One of the things that I love about Bright Line Eating (BLE) is that you do not have to “track” your food. What I mean by that, is that all of your food is weighed, so there is no need to track calories. The program defines what serving sizes are and what servings you can have at each meal. For example, for breakfast, if you are a woman on the weight-loss program, you will have one protein, one fruit, and one grain. There is a simple chart available that lists each category and serving size. It’s so simple, that I had most of them memorized in no time.
This also means that since sugar and flour are the only things that aren’t permitted, that there are some choices that are better than others. I knew this. I always knew this. But, I also know that I am not good at knowing or realizing how caloric some foods are. The same goes for sodium, which I have horrible inflammation from if I eat very much of it. I was having times that I was waking in the morning with what I call a food hangover–eyes, fingers, etc., swollen with water retention; weight gain; and feeling groggy.
Considering all of this, I decided to start tracking my food. It’s not something that I like to do, but I considered it a necessity. For that, I am using a program called Cronometer. Here is why and what I like about it:
- The free version tracks your nutrients for free. Most other programs, require you to pay for this.
- I believe it to be very accurate. Not just anyone can add food to the database. If you have a food that is not in the database, you can add it and then submit it to Cronometer. You have to input all the nutrient information from the label and submit photos. You can then use it in your tracking as a custom food. Once Cronometer has reviewed your submission and it is verified, you will be notified that it is now in their database and it will be removed from your custom food list.
- Since all my food is weighed, I need to be able to log my food by weight, not volume. This has been easy to do with Cronometer. This has not always been available for me in other programs.
- It does a nice job of importing my weight, sleep, pulse, and activity from my Garmin.
- I can creat custom foods and recipes.
What I don’t like about Cronometer:
- Cronometer does not export my food consumption to any app or device that I have. This has been a huge disappointment. I have been manually imputing my calories at the end of the day into My Fitness Pal because that is what Garmin uses to track your calories.
This has been an enlightening experience for me. As I said before, I was not very good at knowing what the caloric and sodium content of foods are. But, with Cronometer I was able to quickly see a few foods that I was eating that needed to be cut. With BLE, potatoes are considered a grain. That means you can have hash browns for breakfast, and I found some hash brown patties at the grocery store that I fell in love with. Not only were they high in calories compared to other grain choices like oatmeal or shredded wheat, but they were also loaded with salt.
Another food that I love that is high in calories are nut butters. It was shocking to see how high in calories they are compared to other protein choices such as yogurt. I now split my nut butter with another protein which saves me about 100 calories.
So, March has been a time of fine tuning and making adjustments–otherwise known as research. It’s been a good experience. It has made me more aware of what is in the food I’m eating and how it affects me. It’s also made me try foods and food combinations that I don’t normally eat. With Cronometer I can view my nutrients and with the touch of a button, view what I’ve eaten that day that contains those nutrients. This has been a huge help in cutting down the sodium. It’s nice to be on more of an even keel instead of having the ups and downs. And, I’m glad to report, no more food hangovers!
Therefore the LORD longs to be gracious to you, And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the LORD is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him. Isaiah 30:18