There is more to “knowing what you eat” than simply having an understanding of the number of calories you consume each day. Keeping a web based food journal is a quick and easy way to shed light on the numerous ways food has an impact on your life.
Consuming the proper number of calories is critical in causing and maintaining weight loss. However, the fact is most of us underestimate the number of calories we consume each day. Unless you have a good idea of portion sizes and the caloric density of various foods, it is difficult to simply guess at a meal’s worth, much less an entire day’s worth of calories. Many web based food logs or journals, such as the one found on ObesityHelp, automatically calculate the number of calories eaten during the day. Taking a few minutes each day to carefully record the foods you have eaten will not only provide you with a detailed report of daily caloric intake but also how many calories from each macronutrient (fat, carbs and protein) you are consuming.
Keeping a food log does not have to be a long and tedious process. In 3-5 minutes, maybe less, you can record an entire day’s food intake. Put together a list of your favorite foods or commonly eaten foods, and give it a try!
Vitamins and Minerals
Which foods are high in calcium? Which foods are good sources of iron? How much sodium is in the tomatoes I grow in my garden? If you think taking a guess at the caloric value of foods is difficult, try guessing at the vitamin and mineral content of the foods you eat. There are a number of vitamin and mineral deficiencies that can occur after weight loss surgery. Just as most web based food logs can calculate caloric intake, vitamin and mineral intake can also be calculated. This information can be extremely valuable in making sure your vitamin and mineral intake is within suggested ranges in order to minimize risk of deficiencies.
So, your dietician or surgeon has set a number of different nutrition goals for you. It has already been established that estimating or guessing at caloric and nutrient intake is not very accurate. How do you know you are meeting established goals? Again, it only takes a few minutes each day to record daily food intake and make sure you are staying on track.
Fuel for Exercise
Do you feel weak or are you disappointed with the time you are physically able to participate in exercise? Do you ever feel nauseous halfway through or at the end of an exercise session? The number of calories consumed each day and the type of calories you consume can drastically impact the intensity, duration and quality of your exercise regimen. Recovering from an exercise session is also highly influenced by nutrition. Don’t guess at what nutritional strategies are enhancing or compromising your exercise program. Don’t leave it to the local “gym rat” to tell you what foods you should and should not be eating. Use your food log to determine the caloric and macronutrient intake that not only maximizes your exercise performance, but also fits into your post weight loss surgery lifestyle.
Maintaining as much muscle tissue as possible after weight loss surgery is an important and often challenging task. The maintenance of muscle tissue is highly influenced by total caloric intake as well as the composition of your diet. ObesityHelp’s Health Tracker not only allows you to track your daily food intake and body composition (body fat %), but you can also compare these variables across time in order to receive a true picture of how nutrition influences muscle tissue.
It is amazing how many aspects of our lives are touched by the foods we eat. Perhaps more amazing is the insight we can gain by spending just a few minutes each day recording the foods we eat.
So what are you waiting for, start logging your food now!