My friend took me to Gatlinburg Tennessee for my birthday last year and we took plenty of pictures of both the city and Great Smoky Mountains National Park. When I saw the pictures, I was horrified. I knew I had gained some weight, but I always had an image of what I looked like and the pictures did not reflect that image.
A few months earlier (maybe it was a year - I have no idea) my brother had sent me a link to a website that keeps track of calories consumed and burnt. I wasn't too interested until I saw the pictures from our trip and realized something had to be done. First, though, I had no idea what I was actually eating so I ate what I normally did for a day then logged it on The Daily Plate. I realized the baggie of cookies I had at lunch exceeded my recommended daily fat for the entire day and my total calories consumed were somewhere in the 2100 range. No wonder I had gained almost 30 pounds in three years!
From their website, "TDP doesn't endorse any one diet over another; we're simply about holding yourself accountable for what you weigh as a means to smarter, healthier eating. People who try us out and stick with it lose weight -- it's as simple as that!" And yes, it is that simple, if you can spare the few minutes to log everything you eat over the course of a day. Over 300,000 foods are already listed and members can submit their own recipes and meals. Buy something at the store that isn't listed? Get out the nutritional label and add it to the database! Make a batch of muffins? You can enter and track the recipe.
In addition to total calories, The Daily Plate keeps track of my fitness goals (my goal is to lose 1.5 pounds per week, but in reality I've had stretches where I lost 5 pounds in 4 days, and other times where I lost 1 pound all month) and how my food breaks down. I know, for example, that I can have 51 fat grams per day and once I hit that, it's time to consume only raw carrots or all natural fruit popsicles.
Users can also track their physical fitness. Yesterday, as an example, I ran 6.2 miles, which burnt 1074 calories and meant I could eat pretty much anything all night, so long as I stayed within the fat range.
After one year with The Daily Plate, I've been staying within my daily 1574 calories for weeks and I'm not really changing my weight which leads me to believe I've reached my body's set weight. Sure I could lose more, but I need to maintain strength to complete the marathon. Maybe it's time to listen to my three friends who all told me to not lose any more. A coworker was blunt enough to say losing more weight would make me lose my figure. Who wants to have the body of a 12 year old boy anyway?
In the past my brother and I did the Abs Diet, developed by David Zinczenko of Men's Health. That works too, but my entire life was revolving around food. The main premise of the Abs Diet is to eat every 2-3 hours and consume protein at every feeding. It worked, but left little time for anything else. Give me the Daily Plate instead. Not only does it keep me accountable for my food choices, it works! Another great feature - it's free! If you're an app user, it's available in that format as well so no more excuses. IT WORKS! TRY IT!
Here's the link! http://www.livestrong.com/thedailyplate/