Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Calorie counting

This is the journal of a fat runner, aiming to be less fat and a better runner. So not only will The Fat Runner be running more (starting again in a few weeks time, injury permitting) but he'll also be eating a more healthy diet.

Now most people trying to lose weight will be told to start a food diary. Write down everything you eat and then you can understand where the sins are creeping in. But how do you know how healthy (or not) your diet actually is, unless you take your food diary to be analysed by a professional nutritionist?

Well The Fat Runner has been using something for the last few weeks called Sparkpeople which allows you to track your food using their easy-to-use food diary, but also has a very active forum, groups you can join depending on where you are, what you're trying to do, any special conditions etc., an exercise tracker, suggested diets and exercise programmes, and many other things to keep you informed and motivated as you lose weight and get fitter.

The downside? Well if you're not based in the US, then it may be tricky to find some of the foods and ingredients that TFR would use in the UK... But it's normally possible to find something which is about right.

One benefit the TFR is finding is that the 'sin' of eating a biscuit or drinking a glass of wine is more immediate. Rather than him thinking 'oh well, no-one will notice - I'll just work harder tomorrow' or something similar, the evidence is there in black and white of his submission to temptation!

If you want to have something which has more UK foods, then Weight Loss Resources may be for you, but they do charge a monthly membership fee whereas Sparkpeople is free to use.