The season of comfort foods is upon us! This is the time of year that I always gain my hibernation weight. With delicious seasonal foods like mac & cheese, creamy soups and hot chocolate all readily available, a 5-10 lbs. influx is inevitable.
I absolutely love food and I absolutely hate to diet. Despite that, I found a great, free way to make sure I’m not going overboard. It’s called My Plate, through Livstrong.com. I have been using this for about 4 years, when it was called Daily Plate (pre-Livestrong) and I swear by it.
Basically it’s a calorie counter, without the work of counting calories. Simply sign up and fill out a few quick details like height, weight and age and then it calculates the healthy amount of calories you should be consuming per day to maintain your weight. There’s also the option to set a weight loss goal if you’re looking to diet.
You type what you’ve eaten, how much and that’s it. It tracks the calories, fat, sodium, and other scary details of food for you. And it doesn’t just have generic foods like “Bacon” or “Lettuce”, it has a HUGE database. For instance it has my “Panera Greek Salad no dressing”, my “Trader Joe’s Vegetable Lasagna” and even my “McDonalds Large Fry” (hey, we all have weak moments.)
It also tracks exercise, water consumption and gives you weekly overviews (good for things like cholesterol. You’re never to young to be aware of your health!)
All in all, what I love is that it educates me to make better food choices. When I type in things like “Starbucks Mocha Frappuchino” and I see the 500 calories, I think twice before I go for it.
It’s really a great tool, and it’s FREE (and I swear they didn’t pay me to plug it!) If you’re looking for an easy way to keep control this season, give it a try. Over the next few weeks I’m going to be posting some of my favorite recipes for the cold weather and I always put them into Livestrong, so I’ll be sure to let you know the name of the recipe for easy tracking.