How do you actually track all your food intake?

on 8/27/19 7:09 am
VSG on 02/05/19 with

I am almost 7 months post op and I have been very hit and miss with my food tracking. Some days are super easy and my foods are standard and simple to input. Other days are more confusing with "unknowns". I know a lot of people in this forum are big proponents of tracking every single thing, with long streaks of no missed tracking days. I haven't been able to do that. How do you log something when you don't know the calorie and nutrition facts or you aren't able to weigh/measure? Do you just "guess" and accept that you don't know how accurate it is and just move on? Maybe I'm being too particular, where if I don't know the calorie content then I just give up and don't log it. Like last weekend a friend brought over crab and shrimp lasagna so I removed the pasta and just ate the cheese and seafood. How would I know what to log for that?? I guess I'm just asking if you basically have to be "ok" with knowing what you logged isn't accurate but just your best guess.

SW: 309
CW: 236

on 8/27/19 7:38 am
VSG on 08/23/16

I use My Fitness Pal app which has an amazing database of foods. If I haven't measured the food, I can usually gage how big the portion I ate was. When I'm not sure, I guestimate. But for me, it's important that everything I eat get entered.

I'm 3 years out and maintaining at about 150 pounds from a high of 300.

Keep on losing!


HW 271.5 (April 2016) SW 246.9 (8/23/16) CW 158 (5/2/18)

on 8/27/19 7:52 am, edited 8/27/19 12:52 am
RNY on 02/14/18

In your example, I would estimate the amount of cheese and seafood I ate and log that. When possible, I measure everything, when notpossible I try to estimate and round up when in doubt.

edited for autocorrect issue

HW: 306 SW: 282 CW:144.8 GW: 145 (reached 2/6/19), next goal - 132.9


The Salty Hag
on 8/27/19 8:00 am
RNY on 05/20/13

Worst case scenario, I over-estimate on a food if I can't find an exact match. I'd rather guess too high rather than too low. I do wi**** could be more accurate, but I figure getting something tracked is better than not tracking at all. I stopped tracking for about 18 months...big mistake. I learned my lesson.

I use the "my foods, meals,recipes" section for my home cooked foods. The create recipe function will sometimes give the completely wrong ingredient, so I have to double check every time I input a new recipe.

At restaurants, sometimes I can just type in the name and it brings up the whole menu, but sadly, I don't think that's the norm. Maybe there are better food tracking apps out there. I haven't checked.

I woke up in between a memory and a dream...

Tom Petty

Liz J.
on 8/27/19 8:48 am - Saint Louis, MO
DS on 11/29/16

With homemade food that I don't make I might ask questions and then enter it the best I can. When eating out I normally google the restaurant before going and enter it form their website. I try to get as close as I can without over thinking it too much. That's one of the reasons I do most of the cooking at home, I can control what I eat.


HW: 398.8 SW:356 GW: 175 CW:147

Sparklekitty, Science-Loving Derby Hag
on 8/28/19 7:59 am
RNY on 08/05/19

For things that aren't already in MFP, I put in the ingredients separately. So for your lasagne, I would have guessed at the cheese and entered it as though it were a cheese stick, then guessed on quantity for plain crab and shrimp.

Sparklekitty / Julie / Nerdy Little Secret (#42)
Roller derby - weight lifting - triathlon
VSG 2013, RNY conversion 2019 due to GERD. Trendweight here!

on 8/28/19 10:05 am
VSG on 06/11/18

One tip I have is to recognise that some things are pretty interchangeable in terms of calories and carbs. For example, one fruit is roughly the same as another, one non-starchy vegetable is roughly the same as another. For example, I regularly have some blueberries with my oatmeal, and I've saved that as a "meal" in MFP. Occasionally I might have a different fruit instead, but I don't bother to look up the nutrition info for that other fruit, I just record it as my standard oatmeal + protein powder + blueberries meal.

As another example, I sometimes get a dish at our canteen at work which is a mixture of lentils and a small amount of veggies. It's predominantly lentils, and the veggies don't have many calories, so I just estimate the quantity and record it as lentils.

If you don't have one, a scale is very useful. You can weigh things as you add them to the bowl you're preparing your dish in, so there are no extra measuring cups to wash.

Of the foods you regularly eat, learn which ones contribute the most to your overall calories or carbs, whatever you're watching. Do your best to estimate them correctly, and don't worry too much about the rest.

You don't have to count every tiny thing if you don't want to. For example, I probably average one commercial light fruit-flavoured water thingie a day. It adds 12-15 calories. I don't bother to count that. There are a few other little things I don't count, and altogether they might add 30 calories per day. I just keep in mind that my average recorded # of calories per day is a little bit low.

As long as you're losing, what you're doing is working. If you stop losing for more than a few weeks, you might need to analyse a bit more carefully.

on 8/30/19 12:46 pm

I just came back to obesity help as I am battling regain. I can say that I tracked all my foods from right after surgery until around 2017 and that is when I started to see regain. I used myfitnesspal to track my foods. I logged everything from the app. I rarely ate anything I didn't make, so I knew exactly what I was putting in my mouth. It just made things easier for me since I was so focused on making sure I accounted for every calorie, carb, protein, and fat gram.

(deactivated member)
on 8/30/19 2:34 pm

I think you get pretty good at estimating quantities when you're away from your scale if you make sure to religiously use your scale at home. I'm 10 months out and at the beginning, I weighed everything and I didn't eat out. Now, I'm pretty good at estimating 1oz or 1/2c of something. When I eat out, I overestimate values like added butter or dressing because that accommodates for hidden calories, especially fat. Like others, I use MyFitnessPal. Everything that I eat goes in there before I eat.

For your lasagna, I'd probably log whatever crab and shrimp lasagna was in MFP and leave in the pasta. That way, all I have to worry about it how much lasagna I ate.

on 9/1/19 1:25 am, edited 8/31/19 6:32 pm

I eat 3 servings each of: protein 150 calories, dairy 80, veggies 70, fruit 70, starch 80 and fat 50. I made a Word doc that has Sunday to Saturday across the top. Down the left side I have the food category. Under each day I have 3 zeros next to each category. When I eat something I fill in a zero. When the zeros are all filled in I stop eating. Tri

-------- Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat

protein 000 000 000 000 000 000 000

dairy-- 000 000 000 000 000 000 000

veggie 000 000 000 000 000 000 000

fruit----000 000 000 000 000 000 000

starch 000 000 000 000 000 000 000

fat -----000 000 000 000 000 000 000

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