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Web site helps keep track of food intake, exercise output

Sometimes, no matter how much we eat and no matter how much we exercise, we still can’t lose weight.

Or at least it seems that way.

Diet fads, plans and techniques abound, but it all comes down to this: Burn off more calories through exercise than you take in as food, and you’ll lose weight.

But figuring out that point of balance can be difficult.

One solution: Use the free assessment tool at www.mypyramidtracker.gov.

The site, said registered dietitian Mary Wilson, "is a real nice online way to track your food intake and your exercise output, so you can get a better handle on the calories you’re expending and the calories you’re taking in. It gives you a way to control and be knowledgeable about what you’re eating. I think if you’re truthful, there’s no question you’re going to see why you gained weight, if you did.

"And the nice thing about it is it’s free, so you can use it in conjunction with something else you might be doing."

Wilson said she showed the site to her husband, Greg, who’s not a dietitian, and he has finally been able to lose weight after years of trying.

"My husband said it was much easier to be oblivious," Wilson said. "Now he thinks about what he eats."

Ignorance can indeed be bliss.

"It always surprises me how much it takes to burn off the food you’ve eaten, or how little food it takes to put (calorie intake) up there," said Wilson, who’s an extension nutrition specialist with Nevada Cooperative Extension.

Tracking your caloric intake and exercise output, she said, may prompt you to think, "Maybe I shouldn’t eat a doughnut this day; maybe I should make another choice. Or I can have some more food if I just exercise a little bit more.

"It helps you learn what it takes to maintain your weight. We — the American public– have never done a good job with that after we’ve dieted. If people will track their food and exercise, the opportunity to keep weight off is much greater."

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