M is for Measuring Mistakes

M is for Measuring Mistakes

Whenever I start to see some weight gain, the first place I look for the culprit is in my measurements. Food serving sizes and portion control are a huge piece of the weight loss equation, maybe even one of the most important parts.

It’s so easy to get off-track when we don’t measure. I used to measure pretty diligently when I was trying to lose weight. For two years I ate a turkey sandwich for lunch with one serving of Wheat Thins. (Boring, I know.) I would count out a serving of crackers and put them in my lunch bag.

Now that I’m in maintenance mode I measure less often. I tend to “eye-ball it” instead. Most of the time this is effective. I’m not restricting food, but eating in moderation within a certain calorie range.

The bad news: it’s so easy to overeat when not measuring.

Every so often I get back on track by measuring out my food. I usually know when I’m getting out of control again with my measuring. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: a portion size is never as much food as you WANT to eat!

Here are a few examples of serving sizes. Let’s go with the Wheat Thin example. A serving size is 16 crackers for 140 calories. This is what a serving size looks like:

But what if you ate “just a few more crackers” than the serving size? It often seems like “just a few more” isn’t a big deal.

22 crackers–“just a few more” equals nearly 200 calories (193 to be exact). While it doesn’t seem like much, it all adds up pretty quickly when we’re not calculating the calories accurately. Pretty soon those “just a few more” bites, nibbles and snacks can be hundreds of calories in a day.

It’s easy to get lazy with “eye-balling” portions. Just a handful here…a few bites there…and soon it adds up fast. Especially if you aren’t recording those bites and nibbles. I recently decided to banish the mindless candy eating at work and so far it’s been going well. One thing I found by avoiding that Candy Room: I have hundreds of calories left over for the day. Wow! What a difference measurement, accountability and restraint makes! It fueled me to keep going and break the candy habit!

QUESTION: Do you measure food? Do you track the “nibbles and bites”?


A-Abstinence * B-Balance * C-Calories * D-Vitamin D * E-Emergency * F-Fast Food and Fine Dining * G-Gym Bag * H-Happy Weight * I-Intervals * J-Jumping * K-Keeping Sane * L-Losing Weight *

C is for Calories

C is for Calories.

Creeping Calories, that is.

I don’t know why I decided to count calories in order to lose weight but it came to me and it was easy to do. Maybe it appealed to me because I like lists. I could make a list of the food I ate during the day and add up the calories. Easy!

The creeping calories are the calories that we DON’T count. I most definitely fall into this trap sometimes. There are sometimes days here and there where I get lazy with my calories. I use the My Fitness Pal app on my phone and log my calories.

Most of the time I do pretty well. But every once in awhile I get lazy. That’s what it is, pure and simple. Laziness. I walk by the Candy Room at work and grab a few mini Tootsie Rolls and eat those on my way to the printer and then “pretend” those calories don’t count.

Creeping Calories!

Sometimes when I’m at home I’ll grab a snack…maybe some salty tortilla chips with sour cream. “Nah, these calories don’t count.” Tell me again why they don’t count? I really do need a reminder sometimes. I need a little fairy to sit on my shoulder with me and whisper the reminder.

I’m not talking about the “breaks” I take from counting my calories. Sometimes I take a day or two off. If I am starting to feel like I’m burned out mentally from working out or counting calories, I take a day or two off. That does NOT mean I go nuts and eat everything in sight. NO! I eat my normal way, I just don’t track. I think that’s the biggest trick I’ve learned to stay fresh and on track for so many years. Sometimes we all need a break.

No, I’m talking about being inaccurate in my counting. Sometimes it’s laziness. Sometimes I know I’m about to eat something so high in calories I just don’t want to deal with it. I choose denial. Perfect example:

I shudder to imagine how many calories I ate at the Texas State Fair. I don’t even want to know. I enjoyed my corndog, Catfish Taco and fried cookie dough and don’t want to know I ate 4,000 calories. 🙂

But at some point we have to be accountable to ourselves. It doesn’t matter if we’re accountable to other people, or Weight Watchers, or to my online calorie tracker. They don’t care. It doesn’t matter to them. What matters is SELF accountability. By lying to myself about the creeping calories I’m eating I’m only hurting myself.

Falling into the habit of ignoring calories, bites, nibbles and sneaked treats only harms myself. Period. My lies will show themselves on the scale.

QUESTION: Do you track the nibbles, bites and creeping calories? If not, how do you remind yourself to do so?


A-Abstinence * B-Balance *