (online or paper). I feel that I spend so much time doing it, although I know it is worth it in the end. I just can't seem to remember or stay motivated to do it day in and day out.

Question though - How do you account for carbs that you do not receive a package for (i.e. Deli meats/cheeses)?
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Old 09-05-2013, 01:14 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JennyBell View Post
I find it so difficult to keep a journal (online or paper). I feel that I spend so much time doing it, although I know it is worth it in the end. I just can't seem to remember or stay motivated to do it day in and day out.

Question though - How do you account for carbs that you do not receive a package for (i.e. Deli meats/cheeses)?
There are plenty of online calculators that you can use to estimate, or if you go to the Atkins website and sign up for their free Quick-Start Kit they will send you a carb counting book for free. I think it has net carbs, IIRC. I can check at home later.
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Old 09-05-2013, 01:17 PM   #13
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Great idea. Good old paper and pen
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Old 09-05-2013, 01:53 PM   #14
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I have tracked/logged/journaled my food religiously since I began my weight loss five years ago. It is crucial to success. I pretty much always overeat when I'm not watching carbs AND calories, however loosely. My eyes don't see right without glasses, and my stomach doesn't eat right without a food log. It's an external corrective measure I need to function healthfully and a great tool.
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Old 09-05-2013, 04:39 PM   #15
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In 2009 when I was losing 80lbs doing LC I journaled only when I started seeing no losses. It usually within 2-3 entries tell me where I was getting slightly off track or carbs sneaking in. I haven't started a log this time yet. But it was a good way to keep myself honest then and I will likely do it that way this time.
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Old 09-05-2013, 05:12 PM   #16
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Yes, tracking is very helpful for many of us. Not only to catch calories/macros when they get too high but to prevent them from getting too low.

I use an app on my phone.
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Old 09-05-2013, 05:35 PM   #17
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So I tracked my food today after reading this and OMG! I thought I was doing so well only to find out I am eating way too much protein. My carbs and fat were great but I really need to cut down on protein if I want to lose these last twenty or so pounds.

Thanks so much for reminding me to do this.
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Old 09-05-2013, 06:24 PM   #18
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I once read an account of a guy that lost an extraordinary amount of weight by taking a picture of everything he ate. The visual of it all made him stay realistic about what he was doing.

Less time consuming than writing it down and really effective.
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Old 09-06-2013, 05:02 AM   #19
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I've tracked calories in the past and it worked but I find it makes me incredibly obssessive in terms of food thoughts. I would prefer to loosen the hold they have on me. What I like best about low carb when I'm not "experimenting" with this or that food plan but just choosing low carb when I'm hungry is the freedom from the obsession and that you end up eating less naturally without such a tight death grip on your food intake. I've done it for too many years and it always always led me to binge. That's just my experience with it.
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Old 09-06-2013, 06:15 AM   #20
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I can't keep a journal for the life of me. I start, it lasts two days.
So I basically eat the same way everyday, eggs, full fat cheeses, meats, salads, vegetables, with olive oil and a squeeze of lemon. I know that my carb count is within 20 gr.

I used to eat as much as my hubby, now I use a small plate and by now I have the portion size down pat.
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Old 09-06-2013, 07:58 PM   #21
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for those of you who track carbs and calories.....what is the calorie range that you use?
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Old 09-07-2013, 05:16 PM   #22
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I HAVE to journal. It can be written, electronic, or photographic. But I have to journal everyday, if I don't in a matter of 3 or 4 days I'm off the wagon. Journal connects me to what I'm eating, I have recently started photo journaling. My pictures of food won't win the Pulitzer , but it helps visualize what goes into my body.

Last edited by BecBelle; 09-07-2013 at 05:20 PM..
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Old 09-08-2013, 07:30 AM   #23
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Yep, I think it makes the world of difference. I started about a year ago on this site, intending to keep going for 60 days. After 60 days, I kept going, because if I look at this as a series of small blocks of time to lose small blocks of weight, I can keep going. In that year, I've lost 40 pounds, and I'm convinced the journaling and accountability is what has kept me going. It hasn't always been easy, but I've kept on keeping on.
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Old 09-08-2013, 07:55 AM   #24
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I also average 2-3lbs a week because I count every calorie and log in every food.

Can't help but notice that some people who say they're "slow losers" also don't track anything.
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Old 09-08-2013, 07:57 AM   #25
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Well, I'm a slow loser and I do track everything. I'm okay with that.
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Old 09-08-2013, 10:59 AM   #26
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I am a slow loser. I count carbs and have a rough idea about protein.
I can't seem to get into recording everything; I think it is a personality thing. I don't think my slow loss is that much related to not tracking, though, although admittedly there might be a bit I could pick up by tracking. I don't think it is a bad thing, I just don't do it consistently. I think my slow loss is more due to age than tracking . . . comparing my older self with my younger self. We have to take care sometimes overgeneralizing our experience to others.
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Old 09-08-2013, 12:22 PM   #27
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I used to track, gave it up about a month ago. I found with few exceptions, I'd already done it in my head, as least as far as the carb grams. I did the calories too, and they tended to come in at the right range as long as I was eating my LC foods. I always knew when my numbers would be higher because I knew what I ate. Not much of a snacker so it's all about my meals.

I feel free of it for now, but would start again in a heart beat if I felt myself slipping. I think the discipline of doing it for 5 months when I began was excellent, not to mention teaching me the carb and calorie cts by heart, which is why I can usually do it in my head these days.

I too am a slow loser, and not losing any slower because I'm not tracking. Everyone is different and there are many factors in pace of weight loss. One of the ones I find really effects me is how much water I drink. If I slack on that, the loss slows down.
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Old 09-08-2013, 04:00 PM   #28
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I know that logging my food has been a big part of my success.
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Old 09-08-2013, 04:05 PM   #29
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I guess it's a YMMV kind of thing. I lost 3 pounds this week! I will confess that I have not tracked this weekend, but tracking during the week keeps me from stress eating. I would come home from work and eat nuts and cheese while dinner was cooking. Now I won't do that because I already know how many carbs I'm at for the day.

No stress on the weekends, so no stress eating. I also work out 2 hours each day and get all my water in.

Thanks for the feedback on this thread. I love to see all the different perspectives and what works for folks.
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