For a while now I’ve been entering (almost) everything I eat at fitday.com. And all my exercise. And my weight, every day. I just realized that Saturday was my one year anniversary.
I don’t even think of it as weird or a chore anymore, just something I do.
I’ve lost 20 pounds over the last year by restricting my caloric intake. FitDay is a relatively painless way to count calories, but its real value, I think, is that it also tallies nutrients. I’ve come to understand the true meaning of “junk” food: food that will put a big dent in your calorie allowance, without providing any important nutrients. Eat too much of it, and you have to make a choice between blowing your calorie limit for the day, or just taking the hit in nutrients and eating rabbit food the next day.
I’ve also learned that I have to work to get enough calcium in my diet. I thought my diet was pretty healthy before, and I was mostly right, but when I kept coming up short—really short—on calcium, that was a real eye-opener. The number one reason I’m doing this whole diet/exercise thing is that I want to be healthy and active, even as get older. Osteoporosis is not conducive to that goal! Everybody says to just pop a supplement, but I’m afraid that psychologically it would just give me permission to eat foods that are not only low in nutritents, but also low in fiber and high in saturated fat, so I prefer a balanced-diet approach. I see many gallons of nonfat yogurt in my future.
I should reach my weight loss goal next week, and I should probably lose another 5 pounds or so as a buffer. But I’m uncertain about whether to continue with FitDay after that. It has become a crutch, I admit. It helps me resist the urge to snack, knowing that I have to enter what I eat and be accountable. And I’m lazy enough sometimes that I figure a snack isn’t worth the effort of entering it. In a broader sense, I use it like the “eat watch” in the Hacker’s Diet since my body/brain tends to give wildly untrustworthy information about whether I’m hungry, or full. Having an objective count of the calories I’ve eaten today lets me make a more rational decision about when to start and stop eating.
However, I don’t think it’s realistic to think that I’ll be using FitDay (or a similar tool) for the rest of my life. Ultimately I’ll need to learn some diet-management skills that don’t require internet access if I want to maintain a healthy weight in the long term