Day 92: Dieting – too many choices

5 04 2010

The abundance of diet and nutrition information available on the web ensures there’s something helpful for everyone, but it also makes it very confusing to decide which diet plan to choose: low-calorie diet, low-fat diet, raw food diet, high-protein diet, vegetarian diet, liquid diet. Diet, diet, diet. How does one choose?

I typically eat five small meals a day. I eat breakfast, then lunch, followed by a mid-afternoon snack, dinner, then a final snack around 8 or 9 p.m. When I discussed dieting options with my doctor at a recent office visit, she said it’s best to have breakfast be the largest meal each day. My biggest problem seems to be controlling the calories for each meal.

I went to nutritiondata.com to figure out my BMI and daily caloric needs using their calculator. The results were interesting. Based on the data I entered (“somewhat active” female, 40 years old, 150 pounds, 5’4″ tall) I have a BMI of 25.6 (“normal” for a woman my height is 18.5 to 24.9). The total daily calories needed to maintain my current body weight is 2,168. To lose weight I need to consume fewer calories, obviously. The 2,168 seems much higher than I expected. I suppose it depends on which website is used for information. Others I’ve checked in the past said I should consume fewer than 1,500 calories. I think the 1,500 is closer to what my doctor described recently. To add to my confusion is the recommended ranges of macronutrients: carbs (65%), fat (35%) and protein (35%). Most days (according to the LoseIt iPhone app that I use) it looks like my carbs are in the correct range, but the protein is closer to the 20% range and fat is 40%. So overall, I have a difficult time figuring out where I need to make the most change to start losing weight.

I had hoped to be a good bit closer to my goal weight by now, three months after starting this blog, but the shoulder problem at the beginning of the year made motivation and exercise difficult. Now that my shoulder seems to be healed, I’m ready to get back into exercise and have enjoyed several bike rides recently. I do think that tracking what I eat helps me keep track of calories, but it also makes me focus way too much on food in general. I’m sick of thinking about food!

What do you do to eat healthy? Do you follow a particular diet? If so, what kind works best for you? Do you track your calories in a food journal?

Today’s starting weight: 150

Breakfast:
— Organic whole wheat english muffin with low fat peanut butter = 239 cal.

Lunch:
— Jimmy John’s slim turkey sandwich = 401
— Iced tea = 10

Dinner:
— Turkey sandwich on hoagie = 280
— 10 baked potato chips = 56
— Iced tea = 0

Snack:
— 2 cups Honey Nut Cheerios = 293

Life is a journey. Enjoy the ride!

_O
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2 responses

5 04 2010
Ann Coyle

Well, for what it is worth, here is what I did to lose weight at age 66 no less. I was diagnosed with diabetes which got my attention big time. Having dieted all my life I came up with my own. I ate what I was used to (except, avoided sweets) only I ate just half of it. Breakfast is always oatmeal and lots of fruit cooked with it. Lunch one half sandwich and a yogurt, dinner usually meat and vegetables or a salad. I tried not to snack. If I got hungry after supper, I went to bed. I lost 35 lbs. in about 8 months and have keept it off for three years. If I gain 5 lbs I go back to my half diet. I will say that of all the diets I’ve been on Weight Watchers was the most effective but I always gain the weight back. I was only good for about eight weeks and then felt deprived. I was hungy when I started this last diet but after a couple of weeks I stopped feeling so hungry. I never got into counting calories. Keep at it. You’ll find your way. Ann

6 04 2010
cyclingproject365

Thanks for your comment and encouragement, Ann. Congratulations on your weight loss! That’s fantastic and very inspiring! My biggest weakness is sweets and going out for dinner. I’ve gotten a lot better cutting out sweets, but portion control for meals is difficult. I need to start making a better effort to do correct portions and stop going out to dinner. I tried Weight Watchers a year or so ago, but I think I wasn’t 100% committed to it. I felt like it made me obsess about food too much (counting points, etc.), so I wasn’t successful with it. I guess it’s all about being totally committed to the new routine and sticking with it. And finding the motivation to get started is my biggest problem lately. I’m still trying though. I’ve got to lose some weight before our trip to the beach this summer! 🙂

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