As I mentioned in last week's post, in my quest to live a healthier lifestyle, I am tracking everything I eat and drink each day. I simply have an old spiral notebook on the counter in the kitchen and each time I fix myself something to eat or drink I record what and how much. If we eat out, I add the information as soon as we return home.
Several years ago, I met with the dietician at our doctor's office and she gave me some guidelines for eating a healthy diet. Foods are divided into these categories: carbs-starch, carbs-milk, carbs-fruit, non-starchy vegetables, meat and fats. She also gave me the portion sizes for the different categories and how many servings of each category I could eat for several different calorie counts. I created little stickers with small circles that I can fill in each time I eat a serving. I am currently using the criteria for a 1500 calorie diet. The dietician originally suggested I try between 1500 and 1800 calories a day based on my weight and activity level. I'm not really worried about getting everything perfect; I'm basically tracking so I can see trends in my eating. Most of the time right now I am measuring or weighing my food so I can readjust to good portion sizes, however when we eat out or I cook something like a casserole, I just guestimate the amounts.
Looking back through my logs for the past three weeks, I can see how I'm doing. Here are a few things I've noticed:
* I am drinking at least 48 ounces of water a day.
* I am taking my multi-vitamin the majority of the time.
* I often have servings of non-starchy vegetables "leftover" at the end of the day, thus I need to consciously try to incorporate more of these vegetables into my meals.
* I rarely ever have starchy carbs or meats "leftover" at the end of the day. I only occassionally go over the recommended number of servings in these two categories, so I feel that I'm doing good there - especially since these are my two favorite categories!
* I am only eating my two servings of milk carbs about half the time, the rest of the time I only get in one serving a day. I really want to try to be sure to get both servings in each day as these are such a great source of calcium.
As you can see, none of this is scientific or perfect, just a simple way for me to take note of what and how much I'm eating so I can make adjustments as I strive to eat a healthy diet each day. Already over the course of these few weeks, I am making small adjustments just by being more conscious of what I'm putting in my mouth!
I am continuing to stick to my strength training and stationary bike routines each week, occassionally adding in an exercise tape or DVD. Overall I'm very pleased with my progress over the past eight weeks. Next week I'll share my thoughts about weighing in and what the scale has to say about my progress.