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(Nutritional) Analysis Paralysis

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Yesterday, for the first time in *AGES* I actually tracked all my calories in the nutrition tracker. I think it was a good exercise for me, but I have reservations since I tend to obsess over the numbers instead of focusing on listening to my body. In general, I'm trying to reacquaint myself with my brain - how do I feel when I'm full? How does it feel when I'm actually physically hungry (as opposed to bored/stressed/etc.)? Focusing on the numbers doesn't help me there. It is, however, good for me to check in every once in awhile. Yesterday was a pretty typical day for me (aside from the cupcake!), so how does that stack up on the numbers? How am I on fiber/iron/calories/ratios?

The meals -

Breakfast: Hemp toast with almond butter, with cantaloupe and grapes.

Lunch: Split pea soup (homemade) and roasted tofu (there were three pieces of tofu - I ate one before I took the picture).

Dinner: Salad of mixed greens, carrots, cabbage, diced tomatoes, cucumbers, peas, scallions, dried cranberries, croutons, avocado, with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I later added a piece of tofu to get my protein up above the minimum.

Dessert: This gorgeous vegan cupcake.


So what can I learn from this? Somehow I am low on calories, low on carbs, high on fat, and good on protein. The fat is only one gram over but it's because of the avocado, olive oil, and cupcake. I can lower that, and a cupcake is far from a daily occurrence. The bigger issue is that my RATIO of carbs/fat/protein is a bit off. I'm at almost 50% fat for the day, and I can certainly do better there.

After I ate dinner and dessert, I looked at the numbers and ended up eating another piece of tofu to get my protein above the daily suggested minimum. I didn't need more food. I was full. This is where I get into the numbers vs. fullness discussion I mentioned above.

My goal is 1500-1600 calories a day, even though Spark gives me a range of 1590-1940. (1940 seems way too high to me!)

Today, my goal is to continue with what I've been doing, but measure my portions better so the tracker is even more accurate. This morning I actually used a measuring cup for my fruit. Whoa! ;) I'm going to measure, photograph, and track my food and water all this week and see how it goes. I think this one week checkup will be good for me.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    It's smart to do a check in every once in awhile. Your food looks delicious by the way. I want your split pea soup recipe.
    Oh the tracker always tells me I'm over on fat because I like to eat avocado, olive oil, almond butter and nuts. All healthy fats so I don't stress over it.
    Now I want a delicious vegan cupcake!
    2184 days ago
    How/What do you do to roast your tofu? I've never tried that before!

    2184 days ago
    I am liking the new # of calories fluctuation.... I have always wondered about that in the past.

    Just make sure that you enter your activity prior to running your report!
    2185 days ago
  • KAT321123
    Personally, I think our calorie needs from day-to-day probably vary a bit based on lots of factors -- hormones, outdoor temperature, etc. -- and that a day or two of deficit isn't a big deal. My percentages tend to look similar to yours -- higher in fat, lower in protein.

    The one thing I'm curious about (not that you asked for feedback, but...) is whether or not you've updated your activity level in SparkPeople. I weigh more than you, I think, and have my SP tracker set for burning 2,000 calories/week and my recommended calorie range is lower than yours. Or maybe you switched to the newfangled tracker? =)

    Your meals look fab!
    2185 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

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