I’m not obsessed with calories because I believe that life is too short to deny yourself yummy food. And since I’ve decided that food is, in fact, my hobby, I feel that obsessing over calories would take the fun right out of it. I love shopping for it, preparing it, dreaming of it, creating it, and – obviously – eating it.
Do you have an iPhone? Technically, I don’t have one either. My boyfriend has one, but I like to think that I am the co-parent to a beautiful little iPhone. It travels with us wherever we go and usually keeps me occupied during trips from here to there. One day I was reading this article about healthy living and it suggested I download the iPhone application, “Lose It!”
Skeptical that it was a crazy diet thing, I almost didn’t. But the article was very convincing and suggested it was an easy way to visualize the amount of food you consume in a day. And since I’m about everything being visual AND the ‘app’ (my mom likes saying this because it makes her feel ‘techy’) is FREE, I figured I have nothing to lose.
Basically what this thing does for you is establishes what your daily total caloric intake should be based on your height and weight. It goes further by showing you that if you want to lose weight, that caloric intake goes down. It makes it easy to set goals and takes the guess work out of meeting them. I even think it knows if you lie to it, so better not… it might zap you!
Then you enter everything you eat into your iPhone. Lose It! has a database that includes hundreds of existing store-bought, fast-food, and restaurant items, AND it also lets you create custom foods, too. Each time you eat something, your daily meter rises. So what happens is that as you progress through the day, you really start to see what eats (excuse me… hee hee!) up your calorie budget and what you can eat lots of.
The best part of the Lose It! app is that you can also enter in your physical activity, and guess what? It brings your your daily meter DOWN! What an amazing feeling!
So, for example, I went through a whole day making reasonable choices on food. The choices were not hard to make, and it certainly didn’t feel like I was hungry. I just opted for non-junk food options and whole-wheatized everything. I also went to the gym that day, and so that brought down my calorie budget quite a bit.
Where am I going with this? Well, by the end of the day I could eat my own (usually, I share to feel less guilty about it) piece of cheesecake and still be within my daily calorie budget!!!!
Do you know what tastes better than cheesecake? Guilt-free cheesecake!! That’s what.
The end to my story is that I no longer use the Lose It! app for everything, but if we’re eating out I do often check it to see how many calories are in certain items. It’s just a really handy tool to visualize the act of healthy eating. If you make healthy choices throughout the day, you can afford to eat something decadent. AND if you get in some physical activity, even better!
Check out the Lose It! app here.
P.S. My apologies to all you non-iPhoners. Technically, I am one of you. My recommendation to you is either:
a) Find someone who will let you co-parent their iPhone
b) Be patient for a couple of days as I try to find a good online option… STAY TUNED!