I Log Everything

When it comes to getting serious about dropping size, I start logging everything.  I have a paper log documenting my exercise that I will hand over to my doctor.  I track the date, distance, minutes, and calories (from what the machine tells me).  I also keep a digital exercise and food log with MyFitnessPal.com  You might have noticed the weight goal counter on the sidebar.  I'll update it when I go in next week.

One of the great things about My Fitness Pal is that you can connect with friends via facebook or by email.  If you want to connect with me, just use my email address: jessiedesmond@rocketmail.com  Another great thing about My Fitness Pal is that you can set your dietary preferences.  I have a low carb diet, so my percentages are set to Carbs 30%, Fats 40%, and Protein 30%.  By "fat", I'm aiming for healthy fats.  That's where I get my energy.

My current log for today!
Why Log Stuff?
I often see an eye roll or that "you've got to be kidding me" sort of look when I mention that I log my exercise and food every day.  I've logged my food and exercise, off and on, since 2007.  It helps me keep track of what I consume and how much extra energy I expend.  My goal is running 4 days a week and trying to eat like 1000 calories or more each day.  You laugh, but there are not many calories in a salad, even a big salad.

Since I've had body issues since puberty, early on I started telling myself "you're not hungry, just thirsty".  This trained me to automatically seek water, tea, or coffee before seeking food.  Now I just eat when I'm hungry, but my mind still considers fluids first.  This is something that really starts to stand out with a food log and I have to ask myself "Do I eat enough food?"   I'm going to ask my doctor the next time I go in.

To help remedy this, I started adding a simple protein smoothie in the evening.  I use 1-1/2 scoops of vanilla Muscletech protein plus powder, 1 cup almond-coconut milk, and 1/3 cup blueberries.  I drink it as I'm making dinner.  It helps vanquish any evening hunger pangs that might creep up.

One thing that gets commented on is the "keeping track of what I eat" statement.  You know what?  It's real easy to forget about the little things.  Perhaps a co-worker brings in doughnuts or you decide to switch things up and grab a candy bar to have with lunch or you visit your mom and have something that you don't normally have (in my case, toast with loads of butter).  It's easy to not include that as being part of what you ate because it's a little out of the norm.

Can It Be Made Simple?
Sure.  I'm a single, not-looking-to-date sort of gal.  I have two dogs.  I have found that I tend to have a few meals that I know works.  I don't go over on carbs or fats or proteins.  I keep it simple during the week and try to plan for some different meals for the weekend, so I don't get burned out.  I'm sure you can do this with a family.  It's easy to dress up simple food with various spices and sauces.

Staple sauces and spices I tend to always have: tartar sauce, mustard, bbq sauce, A-1, hot sauce, oregano, parsley, chili powder, cumin, ground mustard, turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon.  You can do a lot with this selection.  I'm not counting garlic as a spice, but I have that too.  I can make something Italian or Greek or Mexican.  I can just use sauce with meat.  You get it, right?

You might think it's a pain to update your My Fitness Pal, but (seriously?!) how often do you check your email and facebook and everything else your on?  Right.  There's an app for your phone, making it super easy to just plug in your meals, even when you're at the office or on vacation.

What Should My Dietary Preferences Be?
The simple answer is: I don't know.  My Fitness Pal has a general setting to it, but I don't know how you eat.  I eat a restricted paleo diet.  My body will not handle the majority of tubers (like carrots, sweet potato, turnips, etc) which are supposed to be eaten in small increments on the standard paleo diet - but you see sweet potato recipes all over the freakin' place.  That's a rant I can save for later.  Anyway, you need to figure out how you should be eating.  Maybe you're a person who does better on whole grains, maybe you're vegetarian or vegan or on a raw food diet.  Your dietary percentages are going to be different from mine - unless you eat like me.

I recommend talking to a doctor.  Have some blood work done.  Make sure you're levels are where they are supposed to be and eat accordingly.

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