Monday, May 23, 2011

If You Bite It, You Write It!

Who's up for a challenge? Only 7 days!
What's the worst that could happen? Nothing changes.
What's the best that could happen? You lose a couple pounds.

There is a debate about whether most people actually realize how many calories we eat or if we seriously underestimate how much we eat each day. The only way to prove one side or the other true is to write down every bite we put in our mouth and the calories in that food.

The side that says we eat more than we think, says that we tend to think that if we only consumed a small amount of food we must have only taken in a small amount of calories. If we use our finger to scrape the leftover cake batter from the bowl, or taste test three times to check the seasonings while cooking dinner, somehow those calories don't really count.

The truth is that every single thing we put in our mouths affects our weight, whether it's a 7 calorie strawberry or 120 calories of leftover cookie dough; well, it wasn't enough to make one more cookie but you can't throw away cookie dough!

So here's the challenge. For the next seven days, write down EVERY SINGLE ITEM of food you put into your mouth. Every bite, lick or drink. You might have a calorie book at home or you can get the calorie count online. There are sites such as,, In fact if you go to you can type in "How many calories in ____ (absolutely any food)" and get the calorie count immediately. If you have a smart phone there is a calorie counting app that you can install and carry it with you and track it on your phone. You can't say you forgot to write something down because you didn't have your paper or computer with you. For most people this is a real eye opening experience and can tell you exactly what you can do to start losing weight immediately.

I am looking for your feedback on how this experiment did or did not affect your thoughts, actions and eating habits.
Did you surprise yourself with how many calories you take in that you didn't realize?
Did you find yourself choosing not to eat something because you didn't want to write it down?
Did you eat more? or Did you eat less? Why?

I am starting this 7-day experiment today with you. I will commit to tracking every calorie I consume! Come back during the week and share your thoughts and impressions. Come back when it is done and let me know how the week affected you. Did you change your eating habits? Did you discover that you have great eating habits? Did you lose weight? Are you going to continue tracking your food? Did it make you more accountable? No affect whatsoever?

Leave your comments and insights, (more than once during the week if you'd like-we can learn from your insights), and check back to see what others have to say!

Happy Eating!! (I hope I'm happy when this is done!)


  1. I started writing down what I ate when I joined weight watchers a couple months ago! At WW, we don't count the calories consumed, but the "points" value of every food. Because of this, I have become a label reader and if the points values are too high, I think twice about eating something. When I first started writing things down, I thought it was a pain and didn't do too well. Now I've been doing it for nearly two months and it is second nature to me. It was/is a BIG eye opener for me to actually write down everything. I couldn't believe how much I was under-estimating what I ate! I'm eating less than I used to and I've also started exercising and drinking lots of water! On a positive note, I started buying more fruits and veggies, whole grains and less junk food.

  2. I love, love, love this! I was actually just having a conversation with my husband about this and how most people probably have NO IDEA how many calories they consume in a day. I really should jump on board, but being my excuse. Not a good one at that, but it just is. I like reading your posts though because I always agree!

  3. Lorianne, that is awesome! You have made great progress in two months. Do you know the ratio of points to calories?

    Cami, It's great that you are thinking about it even while pregnant. I agree, that's not the time to cut back on calories, but it does make you more aware of the quality of calories you are eating. (You hit on the topic of my next blog!) It would be interesting to see you track your intake for 7 days while pregnant to see what you are actually taking in while not trying to cut back. If you do it with an online tracker it will break down grams of protein, carbs, fats, etc...that would be helpful to make sure you are getting what you need in proportion. Thanks for your support; I love your enthusiasm and comments!!


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