As a “fitness blogger”, vegetarian and self proclaimed “healthy eater”, I thought I had a pretty healthy diet. The last 6 months of what I call “covid carbs” and significant white wine consumption left me feeling not so healthy. When I pulled out my jeans for the first time this season, they were a little tighter than I remembered. I decided it was time to take action. I logged all of my food on My Fitness Pal for 6 months and here’s what I’ve learned.
- I logged my food on My Fitness Pal for over 6 Months
- here’s what I’ve learned
- So what happened?
- Portion sizes are way smaller than I thought
- Foods have way more carbs than I thought
- My protein numbers were way off
- I was eating way more calories than I thought I was
- Meal Planning is a huge help
- Overall thoughts of logging my foods on My Fitness Pal for 4 weeks
- Update after 9 months
I logged my food on My Fitness Pal for over 6 Months
here’s what I’ve learned
My Fitness Pal is a free app that keeps track of all of your food. It’s fairly easy to use and the database of foods is large. It’s also easy to scan any food label and have that nutritional info uploaded. My goals were to get an accurate assessment of what I was eating daily and to increase my protein and decrease my carbs. As someone who exercises a lot, I focused on upping my protein. I started with 30% protein and finished with a goal of 40% protein.
So what happened?
Portion sizes are way smaller than I thought
Seriously, way smaller! I bought an inexpensive kitchen scale to weigh and measure my foods to get an accurate assessment. A serving of peanut butter is not fitting as much peanut butter on a spoon as you can. Weighing. and measuring my food was an eye-opening experience. This paid off for me big time.
Foods have way more carbs than I thought
good has carbs! Fruits and vegetables have carbs that add up throughout the day. Yes, fruits and vegetables are good but I had to be mindful of which ones I chose to combine daily.
My protein numbers were way off
I assumed I was eating way more protein than I was. When I started logging foods, I noticed immediately my protein numbers were about half of what I was aiming for. This was so much easier to keep track of using My Fitness Pal.
I was eating way more calories than I thought I was
My “healthy” afternoon snack of a handful of nuts, a hunk of cheese and some crackers had close to 500 calories. You can overeat healthy foods. Grabbling a few pretzels from the pantry once or twice a day was another couple hundred calories. Was I even hungry when I did that?
Meal Planning is a huge help
Putting in most of my meals the night before for the following day is a huge help. I can always go back and swap out different foods but it gives me a road map to follow. I have 2 or 3 go-to breakfasts that I rotate and that is the easiest meal to plan for.
Overall thoughts of logging my foods on My Fitness Pal for 4 weeks
The first week was hard but then logging foods became a habit. I quickly learned that my “healthy eating” regimen was not as healthy as I thought. I am much more mindful of the foods I choose to eat on a daily basis making sure to keep up my protein. This self-proclaimed carb lover is doing just fine on fewer carbs. I pay attention to portion sizes instead of just grabbing handfuls of snacks.
Update after 9 months
I feel better than I have in months. I am sleeping better and have lots of energy. I am not as hungry between meals-thank you more protein. My run times have drastically improved. My clothes are all too big (a good problem to have). I am leaner and stronger than I have been in years.
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