A friend is clocking her calories and exercise at www.fitday.com. I decided to give it a try. I have slowly been gaining weight over the last few years; there are many possible or combination of reasons. Could be slowing metabolism, could be reduced exercise, could be increased stress/cortisol levels, and could be a shift in diet.
Maybe this will give me a glimpse at what it is or is not. I am just tracking what I eat and my exercise level. I am not making any changes in either so I can get an idea of what is going on right now and assess what can be altered in the future.
The site is pretty comprehensive with many report options – graphs and charts galore! The anal-retentive or OCD planner in me drooled at the charting options. As long as I log my food intake accurately and activities, I can track my nutrition level - percentage of carbohydrates, fat and proteins, total nutrition, nutrition as RDA and DV, nutrition budget, calories over time, calories eaten, fat breakdown; Activity and metabolism; Trends – calories eat vs burned and calorie balance over time; weight changes, and goals for weight and calories and measurements. I can also keep a calendar, a journal and track my moods. That won't be happening but, yes, a comprehensive site marketed to the planner in me.
Each day I typed in food I ate. The program pulls up options and you choose one to add to your food list. Each food on the list has a nutrition label just like packaged foods. You could just pick one that is closest to what you've consumed or you can create your own food item and input the nutrition label data. For homemade soup that consisted of rice and beans and a water broth, I just entered beans, dried, cooked and the approximate portion size and rice, brown, cooked and its portion size. I cheated a little there. There were many options on the food list for cellophane noodles, but the nutrition labels didn't match so I created my own. I realize even if I am not making the best food choices, I rarely eat more than 1500 calories/day. I think that's good.
Each day I typed in the exercise for the day. Well, I don't exercise outside of walking right now, but the program already gives you a freebie. The program deducts over 2000 calories just for living and breathing. Great! Again I typed in walk in the search, the program pulled up options. I picked the walking pace that matched my walking pace to and from work, entered the distance and the number of minutes. I could have included other walking activities – paces walking around the office, up and down stairs, carrying supplies, etc but I didn't bother.
There is an option to alter your metabolic rate. I played around with the option, but since I have no way right now to quantify or prove my metabolic rate I left it alone.
I've only completed 2 weeks and it has yielded some insight. A number of the products I consumed this week weren't my usual fare. It was very much "revert to childhood" week. You may have noticed I said products not foods. Vegetables, grains, and herbs comprise 90% of what I purchase and the remainder is shortening, oil, gluten-free waffles. This week I was at the grocery store 4 times. Yep. I bought prepared items, not just prepared items FROZEN items. I bought a frozen pizza Monday, crispy battered fish fillets and skinny cow ice cream sandwiches Thursday. Whoa Nelly. I must be going through a crisis. I also grabbed a chicken breast and a cabbage cranberry walnut salad for lunch one day. Adding that to all the pizza from the previous insane week with no time to cook, I knew fats in my pie chart of carbs, fats and protein will comprise a big slice.
I barely got a green vegetable or an orange vegetable in me this week. I think the best I managed was one bunch of kale, plenty of green apples and does homemade apple pie count? Needless to say my RDA or Daily Value of vitamins was a bit scarce on calcium, magnesium, folic acid, some B vitamins as well as vitamin C and E.
With that knowledge, I dug out my multivitamin, my probiotics, and my chlorophyll and prepared plenty of greens and oranges for the next week. I pulled out the yoga schedules for the neighborhood studios. I will keep you posted on how my charts alter and how my life alters.