Understanding the Dashboard
The Dashboard tab displays:
- How many glasses of water you drank today
- Number of minutes of activity recorded
- The average number of exchanges in each category you had daily over the last seven days
- PLEASE NOTE: Your 7-day average exchanges will not display accurately until you have tracked 7 days in a row. You can go back at any time and enter exchanges for the previous 7 days.
Why does the dashboard show average exchanges for the last week?
Seeing your average number of exchanges for the last seven days is a way to take a longer look at your progress over time. For example, if you ate a bit more one day, you can watch your average go down over the week as you make healthier choices on other days. Or, if you need to eat more vegetables, you can see your average veggie consumption going up as you learn to incorporate more of them into your meal plan. Without excessive measuring, it is nearly impossible to eat exactly a certain number of exchanges (or calories) each day. Instead, strive to stay within a certain range.
Remember: neither a single meal nor a single day will do permanent damage to your long term weight loss efforts. Keep at it, and you will see progress over time.
What if I want to track calories or macros?
One of the great things about the Food Exchange System is that when you are tracking exchanges, you are also tracking calories and macros. (Macros are carbohydrates, fat and protein.)
- The Food Exchange System sorts all types of food into categories (Nonstarchy Vegetable, Fruit, Milk, Protein, Starch/Other Carbohydrates, Fat, and Free) based on the proportion of macros they contain.
- The Food Exchange System also sets a portion size for each food so that food items in each category contain approximately the same number of calories. For example, all nonstarchy vegetable exchanges are 25 calories each while starch exchanges are 80 calories each.
- Many people new to the Food Exchange System confuse exchanges with portion sizes. For example, if you stop by the drive-thru for a bagel on your way to work, that bagel is not 1 starch exchange. It's generally 3 1/2 to 4 starch exchanges (plus fat exchanges for whatever spread might be added). That's about half your daily starch allotment. Same goes for the bun on most 6-inch subs and dinner-sized pasta meals.