Let me start by saying that while “No Dessert April” was the worst month of my life, “Food Tracking September” has been the most annoying month of my life! Even with the invention of food tracking apps, it is not easy to log every single bite I take each day. But I guess that was the point. I wanted to become more food aware. With that said, here are my findings as I wrap up the month.
Logging frequency: 75%
I use the MyFitnessPal app. What I love is was the little bar code scanner. It made tracking so easy and accurate – but only for foods that actually have a barcode. What I don’t like is that I eat a lot of “hodgepodge meals” or homemade concoctions. These are not easy to track, so for the sake of not losing my mind, I did a lot of guessing. It is also very difficult to track when I go out to happy hour events or meals where there is a lot of snacking or tasting. There is no way I could enter every bite! So I did the best I could. I logged most days, but missed many meals, so I came in around 75% for logging frequency and probably 75% for logging accuracy too.
My baseline: I can eat 2380 calories per day based on my profile below.
When I created my profile, I said I want to maintain my 140 pounds – no gain or loss goals. I also said I am “very active.” I have no idea what this means, but that’s how I imagine myself. However, when I told this to Tim, he said, “Are you sure you still qualify as VERY active?” I work out 5-6 days a week for an average of one hour. So while I’m not as active as I once was (20+ hrs/wk), I still work out a lot. Anyway, there was no way to check this, so that’s where I left it! I also synced to my Fitbit, so on days when I did more than 15k steps, it increased my calorie allowance.
My results – Calories & Nutrients:
I almost always eat more than my recommended 2380 calories. In fact, the only time I think I came in under par was if I forgot to log! There were also many days that I went over my calorie allotment AND forgot to log! In the end, I didn’t gain or lose any weight, so I clearly ate enough calories for maintenance.
When I analyzed my “Nutrients,” I noticed that MFP uses a 50% carbs / 30% fat / 20% protein baseline for comparison. Here is how my nutrition swung throughout a four week period.
49.75% Carbs! I kid you not. I was just about Carb-a-perfect!
36.75% Fat. Apparently I eat too much fat. But fat tastes good, right?!
13.5% Protein. This seems really low. I think I eat a lot of protein-centric foods, but apparently I don’t!
I researched by googling “what is the best ratio for carbs, fat and protein.” There are different ranges depending on your age, goals, activity level, etc. But to be very vague and put a number on things, these ranges were cited in almost every article (45-65% Carbs, 20-35% Fat, 10-35% Protein), which positions me within all normal ranges, but probably a little low on the protein and a little high on the fat ratios.
What I learned:
Food tracking is a commitment and I greatly appreciate the power of the bar code scanning app world! I’m not an off-the-charts crappy eater but I’m not feeling as amazing as I know I can either.
I want to change that, so I have decided to explore a diet that promises to deliver a level of energy that I haven’t had in a long time. In October, I will build on my eating experimentation and implement a program that will help me feel the difference in my energy levels (and more!) when I eliminate certain food groups. The program is called the Engine 2 Diet created by Rip Eppelstyn – I’ll be doing the 28 day Engine 2 Challenge. Click here to learn more and join me if you can!