What I’m learning by tracking my food intake (plus, a couple of new recipes)

Here’s the thing about tracking my food intake:

I’m learning that eating within a certain calorie range really isn’t all that difficult for me.

Take today, for example. I knew I was going to hang out with a girlfriend tonight to celebrate her buying a house (YAY FOR HER!!!), and I planned for it. I brought a mini baguette, only a small amount of a really good, strong cheese, and some berries and figs.

Granted, my dinner entries in my food diary today were guesstimates for portions, but I can’t imagine I was all that far off.

Even if I’m a little over my calorie goal for the day, it’s no big deal. I’m usually far underneath my calorie goal. This is probably because the food I make is usually grain and dairy-free, so it’s really just a ton of protein and vegetables, and that tends to be pretty low calorie.

Honestly, my bigger challenge is usually hitting my macronutrient distribution goals.

So, why do I keep getting bigger and feeling worse?

I have learned something important. I am realizing, to my astonishment, that when I don’t track calories I eat more.

Yes, I know this is commonplace and known to be true for most people. It isn’t something I’ve experienced in myself to such a noticeable degree before now.

I enjoy hitting goals and having goals to hit. Without goals, I eat a ton more, just for kicks. I grab candy out of the free candy drawer at work. I have a fourth meal simply because I feel like it.

Since I have absolutely zero hunger or fullness cues, I eat for the hell of it, all the time, without limits.

When I have goals I am motivated to achieve, I don’t do this. And, in fact, it is pretty easy to stop doing it.

It’s a pretty cool thing to realize about myself.

Making things far easier for me is the recipe import feature on MyFitnessPal. I paste the link to the recipe and, based on the calorie information MyFitnessPal shows me, decide how many servings to divide the recipe into.

In fact, I divided the Taco Chili recipe I made the other day into fewer servings than I would otherwise because I’ve had a few too many days in a row where I’ve found it challenging to eat an appropriate amount!

I’m having fun with this new strategy. And that in itself is fun and revelatory.

Here are some recipes I’m enjoying right now:


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