Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Nutrition Tracking

Over my weekend Seattle visit, I found several friends were planning to track their nutrition. Of course, I don't want to be left out of the fun, so I decided I would try it as well. I suppose this could be considered rising to new heights of obsessive compulsive behavior. ;)

I looked at HealthEtech and Calorie King. Both have an online version, where you can publish your nutrition to the world (woohoo!!), and both have an offline program. I decided to go with Calorie King because it had a free 14 day trial, and is cheaper on top of that. I'm not sure I'll subscribe to their service and post my nutrition info to the web; I'm really just looking for an offline program to use.

After filling in the initial profile, Calorie King told me a good daily diet is:

  • Net Calories: 1802 cal
  • Fat: 53.4 g
  • Carbs: 216.0 g
  • Protein: 114.0 g
  • Fiber: 25.0 g

This will maintain my weight, given my job is mostly sedentary. The important thing is this diet excludes any exercise... to fuel myself for workouts I'll eat more.

Logging will be a challenge, because I am bad at estimating food volume. Plus, it is time consuming, although I'm sure I will get faster at entering the data. I want to log for at least two weeks, preferably longer, just to see where my diet stands. Maybe I'll find it fun and keep it up even longer. During the logging period, I plan to eat like I normally would - I don't want to skew the results by putting on a special eating behavior.

Tonight I made a simple dinner: fresh green beans, deli section whole wheat ravioli (Monterey Pasta Company brand), marianara sauce (Bertolli brand), and a caffeine free diet coke. Doesn't it look good?


Dinner took ~15 minutes to prepare (boil water, boil ravioli, cut green beans and steam with my microwave steamer, heat sauce) and probably twice that to count the calories. I'll rely on the Calorie King software to do this for me in the future, because it is really tedious doing this by hand.

November 2nd Dinner
Ravioli Sauce Green Beans Diet Coke Total
Calories 600 120 42 0 762
Fat 17.5 3 0.2 0 20.7
Carbs 80 24 8.2 0 112.2
Protein 30 4 2 0 36
Fiber 7.5 6 3.8 0 17.3

I'm not sure how this dinner stacks up. It looks good to me, in that all the numbers are less than what I'm suppose to have for the entire day. The interesting thing is portion size - I had 2.5 servings of the ravioli, 2 servings of sauce, and I guesstimated 2 servings of green beans. It looks like I'm eating for two people!

This is the result of all the food I ate today:

  • Calories: 2274/1802
  • Fat: 68.5/53.4
  • Carbs: 302.1/216.4
  • Fiber: 20.9/25.0
  • Protein: 117.0/114.0

I'm over on calories, fat, and carbs. Very interesting.

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