I ate what now!?

I’ve been generally very excited about my new little discovery of MyFitnessPal.com and the accompanying app for my iPod. (I swear, they aren’t giving me any money or free things – um, other than everything they provide, but that’s free to everyone! Anyhoo…)

So over the last week or so I’ve been starting to get into this whole tracking thing. It’s all very new to me and I find it quite fascinating. I set it all up so that if I stick to my net calories each day, I should lose about 0.5 lbs/week or about 1 kg/month. Nice.

Yesterday was the first day I actually tracked everything. Usually I’m quite good at inputing everything from when I wake up until around 5 pm. Foods, drinks and walks – all neatly added at their respective times of the day. And since I eat mainly fresh fruits, veggies and a corn cake or three smeared with PB&J, I usually still have around 800-900 calories left before I hit my recommended limit. That, I think, is MORE than enough for a good dinner and even a little post-dinner evening snack. Right?

Um, apparently not! At least, not yesterday. No, no. My dinner: 2 open-faced tuna sandwiches topped with some homemade guacamole with small salad (homemade oil & vinegar dressing) followed by a bowl of natural, unsweetened yoghurt with muesli and popped rice? 898 calories. Plus, I was hungry again around 8:30 so had a few almonds and 2 PB&J corn cakes. Another 173 calories. So between 5-9:30 pm I ate a 1071 calories. 1071 calories!

Now, I’m not really upset about that. I think the best description would be shocked. Again, this shows how very new this whole tracking thing is to me – I’m sure people who’ve been tracking for a while would know that food would all come out to about that many calories, but to me, I would’ve never guessed it would amount to that much! The avocado in the guacamole and the muesli were the biggest culprits, I’ve learned.

Just for fun, for 1071 calories or less, I could’ve had…
– Big Mac, medium fries and apple pie from McDonalds. (1057 cal)
– 6 slices of Toni Pepperoni pizza from Dominos Pizza (1002 cal)
– 2 original recipe chicken, 1 reg. popcorn chicken, 1 potato & gravy and 1 coleslaw from KFC (1040 cal)

Obviously, the food I ate was FAR better for me and had much more nutritional value than any of those combos I just mentioned, but it’s still kind of interesting. This is one of the reason I’ve never been super into calorie counting. I don’t want to fall into the trap of thinking 100 calories = 100 calories, regardless of the source.

Do you track? Have you ever been shocked with the caloric content (high or low) of any of your favourite foods? Did it change your eating habits?

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8 Comments

Filed under Diet

8 responses to “I ate what now!?

  1. I also find it very interesting, too! I began tracking after last Christmas, but stopped a couple of months ago, so I only did so for a short while. I think I mainly just benefited from learning the types of healthier foods to snack on rather than the unhealthy junk stuff. Like you, I didn’t really want to fall into that trap either, thinking that “woah, I ‘can’t’ eat that!”, I find it harder to stay motivated with that opposite way of thinking, as well as the fact that a healthy choice may have 1000 calories but is just so much more better than something from the fast food menu 🙂
    It definitely puts it all in perspective!

    • I keep reminding myself that this isn’t about weight loss (so calories, technically, shouldn’t matter). It’s about health and eating foods that are good for me. I don’t think I’ll track for a very long time, but I’m going to keep it up for a while; mainly to keep learning about foods’ nutritional values and be more aware of what’s in what I eat, especially since most of what I eat is homemade and doesn’t come with a little nutrition label!

  2. Lately I have been tracking on fitday. I was pretty amazed at one point to see how much fat I got in a day! That led to my post a while back about my excessive use of olive oil that I have since cut back.

    • I’ve been doing pretty well at staying within my fat/protein/carb limits. I was only slightly over fat & carb and slightly under protein, after eating more than my allotted calories. I do love olive oil, though, and make a lot of stirfrys with it (a staple dish when you can’t eat gluten!) In my mind, if I have to use oil, extra virgin olive oil’s the way to go!

  3. The calories stuff can really catch you off guard, sometimes. If you eat healthy you think this can’t possibly be as much as the junk I would’ve eaten but its really not true. Plus the sugar content in fruit, whoa! Its not refined sugar but an apple a day fills our daily requirement for sugar intake! Imagine that, a medium sized apple!

    I have battled with an ED (eating disorder) till a few years back and I use to count the calories in everything. It drove me crazy but I could/can calculate the calories without ever having to check with any sites/charts. I used to count the calories in the passion fruit body cream I put on! :/ Crazy!

    Today, I think a 1000 cals for dinner is acceptable so long as you do not make a habit out of it. 🙂 Just eat well and you will lose the 1kg this month… I’m rooting for you.

    • For a little while in high school, I wrote down every single thing that passed my lips – gum included – and tried to constantly make that list smaller and smaller. Never calorie counting, though.

      I think 1000 cal for dinner isn’t awful, but definitely not something I should get in the habit of! After entering some recipes I make regularly into MyFitPal, most average dinners I make are closer to the 500 range, so I’m all good. 🙂

  4. Jos

    I tried to count calories in my food but after a while it gets too complicated and I said screw that. The most important thing is I eat nutritional food (fruits and veggies mainly with moderate amount of meat and dairy).

    • Yeah, there’s no way I could actually count calories in everything I ate without some sort of tool. Being able to choose a food from the database, write in approximately how much I ate, etc., is pretty easy. I agree, though. I’m far more concerned with eating good, nutritious, healthy foods than what the total calories end up being.

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