Jun 12, 2009

Understanding Nutrition.

Due to yesterday's EPIC FAIL in nutritional experimentation, today I did some research on nutritional needs of athletes.

According to http://www.brianmac.co.uk/nutrit.htm an athlete needs 1.3 calories per hour per kg of body weight as your BER - Basic Energy Requirements.

Personal energy requirement = basic energy requirements (which includes your basal metabolic rate) + extra energy requirements.

For me this ends up being (taking age and gender into consideration) 2792.4 calories just to make it through 24 hours.

This seems pretty high to me actually, but we will go with it for now.

You have additional caloric needs is you exercise or train, being 8.5 calories per hour per kg of body weight.

For me this is about 760.75 calories per hour under my training conditions.

The formula for nutrition according to the same site is the following:

57% should be carbohydrates
30% should be fats
13% should be proteins

So for a day in which I do not train, I should have the following:

398 gr. carbohydrates
93 gr. fat
91 gr. protein

20-30 gr. carbs each main meal (3)
10 gr. carbs at snacks.

We all know that healthy diets are well rounded and consist of whole foods as close to the earth (meaning as little processing as possible) as you can find.

The thing that I find difficult is that in picking my meals, I do not really pay attention to the overall makeup of my food.

I know how many calories I choose, and if I follow my Weight Watchers training I know based on points roughly how much fiber and fat I am taking in, yet I never really look to see what I am eating.

So let's see how well I have done so far today.

I am going to take my information from Calorie King to get the nutritional information on all food consumed up through lunch.

1 bowl Simple Harvest oatmeal - maple and brown sugar with pecans, Quaker [3.5 fat 30 carb 4 protein]
32 oz. Green Tea (iced)[0 0 0]
1 Arbonne Supplement [ 0 0 0]

TOTAL - 3.5 30 4
Remaining for today - 89.5 368 87

1 Arbonne supplement [0 0 0]
1 California Roll [5 70 8]
1 Spicy Tuna Roll [9 125 30]
8 z. green tea (hot) [0 0 0]
8 oz. water [0 0 0]
Miso Soup [3 11 3.5]
Japanese Salad (ginger/miso dressing) [5 3 .05]
1 DQ Brownie Batter Blizzard - small [29 88 13]

TOTAL - 51 297 55
Remaining - 38.5 71 32

Comparing the graphs from goal to actual consumed (can you say data junkie?) I am just slightly high on carbs and slightly low on proteins and fats.

While tracking food and exercise may be cumbersome, I feel that for me the outcome of proper fueling and weight control is worth it.

I am doing a lot of endurance work these days (hello - half Ironman in 4 weeks!!) and while trying to loose weight I feel that some of my training mishaps are directly related to my fuelling or lack thereof.

Just like you do not attempt a feat of endurance or skill without training (*cough*), why attempt weight control without planning? And if you are training for something in addition - you certainly need a plan, or atleast the knowledge in fuelling for performance.

This brings me to the question of "what am I really going for here?" Outside of being fuelled properly to complete my races and training, I decided that I want this for more long term.

1.) I want healthy weight control.
This means that I will need to shed an additional 22.5 lbs from where I stand today. Keep in mind - I am still down 10lbs beyond my big weight loss from last year, so I am on the right track. When I meet this goal, I will be down 50lbs since New Year's Day 2008. That is in ADDITION to the weight lost in 2007. All in all, at my goal weight (not by a chart but rather my own personal goal weight) I will be down a total of 66lbs since December 2007.

2.) I want healthy eating habits
I am really close to being there but still get tripped up over high calories snacks. Darn those cookies!

Emotional eating has crept back into my life, but thankfully I caught the aftermath at only a 4lb gain versus 40lb gain like I did in 2001.

I eat a rediculous amount of vegetation and fruit, and very little red meat these days. I am working on the breakdowns of foods now, and with this information I feel that I will have a good army of weapons to help blow away those pesky obstacles that come along.

3.) I want to remove the self-imposed limits on my abilities.

I saw the neatest thing last night and it said "Attitude is more important that facts."

I am still not really pushing myself. I know this to be fact. HOWEVER - I also know to be fact the following:

I can and will do it.

4.) I want to get stronger and fit.

I am not going to lie to you. I secretly dream of being on the cover of Oxygen. No, not the women's TV channel - but Oxygen, the women's fitness magazine.

I am a muscular person, so why not embrace a fitness routine ala cross fit and finally get there.

I really for realzy real want to do cross fit. I want to get strong and fit and... strong. OK, I still need to work on this one!

5.) I will overcome.

It may be a long journey, but the best ones usually are. If life is more about the journey than the destination, I am glad that I have a sense of adventure and don't mind the pit-stops!

So what say you? What are some things you do to keep on track? Do you journal, track calories, track nutrients? Do you wing it and eat whatever as long as you work out?
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