A well-balanced, well-intentioned day can turn ugly pretty fast if you're trying to lose weight.
Author and Coach Kathy Kent let's you inside her food diary for a day. You might be surprised what you see!
Let's take a look at my "yesterday", which I think might be pretty typical for millions of people out there that are trying to lose weight. (HINT: I tracked my calories on my app My Fitness Pal. Observing and logging nutrition is discussed in Chapter Two and Three of my new book, Living 365fitt, A 12-Week Program to Lifestyle Wellness.)
|Breakfast 529 calories|
and "green drink" ingredients
My day started out exceptionally, as I made a delicious and nutritious "green drink" with my new juicer. I was looking to pack a whollup of nutrition into one drink, and keep it "low sugar" (natural sugar from fruit). Several cups of lettuce and greens from my garden, a lemon, half a honeydew melon and a pear were all I needed to make a quart (32 oz) of delicious, nutritious juice. This juice exceeded my expectations as it was packed with vitamins A, C, potassium, calcium, and iron; and was low in fat. I normally don't consume a concentrated juice drink like this all at once, however, I swam in the morning and was going out to start some hard yard work, so I felt justified drinking the entire quart. Plus, at 529 calories/quart, it seemed fairly balanced for one of my meals of the day.
|Lunch: 580 calories|
Dinner 568 calories
LunchLunch was a "quick and on the go" meal as I was coming in briefly to put some solid food in my stomach, having worked pretty hard in the garden. I had cooked a half dozen grass fed hamburger patties earlier in the week. (A tip from my book, Living 365fitt, A 12-Week Program to Lifestyle Wellness; cook a bunch of healthy food on Sunday, and have it for the entire week, ready to go, so there's less a chance of reaching for something unhealthy.) So, I had two beef patties and splurged on BBQ sauce (homemade). Felt pretty good about the protein in this meal, since I didn't get much protein with my green juice earlier. Again, total calories for lunch was about a third of my daily goal intake.
DinnerAfter continuing to work in the garden for the entire afternoon, I was ready to call it quits and think about dinner. I purchased an Ahi Tuna steak (a splurge) the other day at the store because they just looked amazing and were on sale. How could I resist? I grilled the tuna, steamed the broccoli in a foil pouch on the grill, and had a scoop of reheated leftover black quinoa, which is also high in protein. (Again, following a tip from my book to reheat previously cooked foods from earlier in the week. This time, I had cooked up an entire box of black quinoa; some of which I kept in the fridge ready to use, some of which I froze for later use.) Again, dinner was about a third of my goal calories for the day. Right on target for a perfectly balanced, nutritious day!
|Extras: 849 calories OUCH!|
Take a look at what happened yesterday for me. I built myself a margarita when I was cooking the Ahi Tuna. I also had some sweet potato chips as soon as I came in from the garden, because I wanted something salty. I built a second margarita (because the first one tasted so good), but didn't finish it and ended up throwing most of it away. (Hint: sometimes you have to fudge factors when you enter them into an online nutrition tracker, which is what I did to correct for the correct portion size.) Finally, I pounded a few Mentos candy I had purchased earlier in the day (an intentional weak moment).
Well, that did it. Those extra 849 calories were 100% carbohydrate, sugar and alcohol, and were of no nutritional value. I won't even count the sweet potato chips as nutritive. As a final note, you can see in the graphical image, that I was trying to attain 30% protein (as part of my overall diet). However, the "extras" helped skew my overall results to less than my goal. Additionally, I was able to see that my fat intake was too high. While not "off the charts", it was more than my personal goal.
When "derailment" happens, one should never beat themselves up. Instead, one should look for the opportunities for improvement.
|The "extras" skewed my goals|
Turning it AroundHere are all of the opportunities I see for improvement, based on yesterday, and knowing that I do not have to change everything in order to be successful:
- 1 hamburger patty plus a piece of fruit or tomato instead of 2 hamburger patties
- Mustard instead of BBQ sauce
- Half the portion of sweet potato chips
- One margarita instead of two
- Skip or reduce the butter from 2T to 1T
- Portion out a handful of Mentos and put the rest away
- Go for a walk after dinner instead of sitting down for movie and eating Mentos
- Drink more water
So, today is another day and another chance for improvement on this journey towards ever-better nutrition. As I review yesterday's log this morning, I am reminded of the opportunities for improvement. This is another important step in awareness (Chapter Four, Living 365fitt, 12-Week Program to Lifestyle Wellness.)
Also, I'm going to practice more "steadiness" today with regard to my nutritional decisions. Per Anne Green, (psychologist and author of The Roadmap), you have to be in a calm and controlled state of mind in order to make good decisions throughout your day, whether they be exercise, nutrition, work or family. So, today before I decide to fix a meal, have a drink, or reach for a snack, I will "steady" myself first and make a decision that is well-thought-out and is right for me and the goals that I have set forth. (HINT: Listen to the podcast with Anne Green on steadiness and changing your habits.)