How to Diet on the Run

I know Mark from Dumb Little Man tried and is still using Traineo. He swears by it and has dropped close to 20 lbs already by tracking his food intake and working out a few times each week. Sounds simple but it’s not, at least not for me.

My issue (or excuse) is time.

I cannot make the time to get to the gym consistently so my thought is to simply start making a conscious effort to at least watch my diet and calorie intake. Additionally, I have a cholesterol level of 255, that’s pretty high so I’ll need to ensure that I keep that intake to 180-200 milligrams per day.

So with a sporadic (read: almost non-existent) workout routine, it’s down to diet. This brings me to yet another problem – I am absolutely ignorant when it comes to knowing how many calories each food has. I mean, of course cheeseburgers are not great for me but if I do eat one, how do I know the impact it had on my 2,500 calorie/day diet?

If I had to guess, I would say that my double cheeseburger was around 500 calories. In reality, it’s 690…see, the ignorance is already showing. After looking around, I began using a site named Calorie Connect. I am able to enter the food and it provides me with a no nonsense chart of calories, cholesterol, fat, etc.

While Calorie Connect does the job in most cases, I am no dummy and I realize that certain fast food restaurants are fattier than others. To dig into that, you could either stay away from fast food, or use FatCalories.com as a way to determine which fast food restaurant has the leanest cheeseburger.

For me, that’s should handle 90% of my meals. I am simply cheap and don’t eat out a lot. Money and not fat, taught me to pack a lunch everyday and I use my calorie guide above to help ensure that the calories are low.

One huge tip that I want to stick in here touches on Food Coma. When I pack my lunch, I know that pasta makes me sleepy so I skip it entirely even though it may be OK according to a calorie counter. The same is true for snacks. Certain snacks may be low-cal, but I only snack on things that will help increase my energy too. If you get sleepy after lunch or your battery naturally dies around 2:30 each afternoon, you need to work this into your plan to remain productive.

This is all great, but what if I am out with friends, the kids, etc? Well, there are a few ways to get nutritional information “to go”.

First, UK dieters can try Nutracheck’s mobile option. It contains mobile stats on over 30,000 food and drink options. There is a charge for their service but for a serious dieter, it seems very reasonable.

  • The only mobile calorie counter with access to up to 30,000 food & drink items
  • Personal weight loss targets based upon your profile
  • Food diary
  • FoodSwap feature to make healthier choices at point of purchase
  • Program does not expire

For those in the US, Diet Organizer offers a ton of mobile diet apps (applications, not appetizers).

First and foremost, you have access to the nutritional information for over 1,000 food items. However, you can also take it to another level and display graphs of your recent calorie intake right on your phone. The system supports Blackberry, Palm, and Pocket PC, and a variety of mobile phones

  • Tracks Calories, Carbohydrate, Protein and Fat.
  • 1,000+ food database, with common portion size and weight conversions
  • Weight tracking
  • Set nutritional goals
  • Charting
  • Create menus of frequently used foods to speed entry.

While none of these options have ALL the possible foods out there, you do have the ability to manually enter new foods. If that need comes up, use Calorie King and their 50,000 food database as opposed to guessing.

If tracking your diet on a mobile or a website isn’t in the cards for you, here is a fantastic resource for you to review. Jeremy Zawodny lost 50 lbs by tracking his data in an Excel spreadsheet. Heck, he even lets you download it so you can use it.

-Frank

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