macnuts-copy1No more excuses about who you are verses who you want to be.  Do it now.

You have to take responsibility for what you do.  Excuses don’t give you power, they beat you down every time but they are something you have control over.  If you take a bite of something, own it, if you miss a workout, own it, if you don’t give it your all, own it because it is your choice to do make it happen or not.  Own it because if you blame it on someone or something else, then you will never move past it.

A way to take responsibility for what you eat is by tracking.  It can be a big eye opener.  A lot of people don’t like doing it because they believe it is too much work.  That’s a pretty lame excuse.  Sure, it is easier to say, “I probably ate about 1500 calories today” than actually sitting down and realizing that the poppy muffin you ate as part of your breakfast actually contained 495 calories rather than the 150 you assumed, and on that same note you forgot to factor in the handful of chips you snagged while you walked by the break room table or that the tablespoon of creamer that is put in your coffee daily actually does have calories.  Understanding that you ate 345 more calories more than you thought for one item is essential to acceptance,  responsibility, and stopping the excuses.

You’ve heard it before but you are going to hear it again- track your calories.  If you’ve never done it, prepare be very, very surprised.  Don’t be scared- own up to what you’ve been ingesting and really understand where those calories are coming from.  It will help to change eating habits and repair issues you may have with food.

Here’s a prime example from my own experience if being slapped in face extremely hard after tracking but now I know.  Going to the bulk bin of Whole Foods seems to be a very healthy-hippy thing to do.  Just because something is considered healthy doesn’t mean it fits in easily to your diet.  Nuts are touted as a super food, a diet’s best friend.   People snack on them because a news report has listed all the healthy aspects.  Yes nuts are healthy- they contain protein and so called “good” fats but eating too much of  something good isn’t always good.  Unfortunately the rules of exponential mathematics doesn’t work here-  {good}³≠ super awesome goodness.  I’ll go on with more serious numbers-

One serving of dried mixed deluxe nuts is 1 ounce.

What people actually eat in a handful serving is more like 2 to 4 ounces.

3 ounces of nuts has- 170 calories, 15 grams of fat, 6 carbohydrates, and 5 grams of protein.

Not bad, yes but how often do you reach for one of those handfuls?  If you snack on it 4 times a day, that’s

680 calories, 60 g fat, 24 carbs, 20 g protein.

Protein is good for you, the nuts are low in carbohydrates, but 60 grams of fat and 680 calories moves this snack from the healthy category to the BigMac arena. 680 calories for something you consider a snack?  Snack on 4 apples throughout the day and that is 200 calories.

I’m not talking about a lifetime commitment to a food diary and calorie charts.  Try it for 3 days.  Try it for more if you like.  Generally dietitians suggest 3 days of tracking because on day one people tend to eat a little less than they normally would if they were not tracking, day two they get a little better, and by day three, they typically fall back to their normal eating habits.

I print out a sheet to keep track of everything and write down the total calories, fat, carbohydrates, and protein.  Sometimes I’ll also track the fiber.  I’ll even post up the sheet I’m using for this week while I follow the P90X nutrition if you’d like to print it out and experiment-p90xnutrition-weekly-worksheet2.  If you want, email me and I’ll make one up for you personally.  Seriously, I will…email me at triveggies@gmail.com.

Here are two quick and easy websites I use when I’m tracking- Calorie King and Wasted Calories (www.wastedcalories.com). You do not need to sign up for either of these sites.  Calorie King has tons of entries from frozen OJ to spinach to specific brands of croutons like the ones in my spinach salad last night.  I rely on it a whole lot and find it really interesting to look up random things.  Wasted Calories is a good site when you need a little motivation to deter you from getting that Mai Tai during happy hour.

Have no urge to track what you eat?  Seem overwhelming?

Then try one of these other little challenges:

  1. Take a look at the back of all packaged food you eat BEFORE you put anything in  your mouth.   That’s all, just digest the numbers before you digest the food.
  2. Measure everything- if the serving size says 1/2 cup, take out the measuring cup and really get an idea of what 1/2 cup of cereal looks like in your bowl.  You may be really shocked that it wont fill it up to the brim. (be sure to check out this video by the wonderful Leigh Peele on measuring your food- it has made me think more about not just measuring but proper measuring)
  3. Just write down what you eat- don’t worry about the numbers.  This will help you become more aware of what you put in your body.  It will help you get away from times of mindless eating.

If you do #1 above, try to add in #2.  After a while it will seem easier and you can move on to tracking more.

I’ll post up another topic about “Making it Count” later on this week.  It is now way past my time to eat lunch and I need to go fix a healthy meal…as well as write down the info before I pick up the fork- gotta get the protein in!

p.s…. (cals/fat/carb/protein) here’s what I had, note I do many small meals throughout the day

6 egg beaters- 180/0/6/36; 1tea flax oil- 30/3.5/0/0;tsp teriaki sauce- 3.75/0/0.5/0; bullion cube- 5cal

Addition to the article-

The day after I wrote this article a prime example of something mass amounts of people consider healthy which really isn’t came to me.  There is an acquaintance of mine who believes she eats healthy.  She wants to loose weight but is one of those excuses people- every time she begins a workout program, something blocks it and she uses that as an excuse to not work out long after the hurdles have been moved away (that’s a completely different rant/post).  I’ll drop the workout issues for now and stick to the nutrition part.  She buys those “healthy” foods with labels like “whole grain”, “organic”, and “natural”.  Like many people she assumes they are healthy without taking responsibility (owning it) for learning what is actually in the box.  This is very easy people- just flip over the microwave box and look at the nutrition information.  She typically eats the entire meal- which most of us do, assuming again that is it just one serving.  Today she fed on a frozen pizza from Kashi.  Printed on the box were romantic words like, “15 grams of protein”, “4 grams of fiber”.  That was what she was pointing to as why it was so healthy.   With these words on the front, how could it be wrong?

Roasted Garlic Chicken

Roasted chicken with a trio of roasted sweet peppers and four signature cheeses including Asiago with roasted garlic sauce on stone-fired Kashi Seven Whole Grains & Sesame with flax seed crust.

It is my friends, it is wrong! Check it- the pizza box is 9.5″x9.5″, not so big of a meal but only 300 calories, right?  NO!!! It is actually 3 servings in this one, little box so if you eat the whole pizza you are ingesting 900 calories in just one sitting. Keep in mind that most people on a diet get between 1500-1800 calories a day.  I sit around 1200 so after eating the pizza, I’d only be able to fit in a little fruit and a cup of milk.

Here’s the nutritional information of the Kashi Pizza and nutritional information for the same size piece of Pizza Hut Pizza-

kashi1

pizzahut-copy

Now they measure up pretty evenly as far as calories per slice.  Yes, the Pizza Hut pizza has more fat, slightly less fiber and protien but they really aren’t in two different arenas. If you eat the whole Kashi pizza, you are taking in 900 calories/27 g fat/ 117 g carbs/37.2 g protein.  You can get a whole lot more protein and fiber from other sources without all the calories, fat, and preservatives.  The sodium in packaged foods is a whole other post in itself but for now we’ll say, that ain’t good.

I’m not saying that you should eat Kashi Pizza, nor am I saying you shouldn’t have a piece of Pizza Hut if that is what you want.  Just be aware of what you are eating.  Own what you put in your body.

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