Session 2

Finding Where Those Calories Come From

Session 2-3

Food labels and food/activity apps – tools in your arsenal.

Sample Label for Macaroni and Cheese

Touch each of the 4 items in the nutrition label below for more information
Nutrition Facts
Using food and physical activity apps:

Hopefully, you’ve already downloaded one of these apps at the intake meeting with your Lifestyle coach but if not, you can download one to your smart phone or computer. Among some of the most popular examples of free trackers are MyFitnessPal, Lifesum, Weight Watchers and Lose It!


Many apps offer a premium upgrade for a fee which provides additional functions but you can get the information you need for UPrevent from the free format.


Begin entering everything you eat and drink. The apps will keep a running total of your daily calorie intake as well as the weekly average.


If you prefer not to log using an app, use the app as a calorie reference and write the information in a food/activity diary or notebook.

Small differences in portions can mean a big difference in calories

So when you are tracking:


Include both food and beverages


Provide full details. For example, instead of entering “turkey sandwich,” enter all the things, including amounts, that are in the sandwich as follows:

  • 2 slices whole wheat bread 1 slice American cheese
  • 1 slice turkey
  • 1 tsp mayonnaise
  • “Toast with butter” should be detailed as follows:

  • 1 slice whole wheat toast
  • 1 tsp butter

Don’t forget small nibbles

How to Cope With Challenges

Even the most motivated individuals, with best intentions can sometimes face challenges to tracking their food intake . Here are some common challenges and ways to cope with them. Click on the challenges you personally face and find out some recommended ways to cope with them. You can of course come up with your own ways to cope with challenges.
I am too busy

– Remember why you are tracking—to lower your risk of type 2 diabetes!
– Make it a priority to track. It takes just a couple minutes after each meal.

I have trouble using a food tracking app
– Record your voice with a smart phone or other device.
– Take a photo of your food.
– Ask your lifestyle coach, friends, or family members to help you enter your Food Log.
I keep forgetting
– Make tracking part of your daily routine.
– Put a reminder on your phone or computer.
– Leave yourself notes where you’ll see them.
– Ask friends and family to remind you.
I don’t like to track
– Try different smartphone and computer apps.
– Share your results with others.
– Give yourself a small (nonfood) reward for meeting your food goals.
– Ask a friend or family member to track their food too.

You won’t have to log forever - but once you’ve mastered it, you have a powerful tool that you can always come back to!

Once you learn how to look up nutritional information, learn what portion sizes look like and the calories in most of foods you eat, you may be able to keep track without needing to log.

Create A Positive Action Plan

In the coming week, I will:
Weigh myself at least once this week and record in the To Do section of MyUHealth chart at the beginning of the next session.
Begin logging in my food and activity app what I eat and drink each day.

For now the most important thing is to develop the habit of tracking what you eat and drink.

What is important is to:

Be honest. Write down what you really eat.
Be accurate. Measure portions, and read labels.
Be complete. Include everything no matter how small.
Be aware of the items that are high in fat and calories.

Learn More

About food labels and choosing apps and the remaining link should be preceded by the topic sentence: Understanding nutrition labels.

Successful long-term weight loss: