Monday, January 25, 2010

Do You Know How Much You Eat?

I recently began tracking my food intake throughout the day in an attempt to analyze my diet. I've only been doing it for about a week, and there are some surprising things I came across. Even with my diet consciousness and efforts towards healthy eating, my total calorie intake in a day was just above the recommended daily allowance of 2000 for the average adult female. How come? It's pretty simple, actually. Unless you actually write down everything you eat, you're more than likely to miss out adding up the calories in some of it. I generally worry about the calories in things I eat for pleasure, like chocolate. I don't count the calories in the milk I drink every morning. They are still there, of course.

Then there are the little snacks at various points of time in the day. There are hundreds of options for healthy (and otherwise) snacks which come packaged in 100 calorie snack bags. Even the healthiest of these will add calories. Normally, the average person would overlook counting those. But they do add up.

Have you ever tried to see if you're getting enough of every kind of nutrient in your diet? Enough protein, enough fat, enough carbohydrates? Or, for that matter, enough water? Most of us don't get enough water during the day. I realised that I eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, but I don't eat enough protein on most days, except the days when I eat chicken or fish, which is only about twice a week.

I think everyone should do this for at least a week. Write down everything you eat. Absolutely everything. And then see how much of what you're eating. You may be surprised at the result. You may see something very evident that you need to change about your eating habits.

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