Tuesday, March 1, 2011

March: National Nutrition Month

Here in Minnesota, it's come in like a lamb and I am happy with that. Plus it's my birthday month (3/3) so it's always a favorite! What better time to really tackle nutrition--the official start of spring is 20 days away, the first 2 months of the year behind us, new beginnings in front of us!  

Nutrition is 60-70% of our success in weight loss and maintenance! But are we paying enough attention to it and the right kind of attention? With all we do as: athletes, moms, runners, volunteers etc., we need to be fueled AND hit our goals at the same time. 

It's not just eating fruits and veggies five times a day, it's not just about small meals. It's not just about counting points and even calories. Recently I had a few people mention to me that I maybe wasn't eating enough calories a day. I thought they were right, I have been doing ok with my nutrition. I am drinking my green monsters, eating salads (not daily, but at least 4 days a week!) and not hitting the junk or fast food. 

Unless. Having oats quickly before or after class or by itself for lunch counts as fast food. I know I can always can do better, but having not thought in terms of calories since counting points I never looked into how much I was eating. 

The first thing I did was check my BMR and calculate how many calories I should be eating per day to maintain my weight. I did that here. BMR is how many calories your body needs JUST to survive, not including any kind of caloric burn. From there, you can take your activity level and get estimated calorie intake for loss, gain or maintenance.

I couldn't believe how many calories I should be taking in, and I know I am falling short. LA at The Curvy Life and I were talking about it the other day and she posted a great blog on whether or not we are eating enough. 

I know I am not eating enough, because my I know because a venti americano knocks my appetite down for most of the morning and I drink two a day, I slack on carrying healthy snacks, eat oatmeal when I haven't planned ahead and I am not eating enough protein for my lifestyle.     

Putting it all together:
Sometimes yeah, I feel like I have all these independent pieces 
and don't take the time to put them together. Some days I do feel a little like this...

But I am taking this month, National Nutrition Month to focusing on putting all these great pieces in place!  

I am getting those workouts in! I promised myself three workouts of my own a week aside from Teaching! That includes my strength training and running and it is going well. Not only do I feel better, but I am having ME time at the gym and it's priceless.

Watching my water intake more, by using the hair bands on my arm and moving them to my bottle with every one I drink. Always something I struggle with, but day by day, I can do it!

Watching my calories to make sure I hit the right amount. By going below the calories needed per day, I am doing damage, especially with an active lifestyle. Not only will my body hold excess weight, but I won't be gaining muscle and strength the same and will be affecting my metabolism.

 I am going to use My Fitness Pal, the site that LA uses, to see JUST how many calories I am eating, how many I am burning and if I am getting the right amount of protein etc, I haven't paid this close of attention to my food intake for a while, so it should be eye opening! 

Do you use an online calorie counter? 
Do you think in calories or in points or just in portions?


Kristi said...

Thanks for this post, Mary. I used the links in your post to see my BMR so that I can have a starting point. This might sound silly... I know so much about weight loss. I've struggles all my life with it, and I read as many articles as I can, but sometimes I get lost jsut at the starting point.
I've been struggling lately about how I want to go about losing weight. I've tried Weight Watchers but can't get into the point system online. I've tried tracking my food but often times only calculate what i have planned to eat and not the "extras" that find the way into my mouth.
Your post helped though. I thik I've been going about this all wrong. It's time to create a new strategy :)

Becky said...

I use myfitnesspal as well (user ID: sugar4becky). I have found it to be really helpful to keep me in check!

I started out weight loss by thinking specifically in calories, but lately I am focusing more on portions. I'm not sure which works better yet!

Chubby McGee said...

Definitely think in both calories and portions. Without portions there would be more calories. Panic!

I love my FitClick account, too. It's a great calorie counting tool...free, too.

Thanks to your post, I'll make it even MORE of an effort to get more good fuel-foods into my body than any kind of junkie stuff. :)

Laura said...

Just wanted to say I love your blog and I love that you are encouraging and very optimisitic! Love reading. But I got excited...did u say ur bday is March 3rd? Mine is the 4th! Anyways...Happy birthday and keep on writing!

Ann said...

I LOVE the science of calories in/calories out, although now I am having more of a focus on the healthy foods and the ones with the best nutritional value (not just "low-calorie"). Anyways, great post and most importantly - HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Wishing you lots and lots of happiness and love!!

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Although Mary from Fit this girl is a CPT, always consult your physician or health care provider before beginning any nutrition or exercise program. Use of the programs, advice, and information contained in this website is at the sole choice and risk of the reader.