Wednesday, June 1, 2011

My new favorite website

I want to share with you a website I have been using for the past couple weeks.  It was really helped me understand how many calories I am and should be eating.

It is called Livestrong.  Right now I am signed up for the free version.  While you don't have access to all of the cool features the website has to offer, there are enough free features to make it worth while.

First, you set your calorie goals.  This is based on your height, weight, age, weight goal, and activity level.  It estimates out a calorie number you can strive to meet each day.
Now this is tracking website that helps you determine how much you are eating and what the nutritional value of the food you consume.  If you don't like writing down everything you eat, then you will not like this website.  I always thought I wouldn't need to do that but it really isn't too hard.  There is a great database of foods with all of the nutritional value already plugged in.  Anything from fruit to brand name products to Walmart's Great Value Brand.  It is all there.  They even had my gummy vitamins!

It then keeps track of what you ate.  Although a big portion of what you look at is the calories, it also gives you an indication of nutrient goals such as fiber, sodium, protein, and sugars.  This was the part that surprised me the most about the foods that I ate.

You can also keep track of how many glasses of water a day you drink.

You can also put in your exercise and the amount of calories you burn.

As you can see in this last screenshot, the top of the page totals your daily calories and tell you how many you have left until your reach your daily calorie goal.  If you exercise at all, it subtracts those calories from your total.

Another fun feature is that you can enter in your recipes into the website, and it will generate a nutrition label.

This is my recipe for Spinach and Artichoke Lasagna Roll-ups.  If you want to full recipe and directions, head over to Beth's Journey where I found this recipe.
This is really helpful for people who like to make their own recipes, or for recipes you find online or in a book that don't have the nutrition labels on it.

When I first tried this website a couple weeks ago, I was not a calorie counter at all. However, I was frustrated that I was working out and trying to eat better but seeing very few results.  I was scared of getting obsessive about counting calories and thought I would just enter in a few days worth of food to see where I was.  Since then I have tracked my calories every day and have enjoyed seeing my progress.

Since I have started logging in every day, I have steadily begun to lose more weight.  I am not on a strict diet at all.  I still eat dessert and go out to eat, but I am realizing that it starts to add up and you have to make choices if you want to indulge yourself.  Some days I go over and I don't beat myself up over it.  I just start again fresh the next day.

Livestrong is a great tool and it even has apps for your iphone or smartphone.  Since I don't have one I still have to do it the old fashioned way, but luckily I am around a computer all day to enter my food.

I am still figuring out how to best utilize this website, but I think it would work for anyone trying to lose weight, maintain their weight, or just seeing how healthy they are eating.

On a similar note, I had a surprise last week.  I came home to an opened package sitting for me on the coffee table.  The hubby saw his name on the package and was curious, but it really for me.  My mom sent me the Rocco DiSpirito Book I mentioned a few weeks ago.

The recipes look amazing! It is so interesting to see what foods to use in place of unhealthy ones.  I bought some ingredients to try a few recipes this week.  However, I am really looking forward to making some of his desserts because he uses some very unconventional ingredients for desserts.  If I make them I will let you know if I give them my seal of approval!

So thanks Mom (since I know you read my blog religiously)!

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