Ditch Branded Diets and Go Back to Calorie Counting - 21st Style

What works for you...

Always a successful dieter during my late teens and into my 20's. Always determined, a great mindset and a goal setter; and I exercised religiously every other day. I was doing what everybody else on a diet was doing, counting calories, I loved it. The calorie allowance in those days was just 1000, if I went over, it came off the next day and like wise, if I'd gone below those were added on, I just found it so flexible and it worked for me and I had consistent weight loss.

"I think I've bought into the middle age propaganda: given up, and become a bit of a slob".

Calorie counting went out of fashion, new diets emerged, promising the world, and like a lot of people I bought into the two main brands that flog 'free food' and you 'can eat what you want', I've thought about going to back to them, but if they've never actually worked for me, why attempt again. I'm not the type of person who's going to go to a meeting and join in 'the group', stating, "My name's Sarah and I'm a fatty. I've put a good stone to a stone and a half. In two months I hit the big 5-0. Help!! "

Which got me thinking in my days of calorie counting everything had a calorific value, and that is not going to change, so how can you have free food? I know there's science behind it, but if you have the free food, in amounts that you want it means if you veer off course, you're not going to lose weight. So why do a diet, where there's more chance of failing?? So I've started to think about going back to calorie counting; you can eat what you want, you have the control. I did some research and found a great app, called Lose It! It does everything that calorie counting did for me back in the mid 80's early 90's, with the benefit of 21st Century technology. It gives you speed, ease of use, convenience; so no more flicking through a book, writing down the calories, adding them up. I've been playing with the app for the last couple of weeks, seeing how it works and it's impressed me.

One of the great things about calorie counting is that it makes you think about how much you are actually eating, and your portion sizes and where the calories are. It gives you control and allows you to make the decisions about what you want to eat and making (hopefully) good decisions. Yes, there is the downside of measuring, but not to the extent of the 80's and 90's, but that's a small disadvantage; the app has a great function - you can scan everyday products when you're doing your shopping; this is great because everything is in one place, I can see immediately whether I've got the calories available if I want a treat and still continue to lose weight.

"So I'm going to give calorie counting a dusting down."

Why do I think calorie counting is going to work for me again, well I like the fact that I'm in control of what I will be eating; I can make the decisions, if I want to eat something I can; I would think that it's probably going to work out cheaper to do it, not including the fact that you'd have to pay, a weekly fee to the branded diet business. I also think there's going to be less thought into meals, because you're choosing what to eat, you're not picking from a list.

How does the app work? It's a very simple layout and free to use, although you can upgrade; I've not done that because everything I need is in the free version. You can search for items in there database to add to your meal lists, indicate the weight you want to have. It gives weight in imperial and metric, which is good. A feature I love is being able to scan in the supermarket, you're getting that instant hit of information that you can then add in to your log.

You also have the opportunity to enter exercise that has been done during the day, I don't use those 'extra calories' because I'm not convinced how accurate that part of it is, plus when I did calorie counting in my teens and twenties, I never took into consideration how much I'd exercised, I saw it as burning more fat. You can also sync your devices, so you can log data wherever. I'm really impressed with what I've seen and I know that it's going to work for me.

To get started it will ask you some simple questions, like weight, how much you want to lose and when you want to lose it by, it will then allow you to track your progress both in terms of food and exercise and then works out how many calories you can have each day. You can set yourself goals At the end of each week you can put in your weight into the app. I've only looked at the app so far, but it's user-friendly, with simple layout of the various pages and with few tabs to click around. Another motivational feature that I like is that it'll say if you're on target with your weight loss and what date you'll achieve it by.

Another brand of online dieting is My Fitness Pal, this has been recommended by one of the What are your experiences? What diet schemes do you think actually work? Let us know at: lifestyleloveliverpool@gmail.com/

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