Happy Thursday, I’m officially off of work for another week 🙂 This is one huge perk of being a nurse and working 12 hour shifts, you can get all of your work time in and then have a good stretch off (+ I’m using a vacation day).
Back to the task at hand: gaining a better understanding of our diets. There were several ways this blog could have gone, and truthfully you have to figure out the best strategy for you. I didn’t want to get super complicated with this, because I think a lot of people need to start with the basics and then build from there. There are several strategies you can utilize to get a better understanding about how much food YOU need.
If you want to calculate it yourself, you can use the below equation.
- Multiply your weight by 11-14x (fairly sedentary, lightly active, active, and super active).
- Example: 140 lbs x 13 = 1,820 calories/day
One thing about using the apps is that you are going to want to be HONEST about how much you weigh and how much activity you get in. Nobody is going to see it except for you, so don’t try to pull a driver’s license trick and put yourself down for 5-10 pounds less. Also, your activity level is subjective. I would put myself into the active or super active category because 1) my day job (well, night job) is an inpatient nurse and that includes a lot of activity walking, 2) I make it a habit to workout at least 5 times a week incorporating moderate-intense activities.
I will say that apps have came a long way and they are fairly easy/quick to use.
Who would I suggest these for? If you need to lose weight or you need to check in with you diet. I’ve done both of them myself in the past. It’s always a good check in to see how many calories you are putting down and in what proportion of macro-nutrients you are doing it. The trouble is, it is fairly tedious to always track your calories. What you could do instead? I would suggest utilizing an app for 2 weeks to a month. This way you can start learning what foods you can consume that are within your energy needs and goals. After that, you’ll have a good idea of how much to eat (it’s probably going to be a little disappointing if you are overeating currently).
The trouble with the app is if you don’t start to learn for yourself what you need and what makes up a balanced meal. I would also highly suggest looking at the macro-nutrient tab and not just the calories. You could be staying within your suggested calories, but your macro-nutrients could be way off. The app with suggest the amount of macro-nutrients for your goals. Also, if you are the type that has a tendency to get obsessed with things…be careful that this isn’t one of them. It’s important to have a healthy relationship with food and not have a panic attack every time someone makes you a surprise birthday cake 😉
So you made it this far in the blog post and you are thinking Amy…this is NOT for me. There is no way I’m counting calories. That’s okay my friends, I found these portion graphics from Precision Nutrition for you to look at:
Anyone wishing they had bigger hands right now? 😉
Americans are overeating. That’s a fact and why 70% of us are overweight. Take an inventory of your next couple meals. What do my portions look like? Am I eating real food? Or, do all of my foods come in boxes or wrappers? Do I eat more vegetables than fruit? Do I drink too much sugary soda or is alcohol in my daily diet? Am I drinking enough water?
I hope this helps you start on the road to healthier portions!
As always, leave questions in the comment section. I hope everyone has a terrific weekend. Drew and I are heading to Chicago to see some good friends and watch the Packers vs. Bears at Solider 🙂 -Ames