Are you eating right?
I took a nutrition
class spring quarter last year. It has me very worried how many people out there are dieting incorrectly. First of all, some people are dieting when they don't need to. (Dude, you're not fat. Get over it.) And those who wish to diet, who could lose a few pounds, don't realize the healthiest way to lose weight is through exercise. (Dude, stop being lazy. There is no excuse. Go ahead and downvote me. See if I care.)
The one and only reason someone should want to diet is because they want to eat healthier and/or reduce the chances of chronic disease
. Dieting should be a lifestyle change; turning over a new leaf
, so to speak. It should be permanent. I know, it's not an easy task, trust me, I know. You can always try to change your diet slowly, gradually.
I noded the more important ideas I learned in nutrition class if you are dieting to gain
it). I skipped all of the really important stuff like why you need certain vitamins
and what disease
s can develop due to lack of them and other such things. You would all be bored to death if I tried to add all that cool stuff. (Well, it's cool to me
The first step is to assess
your diet. What are you eating now?
Write down the exact amount (or as close to exact as possible) of the foods you ate for the day. Yeah, yeah, moan and groan
, it is a pain in the ass, but you will be using this diet to assess what needs to be changed and improved. If you can't remember them for the current day, record what you eat as you eat it the next day. Here is my recalled food intake:
Then comes the comparison. How does your day's diet compare with the Food Guide Pyramid
? Since the node doesn't currently define what a serving is, I'll define it here and perhaps add it to the other node later (woo, more w/us). Each amount listed is the equivalent of 1 serving
of that food type.
The top level:
s, (and alcohol
- 1 medium sized fruit (about 4" diameter)
- .5 c. cooked fruit
- .75 c. juice
Here is how I did:
Food Group - Recommended Servings - My food items - Serving Number
- Milk - 2 to 3 - Milk - 6
- Meat - 2 to 3 - Ribs - 1.5
- Vegetables - 3 to 5 - 0 - 0
- Fruits - 2 to 4 - 0 - 0
- Grains - 6 to 11 - Pasta and Rice - 5
I didn't do too bad, except that I was totally lacking in the fruit and veggies department.
The food guide pyramid is kind of dated, so they government came out with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans
. Here are the recommendations:
- Eat a variety of foods.
- Balance the food you eat with physical activity -- maintain or improve your weight.
- Choose a diet with plenty of grain products, vegetables, fruits (and legumes).
- Choose a diet low in fat, saturated fat and cholesterol.
- Choose a diet moderate in sugars.
- Choose a diet moderate in salt and sodium.
- If you drink alcoholic beverages, do so in moderation.
Form good habits. ALWAYS read the Nutrition Facts
label. How much fat, carbs, and protein are you getting? Enough, too little, too much?
When you diet, you don't have to just watch what you are eating, but what you ar drinking. Your body needs an average of 8-12 cups of water. Your body loses water through insensible losses
(4-6 c.) - water losses we are not aware of, sweat
(0-1 c., maybe more if you workout), and urine
(4-5 c.). Your body should get water through metabolic water
(1-2 c.) - formed as a waste product from the oxidation
of food, food (3-4 c.), and beverages (4-6 c.). Also, know that 2 cups of water equals 1 lb. in your body.
What are your water needs, exactly?
- My water needs.
- Ideal body weight: 115 lbs.
- Amount of body water = .6 x lbs. = 69 lbs.
The effects of dehydration in % body weight
Drink before exercising (2-4 c.), during (.5 c. per 15 mins.), and after (determine weight loss, drink to make up for water loss).
What happens to the food after I eat it?
, once digested, are used as glucose
. If you eat too much, it is stored as liver
and muscle glycogen
is converted into amino acids
. If you have extra in your body, it is stored as body protein (muscle building and repairing). Fat
is turned into fatty acids
. Your body can produce fatty acids on its own, but not all. This is why it is a good idea to eat meat; it contains essential fatty acids
. Essential fatty acids are the fatty acids which your body cannot produce. Extra fatty acids are then stored as body fat, adipose tissue
. Alcohol, when consumed, is not converted into anything and, instead, is stored directly as adipose tissue (fat).
What happens to the stored nutrients?
When you get hungry, or fast, adipose tissue, or body fat, is turned into fatty acids. Liver and muscle glycogen, and/or body protein, can be converted into glucose. Body protein can also be turned into amino acids.
How many calories should I eat per day?
- Follow my footsteps.
- My ideal body weight is: 115 lbs.
- Convert that into kg: 52.27
- How physically active am I? Moderate. (Sedentary - .3, *Moderate - .4, or Very Active - .5 to .75)
- Am I pregnant or lactating? No. (Pregnant 300 cal, Lactating 500 cal)
- Basal Metabolic Rate = body weight (kg) x 24 cal/kg per day
- Me: 52 x 24 (cal/kg per day) = 1254.54 cal/day
- Thermic effect of food = BMR x .1
- Me: 1254.5 x .1 = 125.45 cal/day
- Thermic effect of exercise = (BMR + TEF) x activity level factor (sed., mod., active)
- Me: (125.5 + 1254.5) x .4 = 551.997 cal/day
- Total energy needs: BMR + TEF + TEE + (Pregnant or lactation factors)
- Me: 125.5 + 1254.5 + 552 + 0 = 1932
I need 1932 calories per day to weigh 115 lbs.
Also, here is a chart of cal/day recommendations based on height (in inches), weight (in pounds), and age.
Age/Gender - Height - Weight - Range
15-18 Males - 69 - 145 - 2400 to 3600
19-24 Males - 70 - 160 - 2320 to 3480
25-50 Males - 70 - 174 - 2320 to 3480
51+ Males - 68 - 170 - 1840 to 2760
15-18 Females - 64 - 120 - 1760 to 2640
19-24 Females - 65 - 128 - 1760 to 2640
25-50 Females - 64 - 138 - 1760 to 2640
51+ Females - 63 - 143 - 1520 to 2280
How many carbs do I need?
- Recommended cal/day: 1930 cal
- Recommended % cal as carbs = .55 x cal
- Me: .55 x 1930 = 1062.6 cal
- Recommended intake of carbs = cal / 4 cal per gram
- Me: 1062 / 4 = 265 grams
My recalled food intake:
2% Milk = 73.2 g
Capri Sun = ?
Hot Choco. = 78.3 g
Rice = 22.3 g
Pasta = 79.0 g
Total = 230.5 g
of carbs for that day. Pretty close to the recommendation.
How much fat do I need?
- Recommended cal/day: 1932 cal
- Recommended % cal as fat = .3 x cal
- Me: .3 x 1932 = 579.6
- Recommended intake of fat = cal / 9 cal per gram
- Me: 579.6 / 9 = 64.4 grams of fat recommended per day
My recalled food intake:
Milk = 30 g
Choco = 09 g
Whipped cream = 06 g
Ribs = 66 g
Total = 111 g
of fat for that day. Double the recommendation is ok, but beyond that is unhealthy.
How much protein do I need?
- Ideal body weight: 115 lbs.
- In kg: 52.3 kg
- RDA for protein = .8 g/kg x body weight
- Me: .8 x 52.3 = 41.8 grams
- 2xRDA for protein = 1.6 g/kg x body weight
- Me: 1.6 x 52.3 = 83.6 grams
My recalled food intake:
Milk = 48 g
Choco. = 24 g
Rice = 02 g
Pasta = 18 g
Ribs = 45 g
Total = 137 g
of protein for that day. More than triple the recommendation. Double is ok, if you're working out, beyond this is unhealthy. My nutrition teacher wrote "3xRDA~125g!! and even told me in person that is too much protein. What can I say? I like protein.
- Remember to maintain weight
- Get enough protein
- Get enough essential amino acids
- Get enough vitamins and minerals
To those following a specific diet plan:
- Will you lose weight on this diet? Is it below the cal/day you need at your current weight? Do NOT eat less than 1000 calories. (Bad things happen.)
- Is this a healthy way to lose weight? Does it have enough protein? (Ketosis!) Does it have enough fat (less than 30% of calories as fat)? Does it have enough carbs? (could damage BMR permanently!) You need all three (None of that miracle-i-didn't-eat-any-protein-and-now-i'm-a-tooth-pick diet bullshit.)
- Will you be able to maintain your weight loss? Remember, this is a lifestyle change. To maintain a weight, you must keep up this diet.
- Are you exercising with this diet, too? You should be, damnit!