Pursuing Health Inside and Out – My Experience Counting Calories

First Month Update – Started Thursday, January 15, 2015

healthy eating

Photo courtesy of Pinterest (https://www.flickr.com/photos/angelamillerphotography/6923688025/)

BACKGROUND ON MY DIET
I am 5′ 1″ and fluctuate between 106.5 and 111 pounds. For my height and age, this is a healthy weight according to my doctor. I am naturally skinny. It took me a while to accept such fact and see myself for who I really am in the mirror. Skinny. It is a blessing and a curse. For me, it hurts to sit down on hard chairs because my butt has no cushion. It’s hard to fit into adult clothing because I don’t fill the clothing out with curves. I’m usually the smallest size: OO. Double zero is not an achievement. It’s a label on the minority. But don’t get me wrong. I not only accept my skinniness, but I see the beauty of my body just the way it is.

I’m naturally skinny because I do not particularly like eating. It’s a chore for me when I could be doing more productive tasks. Feeling full or stuffed is very uncomfortable to me. Therefore, I avoid overeating. From birth, I have been a graze eater, meaning I eat less than the average person, but more often. I think it might be a fast metabolism. I can eat a meal ( for me that’s one full plate 80% finished – I almost never clean my plate) and feel satisfied. Regardless of how much I eat in a meal, an hour later, I’m hungry again. It’s so annoying. Is that a fast metabolism?  Most of the time, I cannot eat normal portion sizes. I just don’t have that kind of appetite or room in my stomach.  I’ve never been a huge eater.

I am on no particular diet. I try to eat a healthy balanced diet of the appropriate amount of each food group and healthy versions of each food group. For example, I eat whole wheat bread instead of white, most of the time. As far as meats, I mainly eat chicken and fish.

I don’t believe in dieting. Healthy eating should be a lifestyle, not a one-time fad. When I am at college, because I can eat when I want, I eat my meals more close together in time and snack less. At home, because food is more readily available, I snack more. I started using this app shortly after coming back to school.

WHY I DECIDED TO START COUNTING CALORIES
I was concerned I was not eating enough calories in the day because I am always hungry all the time.

THE APP I USE – My Fitness Pal Review

myfitnesspal 2myfitnesspal 3myfitnesspal 4

Pros: Breaks nutrition facts down, Shows where and when you go over, Easy interface to use, gives reminders to log food, and has nutrition info from restaurants
Cons: does not log exercise accurately, cannot add certain exercises like Pilates, logs walking based on minutes not distance, does not account for good and bad fats and sugars

WHAT I’VE LEARNED ABOUT DIETING AND HEALTHY EATING

  • On a typical day when I don’t snack, I don’t eat enough calories (as much as 300 under my goal)
  • When I do snack in a day, I eat the appropriate amount of calories.
  • I eat too much sugar. (I’ve always had a sweet tooth 😉 )
  • I eat too much sodium without adding salt to my food. I’ve learned It’s very difficult to keep the amount of salt you eat per day in check as most pre-prepared foods use salt to preserve them. Almost any food you buy from a restaurant, cafe, or fast food place will have abnormally large amounts of salt compared to homemade meals.
  • I have an internal conflict. Many times, including tonight, I’ll eat what is supposed to be the right amount of food. The app says I have eaten enough calories, but I am still hungry. What does this mean!?
  • There’s no use in worrying about eating the most balanced, perfect, healthy diet. We all have our areas to work on.

Did you like this post? Do you want me to review my exercise apps? If you want to hear more about my progress with My Fitness Pal and want more updates, let me know in the comments below!

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