Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Nuts over Nutrition

Food scale, calculator, measuring cups, Glad/Ziplock bags and containers … these are the things that have taken over my kitchen.

Since I’m now in the second half of this training challenge, I figured it was time to double-check my nutrition. I knew I was eating healthily. I even knew that my portions were fine. However, there were two big problem areas – first of all, I was not hitting my calorie target for the day. I would usually be running 300-600 calories under what I was supposed to be eating, even though I felt like I was eating enough and I wasn’t hungry. The other problem was my carbohydrates – I was clearly consuming too many carbohydrates – and falling short on my daily calorie, protein, and fat intake (is it just me, or does anybody else think it’s a bit weird to say I need to increase my fat intake to lose weight) … anyway, it’s all about balance, right? Getting the right amount of everything. Getting the nutrients from healthy food.

So … I’ve been measuring, calculating, noting, editing, modifying, packaging, freezing, etc. etc. etc. Whew! It’s exhausting – but definitely worth it. The one thing that I still have to get a handle on is how much time this all takes – it’s not easy. Finding out proper nutritional information and then doing all the calculations – making sure that they’re accurate and not just somebody’s personal guess … plus the time it takes to double (triple) check my calculations. Yes, it takes lots and lots of time.

At first I thought I could just spend a bit of time before each meal and prepare everything, but now I realize that I need to set aside a good chunk of time two days each week in order to figure out my meal plan, do the counts, and do as much prep as possible.

Now, I’ve got a list of my frequent foods for each type of meal and I’ve done the nutritional breakdown for those foods. My breakfasts are not that interesting, nor are my lunches. It’s my dinners that I’ve been trying to get a bit more creative with. I’ve got a whiteboard in my kitchen and it’s got nutritional info written. The good thing about the list is that I’ve also included various quick snacks that I can eat without having to worry about the nutrition factor. Plus, thank goodness for freezer bags/containers – I’ve got my fish fillets weighed and packed, my vegetarian chili measured out and stored in containers, and I’m gradually adding the calorie breakdown of different foods to add it to my collection. I hope that soon enough I’ll be able to choose my foods without going into so much detail, but for now, I think I’ll have to put in the time in order to get it right.

Here’s a picture of my board – calorie breakdown of my frequent foods + a reminder of how many calories & nutrients I should be consuming each day, and my list of quick snacks and healthy foods with their nutritional info. J


  1. Jenny7:48 PM

    That's a lot of numbers! How long does it take you to do that? Still, great effort. I'm sure it's paying off!

  2. I think it's great that you're taking the time to do this. I know it's time consuming, but it's a major step to take, and one that I think is worth it. Soon you'll know how to deal with food without a second glance, but for now, I think you're doing the right thing. Make sure to hit your calorie targets!


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