Friday, November 18, 2005

Diet Update 2

I've now logged a solid week in a row of nutrition, and I've come to a few conclusions. I am basically neutral on net caloric intake, but that is only because of exercise.

I decided to increase my protein intake, since I need that to repair muscles. I wasn't concerned about carbs, fat, or fiber, since I felt modifying more than one thing at a time would be difficult. One night for dinner, I essentially ate half of a supermarket bag salad plus a can of tuna (2.5 servings, thank you very much), trying to get more protein. Yesterday, I treated myself to sushi (sake, maguro, shiromaguro, unagi) in an effort to eat more protein. On average, I was able to eat 90% to 95% of my suggested protein intake, but I felt like I was chomping a lot more meat than I am used to. Interesting!

I got the YMCA running group talking about nutrition on Tuesday, and heard some interesting options. One woman said she often ate protein bars to work more into her diet.

Fiber is something I am deficient on. As in, roughly 50% of my suggested intake. I'd like to think I don't need to supplement with Metamucil... so I need to find some high fiber foods to eat as an alternative. ;)

Carbs... it is mind boggling how easy it is to eat carbs in modern U.S. society. I suspect the very air we breathe has carbohydrates! I effortlessly eat 50% too many carbs, without even counting sports drinks or gels. However, I'm not going to worry about this yet, until I can balance protein, fat, and fiber first.

After logging for a mere 12 days, I can now appreciate the difficulty people face trying to lose weight. I don't think it is possible without exercise. There just isn't anyway that doesn't involve serious discipline. If I want to lose one pound a week I'd need to run a 500 calorie deficit per day, and that means roughly eating 30% less food per day (without exercise).

I branched out and tried another nutrition tracker - Fit Day. This offers a free online account, and an offline program for $20. The cool thing is FitDay is the very powerful graphing and reports. This program will monitor your intake of vitamins/minerals and tell you how you are doing versus the %RDI! Unfortunately, the food database isn't a good as Calorie King's, which makes food entry more tedious. Still, I will try to get up to speed with FitDay because now I'm curious if I get enough Vitamin E or whatever. On the other hand, maybe a multivitamin will take care of this so the extra work to track with FitDay wouldn't be worth it.

FitDay also offers a nutrition search, where you can look for foods high in certain nutrition content (e.g. fiber, vitamin B12). I'll see what it turns up for fiber, but I suspect since I'm 12+ grams short every day, I'm going to supplement to make up the difference. 12 grams of fiber is 6 medium sized bananas or 2 packages or raw spinach... seems like a lot to eat.

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