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Don't Assume

Saturday, April 02, 2016

If you've been on SparkPeople for a few years, you've probably built up a good sized list of Favorite Foods. You've diligently entered all of the nutritional values and calories. Or if your new, you might be using someone else's food entries for your own daily log.

Don't assume any of this is accurate. People make mistakes when they input information. But more often, the food manufacturer has changed the ingredients and now all of your hard work is wrong.

You need to keep your list of Favorites, updated, especially if they are a couple years old. The longer you've been on SparkPeople tracking your food, the more daunting this will seem. But just like everything else, slow and steady will get you there.

I started by editing my Favorites list, by deleting. I went through and looked at each item and was surprised to find there were lots of things there, that I don't eat anymore. There's no "what if I want to eat this in the future". Just reenter the nutrition facts, if needed.
After cleaning out the unnecessary, I then moved on to editing. Start with the foods you track most often. The things you eat everyday. Do two or three items each day.

One of the most shocking changes in nutrition, for me was a cereal, I'd been eating for years. I didn't really care for it, but the majority of the nutrients were 100%. It was a very healthy choice. As I was updating, I noticed a lot of changes, for the worse. Higher calories & carbs, lower fiber & protein and almost every nutrient that had been 100% was now 25%. This cereal was now a terrible nutritional choice. A real waste of valuable calories.

That cereal was an eye opener for me. I never assume any of my entries are correct. Keeping an updated list of Favorites is critical. For those of you who are tracking, exercising and not losing weight. This could be your problem. You could be eating well over your calorie limit & not know it!

(The only food items I don't update are fruits, vegetables and nuts. I figure those whole foods are not going to change nutritionally.)
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Hmm, something I'd never thought of! Thanks!
    1854 days ago
    I've been checking my entries periodically. When I check foods that I've manually entered, I usually add a date to the entry so that I know the last time I updated it. A good clue to use for checking the entered values is when the company updates the packaging, especially it they are making new nutritional claims.

    I do need to go through and delete a bunch of things that are no longer available around here, such as my bread list...

    1863 days ago
    Interesting! Thanks for sharing!
    1864 days ago
    Good advice!!! I am going to do this. Thank you so much for sharing!
    1864 days ago
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