Monday, 12 March 2012

Dipping my Toes into the Diet Pool

For the first time in my life I have decided to take a proactive approach to my diet. I'm not particularly overweight but my doctor advised me last year that I don't want to keep gaining weight and could do with losing some to prevent health problems when I'm older. I'm also getting frustrated by being unable to find clothes (particularly dresses) which fit properly.
I find it hard to believe she is actually having that much fun

So I've been doing more exercise by adding a regular workout to my already fairly high amount of cycling each week. I've also just joined a website which allows me to track the amount of calories I'm eating against how many I need, factoring in the exercise. And I was very surprised to discover that apart from on Sundays, when I eat with the choir and am unable to resist the desserts, I actually am not hitting my calorie goal most days.

It was quite a shock to discover that, since I had always believed that I ate too much. But now I'm beginning to realise that it's not a matter of too much, but a matter of what. Adding a teaspoon of mayonnaise to my lunchtime tortilla wrap adds a lot of fat and not much nutritional value. Snacking on a plain flour tortilla is one thing - filling it with salad cream is another, but both are less healthy than eating a couple of mushrooms.

I'm interested in seeing exactly what I'm eating. I'm not great at checking labels but the site database includes almost every possible food and as long as you're reasonably accurate about serving sizes it tells you the calories, protein, carbs and fat. I have yet to try and input the data for something I've cooked myself - I can see that might be a bit more tricky! The end goal isn't really to lose weight, which is what the website is geared towards (it asks for your weight each week, which is hard since I haven't weighed myself in about six months) but just to generally eat more healthily and tone up a bit. It's making me more aware of what I'm eating and what is in it, which can only be a good thing.

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