Learning to Live: Nutrition

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Last week I began to map out meals and snacks to help us loose weight and start a healthy lifestyle. As always we have the challenge of frugality, limited access, and a language barrier now added to my new challenge of nutrition control.

After planning out a few days worth of meals and snacks, I was amazed how much can fit in to a strict calorie, and carbohydrate restricted diet. I was just as amazed to see how hungry you can still be after eating all that food.

This is the first week of the diet and I expect to be hungry, after all it takes time for your body to adjust and stomach to shrink down a bit. To help make this transition easier, I went to the web. Here I found recipes for food that would fit in to our meal plans, or at least I thought I did.

After plugging the recipes in to some calorie counters, you would be surprised the differences that come up. It seems a lot of people miscalculate the calories, often leaving out the cooking agents like butter and oil, or misjudge the serving sizes.

This has lead me to create my personal menu challenge. I am making one menu 3 meals and 2 snacks that add up to 1,000 calories a day and a second menu that adds up to 1,600 calories a day. For people who read this and don't know me personally, 1,000 calories is NOT a healthy amount for any one to eat, unless you are under doctors orders to do so.

I will post more on my menus, nutrition tools, and recourses in upcoming posts this week for any who are interested. I am not looking to make this a dieting blog, but I will keep health and nutrition a topic.


Sangria said...

lol you can make me some 3000 calories menus, i need to gain about 7 kg to be on the save minumum weight for my length.

Anyway go with the 1600 calories, you need about 2000 for a normal healthy meal. Just start walking more, its free and healthy (kinda in the city).

Ow and we want pictures every week to see progress :D

Love Sangria

DJ said...

So true, my 1700 menu and my 10,000 steps walking program, is helping me meet my goals.

However the 1000 menu is a doctor order for him, and difficulty walking and staying flat or standing for long periods of time, makes the meal planning a must.

I find that planning out the same meal and different snacks / amounts is the easiest way to go by far.

As far as the pics, wait till I buy a camera, my B-day is rollen around soon and we will splurge on one then.

Abrupt said...

When I was heavy into bodybuilding I experimented with various diets. For me though the problem was gaining weight and not losing or keeping it off. I was basically on a high protein/high fat/lowered carb diet (but it did require high carbs at certain times to promote insulin reaction and the muscle growth that can come with it). Basically though I ate till I was miserable and it involved quite a bit of forcing myself to eat. Later I read some revealing evidence that the body adapts somewhat rapidly to a diet and will automatically alter energy levels accordingly. I also found a lot of evidence citing binging as preferable to gaining muscle and not the presumed steady balanced diet. There is so much information on the subject, so many studies, so many contradictions between them all that I find it best to take a cautionary approach and listen to ones own body's feedback. I find simple advice such as "If you are not hungry enough to eat an apple then you are not hungry enough to need a snack" as a sounder approach.

Increased exercise while on a lower caloric diet has to be watched closely too. The body requires a certain amount of carbs to use fat as a fuel source and I think the fat to fuel only starts after about 30 minutes of burning sugar. Those figures could be a bit off but one has to be careful that such an approach isn't breaking muscle for energy instead of fat, and this is particularly important on low carb diets.