Tag Archives: Meal Planning

Nutrition: Part Two

21 Feb

#2 Hitting All the Food Groups and Nutrients

This is something that we all learn in school and all we really remember is the colorful pyramid. It tells us that we need however many servings of each food group each day, but it seems like most people don’t pay attention to that or don’t do it properly. What is a serving of grains or protein really? I learned a bit about this in the nutrition course that I am taking I am implementing it into my daily routine. The USDA’s website has some really helpful resources on this topic. The USDA’s ‘Super Tracker’ page is a great resource to get an idea of the amount of different food groups and nutrients you need each day.

My Plan - Windows Internet Explorer_2013-02-20_15-12-41

The “General Plan” page with tons of helpful information on what a serving really is, what foods fit in each category and how many servings you should be having. If you make a free account with Supertracker you an get a customized plan for your individual needs as well as sample meal plans to help get all the servings you need. Which is how I have been planning my meals, which I touched on a few days ago.

My Plan - Windows Internet Explorer_2013-02-20_15-12-41

The site also has an option to track the food you eat. It’s like a lot if other calorie counting websites but it’s different because it gives a much more in depth look at all the nutrients in the food you are eating. In particular, the average calorie counting website will tell you how many calories you need to eat to lose or maintain your weight, but the ‘Food Tracker’ also tells you how many grams of carbs, protein, fat and more. And it tracks if you are hitting your recommendations for food group requirements. If you are more concerned about strict calorie counting, this isn’t the best resource because the database it pretty limited compared to sites like Lose It and My Fitness Pal, but it is great in combination with those sites.

From my experience, it seems that when we cut, cut, cut and focus all our attention on counting calories, we neglect the other nutrients that are very important for our health which may, in the long run, sabotage our efforts to lose weight and be healthy.

Bottom line, my first priority is making sure I meet the daily requirements for each food group and nutrient, above meeting a strict calorie requirement.

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Nutrition: Part One

19 Feb

I won’t bore you with my entire meal plan everyday but there are a few things that I am implementing that I hope will really improve my results. This is one of many:

#1 Multiple Small Meals

Instead of the traditional 3 meals a day, I am opting for 5 smaller meals. I have found that when I hold out for however many (endless) hours are between meals I am super hungry and tend to over eat at those meals which leaves me too full and sleepy. I now have breakfast earlier than I have in the past, a mid-morning snack, lunch, an afternoon snack and dinner, a little earlier than usual and all a little smaller than usual.

Like I said, I won’t bore you with my meal plan every day but here is a sample of a typical day:

Microsoft Excel - Meal Planning_2013-02-20_14-37-42

The colors mean nothing really. The white was just really boring. Anyways, that is essentially what I am shooting for everyday. And yes, I put the time of day I will eat that meal. Partly because of my OCD tendencies to obsessively plan everything but also because it reminds me, oh ya, I just ate an hour ago, I can wait a while before I eat again.  And the meals are not random, there is a method to the madness, which I will go into later. The main point I am trying to get across is that I am going from 3 larger meals a day to 5 smaller meals a day. This isn’t for everyone, however. I have learned from trial and error that this is probably the best way for me to eat a healthy amount and lose some weight while I’m at it.

Here is quick article about the benefits of this plan: http://www.livestrong.com/article/257130-weight-loss-benefits-of-eating-multiple-small-meals/

PS: The bean soup I had for dinner can be found here.

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