Thursday, February 25, 2010

Calorie counting with Fitday

Over the years I have resorted to calorie counting sporadically when I have had a few or more than a few pounds to lose, and when the usual weight loss measures (eating less, exercising more!) don't seem to work.  Like everything else, losing a bit of weight is all about the details.  Most people probably take in many more calories than they think, on a daily or weekly basis.  That tiny little packet of peanuts you get on Southwest Airlines, containing what appears to be about 16 peanuts?  80 calories. A measly single Reese's Peanut Butter cup (51 grams or about 1.5 oz)?  A whopping 260 calories.  My biggest problem is portion control: most of the time I just don't know when to say when.  Of course there is a massive difference between the calorie content of half a cup of whatever you load on your dinner plate, and a full cup.  Those excess calories are the ones that the body squirrel away as fatty deposits, nicely settled around the middle, the thighs and pretty much everywhere you don't need or want them.

The only way to really know if you're taking in fewer calories than you're burning is to keep track.  It can be tedious and time-consuming initially but programs such as FitDay and Calorie Count make it relatively easy as you can enter 'recent foods' and 'custom foods' quite quickly.  I don't know about everybody else but we tend to eat a lot of the same things all the time.  So it's not too huge an undertaking to enter some custom foods and start keeping track.  If you keep good records day to day you will soon be able to manage a daily deficit of say 500 calories, and slowly but surely the pounds will come off. The human body is a relentless and very accurate calorie counter!  I have been counting calories since February 14 and have lost just more than 4 pounds during the two weeks since then.  Without my usual 20 to 30 miles of running per week. 

On the running front - alas - there is nothing to report as I have not run since I busted my left calf muscle two weeks ago.  In fact I seem to have re-injured myself a couple of times since then, once on a little light jog with Daisy (more for her benefit than mine) and then again yesterday trying to warm up for a personal training session.  So I am extremely frustrated with the injury, and resigned to probably not running until some time next week at the earliest.  I have been massaging the calves, and did a couple of sessions with a neuro-muscular massage therapist whom I have used with great success for many years.  John Rodriguez usually works wonders, but it looks like this time my calves are being particularly unresponsive to treatment.  I hate to think that it is the result of just too many (40!) years of regularly pounding the pavement.  Who knows?  In a couple of weeks time I will probably be feeling fine and re-discovering the joys of running.  All dark thoughts of having to 'retire' from my favorite pastime will be something of the past. I hope.

From early next week I will be on the road again, this time a short trip to South Africa to attend my 40th High School reunion on March 6 and then a few site inspections in the Kruger Park area, followed by a similar program in Cape Town and elsewhere in the Southwestern Cape.  It will be extremely hectic as I will be going from one property to the next one literally every day while I am there.  I have not been in the Cape for more than 10 years so it will be fun to get back there and see how everything has changed.  Some things have hopefully stayed the same.  No doubt it will be windy!  I will send some updates from time to time via Facebook.


fishmagic said...

I'm dealing with some injury related issues myself, so I know how you feel. I ran twice this week, and things seem fine, but the specter is there.

Have a safe trip to South Africa.

Amy said...

So sorry to hear that your calf is stil giving you trouble. Hope it heals up soon.

Have a great trip!

johnking said...

sorry to hear about the calf Bert...can you and I blog about something different for tired of writing/reading about injuries!

enjoy the trip

Melissa said...

Bert, thanks for the tip on the calorie counting software. I am with you on that. It's the only way to keep things under control.

Try to be a good little healer and stay off that calf muscle. It will heal. You're running days are not over. Don't worry. Everyone gets injured and scared that they will not heal. That's usually what causes people to start up before they should and BAM. You know the rest.

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