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Session 2-1

Finding Where Those Calories Come From

This week we will get started working towards your weight loss goal by making healthy choices and tracking everything you eat and drink every day.

Keeping track of your weight and what you eat is the most important part of changing your behavior. We will give you the tools and support to make it easy!

You Can Do it!

We know that change is not easy, but we are here to help you through it.
You can make healthy choices that will reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes. Together we will take it one step at a time.

Why tracking what you eat is the key

We tend to underestimate what we eat, for example:

“Sally is at risk for type 2 diabetes. She wants to lose 15 pounds. She has been trying to eat better each week. After a month, Sally tells her friend Tina that she is frustrated. She still hasn’t lost any weight. Surprised by this, Tina asks her to describe what she ate the day before. Sally tells Tina what she thinks she had.”


The table below shows what Sally thinks she had versus what Sally really had at each meal and the extra calories she took in without being aware.


What Sally thinks she had

A bowl of cereal with milk
100 (cereal)
100 (milk)

Total calories: 200

What Sally really had

1 1⁄2 cups cereal with 8 ounces whole milk
150 (cereal)
150 (milk)

Coffee with 1 Tbsp whole milk and 2 tsp sugar
50 (milk and sugar)

Total calories: 350

Extra Calories: 150 Cal


What Sally thinks she had

Ham Sandwich
150 (bread)
200 (ham)
150 (mayo)


Total calories: 550

What Sally really had

Sandwich made with 2 slices bread, 6 ounces ham, and 1 1⁄2 tbsp mayo
150 (bread)
200 (ham)
150 (mayo)

Medium Apple

Ice Tea with Sugar
150 (sugar)

Total calories: 700

Extra Calories: 150 Cal


What Sally thinks she had

Total calories: 0

What Sally really had

Granola bar

Coffee with 1 tbsp whole milk and 2 tsp sugar
50 (milk and sugar)

Total calories: 250

Extra Calories: 250 Cal


What Sally thinks she had


Mashed potatoes

Piece of Fish

Total calories: 400

What Sally really had

Salad with 2 tbsp blue cheese dressing
50 (salad)
150 (dressing)

1 Cup Mashed Potatoes Made with Whole Milk and 3 tbsp Butter
100 (potatoes)
100 (butter)

3 ounces Fish
200 (sugar)

8 ounces Iced Tea with Sugar
75 (sugar)

Total calories: 675

Extra Calories: 275 Cal


What Sally thinks she had

Small Bowl of Ice Cream

Total calories: 175

What Sally really had

1 Cup Ice Cream

Total calories: 320

Extra Calories: 145 Cal

Daily Total:

Total calories Sally thinks she had daily:


Total calories Sally really had daily:


Extra Calories: 970 Cal

This example shows why Sally was unable to lose weight and why it’s so important to track what, when and the actual quantity you eat.

Accurately measuring everything you eat may take a couple of extra minutes, but will make a big impact towards your becoming more aware of how many calories you are really taking in.

Move those Muscles goal

Remember, the Physical Activity Goal is 150 minutes or more per week

  • You can work up to this goal slowly
  • 150 minutes of activity will burn about 700 calories per week.
  • Lowering your risk for heart disease and some kinds of cancer.
  • Pick activities you like.
  • Choose moderate kinds of activity, such as brisk walking.
  • Break up the minutes, preferably spread the weekly total over 3, 4, or more days per week.

Create A Positive Action Plan

  • Try to be a little more active this week.
  • Try lots of different activities. Be sure to find at least one that you enjoy.
  • Keep track of how many minutes you have been active for the week. You will be asked to record this information at the beginning of the next session. This will be another measure of your progress throughout the program.
  • Plan activities you like to do. We suggest brisk walking. It is easy to do and good for you. What other activities might you like to do in the coming weeks?