Over the last couple weeks, I’ve been trying to keep track of how many calories I eat in a day. I know it sounds super weight conscious and diet-y, but really it’s given me an idea of how many calories are in my everyday food and how I can make better choices. I’m amazed at how much I’ve learned already….an average women with a moderately active lifestyle should be eating around 2000 calories a day and should be keeping their fat intake to 44-78 g per day. If you don’t exercise at all, they suggest 1600 calories per day. What’s scary is that one meal alone at a restaurant can have up to 1200 calories or more (think any chain restaurant you’ve ever been to). Over the last six months, I’ve found myself snacking throughout the day more and picking up whatever snack was available instead of taking a few seconds to rethink a more healthy decision. Also, even though I was working-out, I was getting frustrated that I wasn’t losing any weight. I’ve come to realize, by writing down my calories and food choices that I eat TOO many calories just through snacking at my desk and during the evening while watching TV.
Initially, I was just writing down my calorie intake for each meal and totaling it up at the end of the day, but a friend of mine just told me about a free app called My Fitness Pal. It’s an app that you can load onto your phone or iPad and it looks up what you are eating, using a HUGE database, and gives you the number of calories, fat, carbs, etc.. You can enter each meal into the app and it will keep track of your daily calorie intake. You can also enter your own calories in if it doesn’t have the exact food you are eating in its database. The app also has a great fitness dairy where you can set goals for losing weight and for exercise.
I don’t want to track my calories forever, but it is a great way to learn about what you’re eating and how it can affect your weight, mood, hunger levels, and sugar intake. After only doing it for two weeks, I am already feel healthier and better equipped to pick healthier options. You definitely rethink your food options when you see that one ice cream bar at the store has 350 calories/17 g fat and another has 150 calories/9 g fat. When you are only supposed to eat 2000 calories a day, you start to think “do I want to waste that many calories on one ice cream bar?” Food for though.
(Images via My Fitness Pal)