Do you ALWAYS track?

I have been maintaining for about a month now. I have a birthday coming up, and I thought about just eating what I want that day and not tracking. I don't plan to go on a crazy binge but I'm sure I'll exceed my calories. I think if I track, knowing how much I go over will drive me crazy and take away from enjoying my birthday. Plus it would be nice to not have to figure out everything I eat since it probably won't be what I usually eat. Is not tracking on special occasions a bad idea?


  • hncary
    hncary Posts: 176 Member
    I don't track on holidays. Half the time someone else has made the food and I would have to guess anyway and would probably be way off. No point in tracking if I'm not going to be accurate IMO. Just enjoy your birthday and get right back to your routine the next day :)
  • beachlandia
    beachlandia Posts: 45 Member
    If I were you I would just eat what I wanted- it's your birthday, it only comes once a year! It's not like you're going to eat so much that you'll actually gain a significant amount of weight.
  • 00figg
    00figg Posts: 111 Member
    i always track. if i eat it i own it. just because i don't track it, doesn't mean it didn't happen... if i know an overage is likely to happen, i will bank a few cals and exercise so that it doesn't have a negative impact on my week. :smile:
  • Capt_Apollo
    Capt_Apollo Posts: 9,028 Member
    there are days that i track even though i know i'm going to go over, and there are days i don't track at all.
  • suruda
    suruda Posts: 1,233 Member
    I have been gone on vacation twice since I started MFP...didn't track either time (once for a week, and once for 4 days). I did show a gain both times but it came off quickly so was probably a combo of water retention and true weight gain. For me, those little breaks were totally worth it!
  • MynameisJerryB
    MynameisJerryB Posts: 168 Member
    It just depends on what works for you. Physcologically, seeing my intake go into the red doesn't work for me so I don't log it but I know about it and i make sure to get back on track the next day. For some people seeing it in the red is motivation to not slip up. Just do what works for you.
  • 4leighbee
    4leighbee Posts: 1,275 Member
    suruda wrote: »
    I have been gone on vacation twice since I started MFP...didn't track either time (once for a week, and once for 4 days). I did show a gain both times but it came off quickly so was probably a combo of water retention and true weight gain. For me, those little breaks were totally worth it!

    ^^ This is where I am. I've been going for four months, and I've tracked every single day faithfully. I went to Vegas a couple weeks ago - and gave myself a break from MFP. Otherwise I would have felt guilty as I logged - and that wasn't going to work for me, especially in Vegas. I know the right things to do. I wasn't completely irresponsible but also wasn't the least bit guilty when I over-indulged. It was a break. I got back to business the day I returned home and have logged faithfully every day since. One thing that helped me stay focused - even though I drank like a freakin' fish - was that I ran and/or lifted weights almost every day.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,301 Member
    I only log when I'm trying to cut...maintaining is easy and I don't need to log.
  • DaneanP
    DaneanP Posts: 433 Member
    I actually approach meeting my calorie goals over the course of a week vs. each day. So I track every day, even on vacation, even when I know I'm going to go over. If I'm not sure of a particular food item (something served at a dinner party, etc.) I estimate as close as I can to something already in MFP. I did this on Easter as a matter of fact. So then if I have a day that I really blow it by going over, I can make up for it on the other days of the week. It actually makes me feel better in control of my long term goal vs. stressing out each and every day. But that's me. YRMV.
  • kdiamond
    kdiamond Posts: 3,329 Member
    85% of the time...I also try to meet my calorie goals over the week instead of daily.
  • pkw58
    pkw58 Posts: 2,040 Member
    I track even if i have to guess.
  • yesimpson
    yesimpson Posts: 1,372 Member
    I track unless I don't have an internet connection, and not on Christmas Day, my birthday, or events like weddings. This is because I know I'm going to go way, way over and so I can avoid the temptation and try to 'make up' for that, because that just doesn't work for me. Other than that I just guess the calories if I can't check them, and estimate high.
  • patrikc333
    patrikc333 Posts: 436 Member
    weigh it (or estimate if not available) and track it - always - it's the only way I can have control. and I actually enjoy planning my week in advance and especially play with food to hit macros.

    if you go over one day you can recover another day of the week - many people look at week calories with daily ups/downs - but if you don't know how much you were up you cannot estimate how much you will need to be down your daily goal
  • scrittrice
    scrittrice Posts: 345 Member
    On occasions like that I usually quick-add a bunch of calories, just so that I can have an idea how the week looks overall. I've been on vacation without Internet access and (obviously) didn't track and it all evened out--ate more dessert, drank more wine, but maybe snacked less and was more active.
  • Francl27
    Francl27 Posts: 26,373 Member
    I track it all, because my diary is a tool, and I like having as much information as possible to be able to keep track of my weight.
  • Sadi_Kalen
    Sadi_Kalen Posts: 33 Member
    i try to. most days i track everything i eat and my exercise cals to be sure i'm keeping even. have been in maintenance mode for 4 months now and trying to be careful with it despite having the odd indulgence. life is meant for living, not monitoring yourself 100% every day. i find that so long as i eat whole foods (not food products) 80% of the time, i can eat pretty much anything else without any bad side effects - in moderation of course.

    after this long with eating well and exercising regularly every week i don't feel a need to binge and the amount of water i drink keeps me hydrated and energized for workouts. i have a couple of days off every week from exercise where i either rest completely or go for a light walk. the rest of the time i stick to my schedule and i'm happy. i find logging the daily diet still helps me to monitor my daily intake... would like to eventually go 1 - 2 weeks without logging and maintain weight. then i may consider easing off it.
  • plutomovedon
    plutomovedon Posts: 13 Member
    If you don't track every day what's the point of tracking at all? If you create "cheat days" you'll just end up creating more and more "cheat days"
  • Timorous_Beastie
    Timorous_Beastie Posts: 595 Member
    I don't log on weekends or holidays. And sometimes I take a random week off from logging. I get a little too OCD about things, and taking a break from it works for me.

    When I first started, I logged everything. All the time. Then I went to a bachelorette party, exercised in the morning, pre-logged what I knew I'd eat, and kept track of everything else I consumed. When I logged it all in, my "if every day were like today" message said in five weeks, I'd gain two pounds. I thought, "That's IT?!"

    I realized that every day is NOT like that day. I wouldn't survive 5 weeks of that kind of debauchery anyway. ;) It would take a lot more than one day a week to undo my deficit for the week. And I realized that keeping track of every jello shot and every potato chip isn't a fun way to spend a party. So I started taking one weekend day off a week to relax and enjoy myself. When I reached my goal weight, I took two weekend days off a week, and happily maintained for years that way.

    (Until I stopped logging all together, then got injured. But that had nothing to do with taking a random day off here and there.)
  • 4leighbee
    4leighbee Posts: 1,275 Member
    edited April 2015
    If you don't track every day what's the point of tracking at all? If you create "cheat days" you'll just end up creating more and more "cheat days"

    I don't agree that this is a universal truth. However, I do agree that choosing not to track for individual days here and there may lead to this. I took vacation off from mfp and am no worse for wear. I knew what I needed to do and came back to mfp four days later pretty proud of myself. If you are committed to the process, you can make decisions like this without wrecking your progress. But if you tend to look for ways to cheat yourself, not tracking a day here and there could be a problem for you.
  • snowflake930
    snowflake930 Posts: 2,188 Member
    I do. I know myself too well.
    It keeps me motivated to never give in and end up on the slippery slope back to obesity.
    Everyone has to do it their way, what works for each of us.