One of my resolutions is to get in better shape in 2010. Cutting fat, increasing strength and endurance, and watching the food I put in my body. The last few months of 2009 I really let myself go. I ate whatever I wanted, had limited exercise, and paid the price in pounds… of fat.
When I want to get back in shape, I do two things: count calories coming into my body and count calories I am burning during exercise.
Most nutritionist will suggest that anyone trying to lose weight should keep a food journal of some sort. This can be done with a simple notebook or something a little more advanced. I love technology and often opt for the more advanced option.
There are three options that I highly recommend.
For computer users (Mac or Windows), it’s hard to beat the Calorie King. We have had this program for years and it still does the trick. It is EASY to use (which is very important), has a HUGE database of foot items (also important), and also allows you to track exercise, set goals, etc. If you are looking for a computer program to help you track everything, this one is a 10. This app is $45, but worth the price if you are serious about it. Their software is available online athttp://www.calorieking.com/software/
If you are looking for something a little more “on the go” and have an iPhone. My favoriate app for tracking calories on the iPhone is called “Lose It!”. It’s FREE, it’s easy and has a pretty good food database. It’s available in the iTunes store here.
I think the Calorie King program is a little better (I wish they had an iPhone app), but “Lose It” is free and most importantly, available via the iPhone and more available than the computer might be at times. The ease of having it available at all times is very important.
Another thing to consider are various web applications that allow you to interact with a community and track your progress. One good one I have seen is Traineo.com.
Regardless of if you use a simple notebook, a computer program, or an iPhone app. The most important thing I have found is to record the calories BEFORE you eat them or immediately after. Do not wait until later or you will forget something. The details matter and if you want to keep that resolution of getting in better shape (as I do), keeping track of what goes into your body is crucial.
I am day one, 20 lbs and 5% body fat to go.
Best of luck and Happy New Year!