Today marks the first official day of “the challenge” and I wanted to talk a little bit about one of the primary tools I’m going to use to help track my progress. It’s a website that my brother turned me on to and uses regularly – The Daily Plate.
There won’t be anything that you’ll ever hear me say you must have, must do, or must use but this one comes pretty close. The Daily Plate is a free online tool courtesy of Lance Armstrong’s LiveStrong website that allows you to track what you eat and how much you exercise. With the information, it will track your calories, carbs, fat, protein, sodium, cholesterol and fiber. Since you can also enter your daily exercise (and it has everything in its list of options from running to bagging leaves to sitting in church), it will also give you your net daily calorie intake taking this into account.
Most people will assume they know what they’re putting in their body based on habit or guess but this will probably be your best way of knowing for sure. I had always assumed that I was taking in about 2500 calories a day but was surprised to find that I’m actually around 2000-2200 a day. This is right about where I want to be to trim and tone my physique effectively.
I’ve also found that accountability is one of the greatest allies of success. It was true of me that when I didn’t track what I was eating the daily calorie count started to go up. Since I’ve been tracking everything at The Daily Plate (which has been about a month now), I’ve managed to keep things under control (with the occasional exception of Sundays when I’m on the couch watching football).
Give it a try and let me know what you think. I like it a lot and will continue to use it throughout this year. The one drawback is that it does require a little bit of manual labor to enter everything but I think the information you get from it is well worthwhile.
Oh, by the way, today’s workout was a brief one mile run followed by stretching. It wasn’t a long or intense workout by any stretch but Saturdays and Sundays have been challenging days for me to get the motivation to work out so any type of workout can be considered a success to some degree. We’ll see if tomorrow gives me any more motivation than today!