Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Going Old School . . . .

****  Happy #dblogcheck day!!  And a big thank you to Hannah and Chris for helping motivate us (okay, okay, ME) to stop slacking on leaving blog comments. ****

MeasuringCupsWhen I was younger, and the Exchange Diet ruled diabetes management, my mom carefully weighed and measured everything I ate.  A small food scale was a permanent and much used fixture in our kitchen, as was the multi-colored set of plastic measuring cups.  To this day I still grimace at memories of meals composed of “2 meats, 3 breads, 1 fat, 1 fruit, 2 vegetables” with no regard to how hungry I was or what I was in the mood to eat that day.  Portions were precisely measured and I ate them whether I wanted to or not.

Thankfully, those days are long gone and instead I count my carbs and dose my insulin for (almost) what ever I’m in the mood to eat.  (I say almost, because I do still try not to overindulge in carbs or else my blood sugar will pay the price.)  When counting my carbs I’ve definitely become more of an “estimator” rather than a “measurer”, simply eyeballing my portion sizes.  It works well for me, maybe because I’m a good eye-baller but more likely because there are so many other factors at play making carb counting somewhat of a gamble anyway.  (Am I going to exercise soon?  Have I exercised recently?  Am I full of hormones this week?  How stressed out am I?  Any of these can assure that even the most accurate carb count ends up a miss.)

But lately, I’ve hopped into my time machine and have begun making regular use of the food scale and measuring cups again.  Why would I subject myself to that?  Calorie tracking.  (YUCK)  I’m working on reversing the steady forward creep my weight has been taking over the past few (or more than a few) years.  I don’t want to do any fad diets and I’m not looking to eliminate anything from my menu - after living years of “diabetics can’t have sugar” I refuse to deny myself anything.  So the solution is careful calorie tracking, allowing myself to eat foods I want but only in portions that keep me within a calorie range for the day.  And while guesstimating carbs works really well for me, guesstimating calories doesn’t work at all.  I find I tend to overestimate portions sizes and underestimate calories.  So the hands of time have rolled back and I’m making regular use of measuring cups and food scales again.  It kind of sucks, but it is working.  I’ve lost almost 7 pounds so far (and I really hope the “blog jinx” won’t kick in now and I’ll gain it all back this week!!).

Are you a measurer or a guesstimator when it comes to food?  What works best for you and why?

33 comments:

  1. Oh, I'm definitely a guesser. (Not a GOOD guesser, but...)

    Check!

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  2. Nice job!!! I think you're taking the right approach, no matter how YUCK it is :) I am a total guesstimator. But I am trying to at least look at the nutrition label to see what I might be dealing with. Keep up the good work.

    CHECK!

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  3. I play the guesstimate game often. It works for me too but I understand the calorie counting dilemma. I wish you luck with this journey. After baby comes I plan on making quite a few changes myself. :)

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  4. I'm a guesstimator def. But I usually eat the same foods so it isnt so risky for me:)

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  5. Oh, I guess everything, but even after switching from Exchanges to Carbs, it took years to mentally stop guessing in intervals of 15. Sometimes, though, I feel that prescribed meal sizes would make things so much easier and more predictable...

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  6. Check! It's high time I come out of the feed reader...
    I go back and forth, although these days I am definitely an estimator. I'm so impressed with you counting calories. I feel like it's enough work counting carbs!

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  7. Check. I go between measuring and estimating. I usually measure out foods like rice or quinoa as I really am bad at guessing on those types of things. Awesome work on the calorie counting/weight loss :)

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  8. Totally a guesstimator - but I suppose an educated guesstimator! Check!

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  9. Check! (I too appreciate the nudge to comment. I'm bad, bad about not commenting). I'm a guesstimator. Even though I don't have to worry about dosing insulin, I still need to keep track of how many carbs I'm consuming or I'll WAY overdo it. I should dust off my cups and spoons too because I'm not a great guesstimator. I blissfully thought that some small plastic containers I was using to store a yummy dessert were 1/4 cup. Not. I finally measured once and they are 1/2 cup! Anyway, kudos for the weight loss. I'm inspired.

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  10. I am definitely a measurer. I have to be careful about what and how much I eat because of my gastric bypass but it's all worth it. :D

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  11. I always measure food for breakfast and occasionally for things like apples throughout the day. I work hard to eat lower carb foods where exact measurements aren't as important. Like Scott E, I still think of portions in exchange 15 gram units. Check!

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  12. Depends on the day - And the meal! CHECK!

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  13. I'm a total guestimator, but that darn scale has been creeping up on me too. I might have to start being a measurer. Check!

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  14. As much as I don't like the measuring or the exchanges, I still find it a very healthy way to eat, especially long term! I appreciate being forced on that diet for 13 years because it's a no-brainer way for me to eat healthy! (Although, there is a lot more variety in my diet now!)

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  15. Scale on counter: check Measuring cups on counter: check Dust an inch thick on those items: check.

    Guess I should dust those off and check my eyeballing!

    Check!

    Trip Stoner

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  16. When I'm eating at home, I weigh everything. I also weight some things like baked goods on the go, with a portable scale. It's just so much more accurate. I'm not great at visually estimating, especially with volumes (like rice), but sometimes there's really no choice. Need to get better at that! Check ☺

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  17. I need to be a better portion size controller...the problem for me is that the portion size listed on the label doesn't quite equate to my opinion of what portion should be. Which is also probably the reason I could stand to lose 50 lbs......

    #dblogcheck
    www.CandyHeartsBlog.org

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  18. Definitely guess on carbs ... but totally agree ... guessing calories sounds impossible ... and nice job on the 7 lost pounds! rock on!

    #dblogcheck

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  19. Aww, welcome to my world! Because of the pregnancy, I weigh everything! I didn't used to but I have definitely seen it has helped tremendously with my blood sugars, but I was never a very good estimator (also, no self control when eating things like chips or pretzels...I would think I had one serving size worth but it would really be like 3 so weighing helps me to stick to the plan)

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  20. We weigh and measure everything that Ryan eats here at home but when we go out or eat at someones house we guess. Im sure as he gets older it will be easier to guesstimate more and more

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  21. I went back to being a measurer/weigher for the same reason you did -- it really worked for me and I'm sure it will for you too. I often resent the extra time it takes, especially when it means that my hubby is finishing his meal as I'm sitting down to start (he does eat way too fast!) but the results are well worth it. Good luck with your tracking and get yourself some super cute or colorful measuring cups to keep yourself motivated!

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  22. Stopping by to say hi on #dblogcheck day! :)

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  23. I know that if I kept track of my food I could lose a few pounds, but the thought of having to count, weigh, and measure food for both of us is just too much work! Q is really good about using the food scale to figure out her portions.

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  24. I rely on my food scale like Matthew Stafford relies on Reggie Bush. The batteries died in it once and I freaked out. Honestly, I can guesstimate and pretty good at that, but that scale has become my kitchen security blanket. That and ever since using it for baking, my cookies have turned out much better as well. :)

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  25. I'm a guesser ... I wish I was a better guesser. :)

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  26. I guess way too often but I've been trying to use SparkPeople's app and web site to help me. #dblogcheck

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  27. Calorie counting is one way that I've lost weight in the past. I've lost a little bit of weight on Victoza but it's started to stagnate and I think I need to start being more mindful of what I'm eating. And exercise more, of course. I always feel like I'm working on those two things.

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  28. Guesser or measurer? Uh... I think I'm just a slacker. Oh, but I HAVE been turning back to those Exchange Diets more lately just to reinforce my knowledge of what I can eat without having to really get all D-Math crazy and measure everything to the same extent. Much easier to eyeball (er, SWAG) on that. And I am also pretty amazed that I've still got one of those old-school Exchange List books from the ADA. Think it may have actually been from an ADA-sponsored education refresher back in the late 90s that I took right before college, but they were still giving them out. And that was before my pumping days and any MDI, so it was really not far from my reality at that point, Anyhow, rambling aside... here's to wrangling the food scene as you need to, Karen!

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  29. I measure out my (chocolate) granola and milk with a measuring cup. Guessing was far too tricky of a task for that food. #check

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  30. Oh, another post that I can relate to that I read through #dblogcheck ! I am a guesser with the foods I know well and eat often and a measurer with the foods that are hard to guesstimate and that I rarely eat. Although I should really go back to measure the food, at least for a while, and eat more mindfully because the weight has piled on in the last few years! Keep up the good job, Karen!

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  31. I am pretty good about measuring and weighing when I'm at home ... Guessing away from home, but I'm generally off. My scale (a digital food scale) sits on the counter and gets lots of use. I'm rather compulsive about that and then tracking.

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  32. Check! Ugh, the exchange system, which was great if a slice of bread was actually 15g of carbs instead of sometimes being 25 or more. I haven't been able to bring myself to use a food scale because it's so difficult psychologically. It makes me feel like I'm 80 years old and have lost all sense of freedom. I have no idea why I have more of a problem with food scales than just about anything else, but I'm not ready to deal with them yet.

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