- What exactly can work food out do for me?
- What are the rules? How does work food out work?
- Do I have to enter everything I eat and drink?
- Why can I only weigh myself once per week?
- How does feed*back know what goal is right for me?
- Where can I set my personal preferences?
- So what can I expect for the first couple of months?
It works if you work it.
Work food out is a daily food logbook that shows you how much you really eat. It's a convenient place to write down everything you put in your mouth and visualize your eating habits clear as day.
In addition, work food out is a weekly weight tracker that works in conjunction with the logbook to record how your body reacts to the amount of food you ate. Based on your food and weight, work food out recommends weekly eating goals to help you transition from what you weigh now to what you wanna weigh, and maintain it for good.
Yes this is a calorie counting tool but it's way more than that. Work food out is an application that shows you how much you eat, then adjusts your eating goal little by little, week-in and week-out to keep you from trying to do too much, too fast. Think of it as built-in patience.
Where do you wanna be? If you'd like to weigh something different than you weigh now (your target) and you're stuck, or consistently gaining weight over time, chances are you could stand to reduce the amount of food you eat. Or as we like to call it: Work your food out.
Good habits evolve. There is a relationship to how active you are, and what kinds of foods you eat, but in reality, whether you are working out or not, eating healthy or not, if you write it all down, your weight at the end of each week can't lie. Work food out evaluates and adjusts your weekly eating goal dynamically. How much you need to eat this week may be different from how much you'll need this time next year. Work food out figures that out for you so you don't have to do all the math.
Like anything in life, if you do it half-assed it won't work. If you're consistent and make it a point not to skip days or weigh-ins, work food out will show you how much you can eat, week by week to start losing weight more often than not. Once you figure that out, you control your food and not the other way around.
The process goes like this. All you gotta do is commit and eat.
Rule #1 Write down everything you eat. Everything. Write down what, how much you ate and how many calories you think it was.
Rule #2 Eat normally for your first two weigh-ins to figure out how much you eat right now. How you eat now is why you weigh what you weigh. This is important to figure out because you gotta know where you're at to get to where your going. Don't be impatient.
More about Rule #2 Most people think they gotta drastically change what they eat cold turkey in order to kick start the process, but in reality it reduces your chances of long term success. The next few months will go by whether you like it or not, why not make them really count by kicking your food's ass.
Work food out will establish your first goal based on your normal eating habits. Each week thereafter it'll start making the necessary adjustments for you personally. This is where the fancy pie charts come into play.
Rule #3 Pick a weigh-in day and stick to it. Weigh-in once per week (only once). When we weigh-in too frequently, a sudden illogical shift in weight can send us down the wrong path. There's nothing worse than weighing in only to jump on the scale a bit later only to find we've gained a pound or two. It makes it appear as if we're doing something wrong and instantly gets us thinking about what we should be doing differently to stop the weight from piling up. This is a trap.
That's it. If you do those three things and follow the weekly feed*back provided after each weigh-in, you'll do fine.
If you skip a day or two or a week or more, don't get discouraged, just re-commit and start entering your food again. But try not to skip any days. It took months and even years for you to weigh what you weigh now and it's gonna take months of consistently working your food out to reverse the process (and it is reversible).
The food tab.
The food tab is where you enter everything you eat, everyday. Just make sure you are on the day you want, and add your food by typing it in to the i ate this form. Each time you add a food to the list it's totaled up for you automatically.
See your totals, week-at-a-glance and what you've eaten today.
How often should I visit the food tab? You should be entering you food throughout the day to help you keep track of everything you eat & drink. If you'd like to add it all at the end of the day, or even pre-enter foods for future days, it's all good. The important thing is that you make a commitment of if it goes in your mouth, it gets logged in the food tab.
How to enter your food.
The more detail the better. Feel free to enter your food (and drinks) however works best for you. We've found it to be helpful to break down food items into individual ingredients when possible. It's also good to write 'how much' within your food description to help you remember the actual portion you ate (1 ounce, or 1/2 cup, etc.).
For example, if you eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, instead of writing peanut butter & Jelly sandwich » 340 try breaking it down into into ingredients: Foods are listed with your last entry at the top
The reason breaking down ingredients is recommended because it's less complex to remember (or figure out) the calories for every food component. It also helps you to learn how many calories are in different ingredients you regularly eat. Of course when you go out to eat or you don't really know what went into a meal, you kinda have no choice but to lump it into one bulk sum.
Looking up calories.
Traditionally, to find out how many calories something is, you can use the web, food packaging nutrition labels, printed books, or your brain.
"the food tab has a handy lookup button to help you look up calories"
Clicking lookup opens calorieking, with a little extra work food out form built-in. Using caloriekings food search, look for the item you need info on and once you've determined the calories just type it into the calorie bar (at the top) and it automatically saves it to the food tab.
To figure out calories. You can use an online database like calorieking (or the like) to search for the info you need. If have difficulty finding the food you're looking for, you can look at food packaging labels (if you made the food yourself) or printed nutrition guides. This requires little math to figure out how big of a serving you ate. Having a food scale in the kitchen comes in handy.
If all else fails... You gotta just put on your thinking cap and take a good old fashioned guess. Try to get it as close as possible. I like to compare what I ate to a favorite food that already know how many calories it is and ask myself, "Did that make me feel as satisfied as an in-n-out burger does?" You get the picture.
Don't worry about being perfect. Just try to get close.
Dragging, editing, and deleting foods.
In the food tab there is a handy set of invisible icons that appear when you rollover any previously entered food item. They appear on the left of the foods description and contain three little choices. Each does something different (drag, edit and delete).
Dragging foods to a new location: To reorder foods in the food table, rollover the food item and click and hold the drag icon to move the food to where you'd like it to go (it's the one with four arrows pointing in all directions).
Editing a food description or calories: To edit a food entry, simply click the middle edit icon and type in the description or calorie field to make a change (it's the one with a little pencil tip in it) When you click the edit icon the food description field is pre-selected for you. If you'd like to quickly jump to the calories field, you can hit the tab key. Once your done, hit the return button (on your keyboard) to commit your edits.
Note: you have to have your cursor active within one of the fields in order to commit an edit. Clicking a field will activate it.
Deleting a food item: To delete a food entry, click on the delete icon (it has a trash can in it) and we'll prompt you with a confirmation to make sure you really want to delete the item. Hit OK and it'll be deleted. Hit Cancel if you change your mind.
The weight tab.
How often should I visit the weight tab? You should visit the weight tab at least once a week to weigh-in on weigh-in day. Use it as often as needed to checkin out past progress, etc.
When you should weigh in. We've designed work food out to help keep you on track. Once you've picked your weigh-in day, each week after weighing-in, a timer is set. If you try to enter a new weight before your next scheduled weigh-in date, it tells you when to come back. Think of it as your own personal scale assistant.
The weigh-in button. Click the weigh-in button to enter your weight on weigh-in day. If you click it early it'll remind you of how long you have left until weigh-in day. If it is weigh-in day, you'll be able to enter your weight and feed*back will review your goal with you to see if you should stick with the same goal, decrease and/or increase your goal based on your eating habits and weight for the week.
Viewing your past weigh-ins. Every weigh-in is associated as the result of a week of eating so if you've been working your food out for 15 weeks, you'll see fifteen rows of information. Each row shows the date range, weight, change, goal and average achieved for that week. You can filter weeks by clicking the view buttons at the top to display how ever many weeks you like see.
Editing your weights. If you accidentally enter the wrong weight, you can click on the weight (has a colored background) to edit it. Once you're done just hit the return button (while your cursor is active in the edit field) to save it.
What do those little +'s do? Each weigh-in represents the result of your previous weeks eating. When clicked, the pluses will open up all your charts for that week. You can open up as many weeks as you like simultaneously. Click the minus to collapse them back. Oh, and if you want to jump right into a specific days eating just click a chart and it will take you back to that day (in the food tab) so you can see what you ate, or make a edit to a past food entry, etc.
NOTE: Work food out also works for folks looking to gain weight.
The goal tab.
What is my goal? Your goal is how many calories you can eat each day. To figure out your first goal work food out establishes how much you normally eat to use that as your starting goal and then guides you week in and week out recommending goals along the way. This is so you don't have to store it all up in your head and try remember what you should be doing next.
Should I ever change my eating goal manually using the goal tab? There are a couple scenarios that apply to changing your goal. Typically, you shouldn't manually change your goal unless a change is needed. This would include if you feel you are not eating enough or eating too much. If you feel like a change needs to me made, make it. But try not to make goal changes that are fueled by impatience or trying to shortcut the system.
If you decide you need to make a manual goal adjustment, just click on the goal tab, change your goal and click commit.
How feed*back works.
Weekly feed*back helps you stay on track. We've designed work food out to factor in your eating habits and weekly weigh-in and recommend weekly goal adjustments as needed.
By goal adjustments we mean how much you can eat (in calories) each day. It looks at how much you weigh at each weekly weigh-in based on how well you stayed within your caloric goal (see goal range in the account tab) to suggest whether you should eat more, eat less or stay at the same goal. Believe it or not. For work food out to work you've got to be both consistent and patient which means
It's not easy keeping track of what we eat, how much we should be eating and how much we weigh all in our heads. By tracking it all online, weekly feed*back can give us a better chance of achieving long-term results by avoiding drastic decisions which have the potential to derail our consistency and ability to stay the course.
What happens when I gain weight? When we have an increase in weight, feed*back looks to see if you ate within your goal (determined by your goal range as set in the account tab). If you did meet your goal, feed*back will recommend you drop your calories for the upcoming week. If you eat too much or too little (outside of your goal range), feed*back will suggest you hold at the same goal. It is important that you stay within goal range so feed*back provide recommendations to keep you heading in the right direction.
What happens when I lose weight? The opposite of when you gain weight, losing weight triggers an opposite reaction with feed*back. When you have a drop in weight, feed*back again looks to see if you ate within your goal and if you did meet your goal it will recommend you stay at your same goal. After all if you ate within your goal and lost weight, chances are your intake goal is set at a good number for you. Sometimes the body does strange things. Occasionally, you'll gain weight on a week you feel like you did everything right or you'll lose weight on a week you are sure you blew it. Just take 'em as they come. Things will snap back to normal, they always do.
When you finally achieve your target weight. Keep logging your food to help you maintain what you've achieved. You can rely on feed*back to suggest goal changes should you start gaining or losing weight. Or if you feel like like to set a new target, go ahead and change it in the account tab and continue to follow feed*back's recommendations to guide you there.
When should I turn feed*back off? If you're an experienced calorie counter who has achieved success and maintained positive results, you can turn feed*back off and set your eating goals manually.
If you're working with a nutritionist, dietitian or trainer who is monitoring your eating and offering personalized eating guidance, that would also be a good time to turn feed*back off. This way you can manually adjust your goals based on his or her recommendation as needed.
If you are going it alone we recommend leaving feed*back turned on.
The account tab.
I'm still working on this section. :)
What is the goal range? The goal range is how much you can eat under or over and still be considered to have eaten within your goal. You can set it from 0 to 10%. For example, if your goal is to eat 2000 calories per day, and your goal range is set to 5%, you can go up to 100 calories over in your weekly average (2100) or under (1900) and have accomplished your goal.
Note: feed*back only recommends a goal change only if you meet your weekly eating goal within your selected % range and your weigh-in suggests a modified goal is needed. So meet your goals.
Your mission: Write down everything you eat. New eaters get starter charts (the circles with a number in 'em). After weeks 1 & 2 you be served up some delicious pie charts.
Your first few months should look a little like this:
Weeks 1 & 2 Eat normally for your first full week (two consecutive weigh-in's) to figure out how much you normally eat. Don't forget to weigh-in on weigh-in day.
Week 3 Once you've logged your first full week of food (using your new pie charts), eat within your newly recommended goal. That means don't go over your agreed upon goal number each eating day.
Week 4 Keep eating within your recommended weekly goal, whether it changes or not. On occasion, work food out will ask you to continue an additional week at the same goal (just do it).
Week 5 When your weigh-ins start showing more losses than gains, your in your sweet spot. It can take a couple months to find a specific goal that consistently works for you, don't rush)...
Week 6 You'll reach your target in your own time (The more consistent you are, the sooner you'll reach it).
Week 7, 8, 9 . . . Once you hit your target, keep logging your food and if you need a goal adjustment, feed*back will recommend what to do.
Going slow is a powerful thing. Transitioning your habits, eating less and less, can forever change the way you perceive food and food portions. Just log all your food, be patient and follow the recommendations. When in doubt, ask.
The food, weight and goal tabs. You'll spend most of your time in the food tab with a quick visit to the weight tab once a week.
Terms of service.
Pay close attention to how you're eating makes you feel. If you're gut tells you something's out of whack, work with your local nutritionist, trainer, doctor, or naturopath to make sure your diet is good for you.
What your body requires to stay healthy right now is a constant moving target. The more attention you pay to what works and what doesn't while maintaining an open-ness to make changes when necessary, the easier you can make the needed adjustments.
What's working today, more than likely will need to be modified in the future to maintain your healthy lifestyle. Especially if you're undergoing a complete metamorphosis. Don't get stuck, be flexible.
Work food out's recommendations are exactly that, recommendations. By signing-up for this service, you agree not to hold us liable if you experience any less than desirable effects based on your eating goals. If you feel like you are eating too much or too little, make the necessary changes sooner than later, before it becomes a problem. If you're out of balance in any way, only you can make the necessary corrections.
You are what (& how much) you eat. You're also how much you move. So eat plenty of whole, natural foods and more often than not, reward your body & soul with some vigorous exercise. Be well.