Here I am on Day 45 of my fitness journey and ... well ... I’ve decided to track calories ... ish.
After hitting a plateau this month (which I’ll blog more about on Wednesday), I have a sneaking suspicion it’s to do with my nutrition. I seem to oscillate between eating too little and eating way more than I think I am.
I also feel like I’m not keeping proper track of how active I am through the day.
So, to a degree, I’ve decided to list the help of my Samsung Health app and track what I’m eating and how I’m moving, including step count.
I don’t know how long for. I might only do it for a week, or I might do it for the remainder of this journey. I’m honestly not going to set rules with it.
I’ve been going through this dilemma since Friday, when I blogged about my internal struggle. From the outset, I’ve wanted to get fit and healthy in a non-restrictive, self loving way.
Calorie counting didn’t feel part of that equation initially, and even now, I don’t want to get obsessive over it.
I did a LOT of research over the weekend, read studies in favour and against, and also read educated opinions from nutritionists and dieticians (here, here and here), as well as personal accounts of people who found food freedom through calorie counting, rather than restriction.
And I’ve decided to give it a go but with some caveats.
I’m keeping my baseline calories at 1,600 per day (rough guide). Some days I might feel like eating more than this, some days less. I’ll honour my body’s hunger cues and eat when I’m hungry, even if I’ve gone over my calories. (Note: even if you overate at one meal, you still need to eat when you’re hungry at the next meal – always, always, always.)
I’m not tracking everything: like low calorie sauces, diet soft drinks, or water-dense veggies, or the single sugar I have in my morning coffee.
I won’t track every day, especially where my eating and exercise has been virtually identical to the day before.
I’m going to enjoy my life: dinner out, Pizza Friyays, ice cream on the beach – and enjoy some non-tracked meals without guilt.
No weighing shit. It honestly feels so weird to me. I'm just eyeballing based on proper portion sizes.
I’m tracking my workouts – aerobic workouts, weights training, stretching and step count – to see how active I actually am through the day. Your step count is a good indicator for NEAT – non exercise activity thermogenesis – which sustains and boosts lipoprotein lipase, an enzyme which helps burn fat and improves your metabolism. I have a feeling that sitting for 10+ hours a day is my biggest nemesis ATM, so I want to get better about being incidentally active throughout the day.
If I start feeling weird about it, I’m pulling the pin. If I start dropping calories below 1500 or freaking out over one too many slices of pizza, I’m deleting the Samsung Health app. I’m determined that this isn’t going to cost me my mental health.
Still focusing on quality of my calories, rather than the calories themselves i.e. 900 calories in one Big Mac feels very different in your body to 900 calories of healthy, balanced meals and snacks. Both are okay food choices: but if you choose to spread 900 calories over 2-3 healthy, balanced meals, you'll feel a LOT fuller, more satiated and nourished, so it's important to not consume 1,600 calories a day in junk food and focus on WHOLE foods as per the Australian Dietary Guidelines for adults.
Still not sure that I want to track calories openly on the blog – for many reasons, but mostly because every BODY is different.
We all need a different amount of calories based on age, gender, activity levels and a whole bunch of other factors, so it’s important to do what’s right for YOUR body.
By the way, if you're just joining me here on Day 45, for a bit of context, after a recent health scare, I'm on a mission to turn my life around and get into the best shape of my life.
I've been down this fitness road before, but this time I'm determined to do it from a place of self love, with no restriction, guilt or crazy diet rules.
You can catch up on journeys 1 through 44 by clicking the 'related posts' at the bottom of this one, and if you'd like to come with me on a fitness journey (and get an amazing FREE bundle of the fitness resources that have helped me lose 12 cm so far), click HERE and get your hands on all the goodness.
I had another weird day with my nutrition today ... still wasn’t feeling great with this monthly cycle, although I started picking up a lot toward the end of the day.
Here’s what I managed to eat.
Excuse the photo - I was in a bit of a state yesterday.
Does anyone else just want to eat peanut butter toast when they’re sick, because same!
It’s literally all I felt like I could stomach.
I had a tablespoon of Sanitarium crunchy natural peanut butter on two slices of rye toast and it was just what the doctor ordered.
I didn't feel up to eating until about 1 pm ... So I listened to my body and trusted it would get hungry when it needed nutrients. Sure enough, my appetite rocked around to the party in the early afternoon.
(God, if this is what my periods are like, I shudder to think how I’ll go with morning sickness someday!)
Greg was in the mood for a Sunday barbecue so he cooked up a meat fest. Although my appetite was definitely returning, I decided to keep mine small with a little mini beef burger.
I had a burger patty on two sandwich thins with lettuce, tomato, vintage cheddar and tomato sauce (of course).
For dessert tonight I had another one of Greg’s chocolate covered ice creams – God, they’re moreish! So good!
I am missing my yoghurts though. The ice creams are just a bit TOO sweet for me to eat regularly. I’m funny like that – I do like a bit of something sweet after dinner but I’m not a big sweet tooth, you know what I mean?
As you know, this would ordinarily be the day I go for my Sunday swim, but due to female occurrences, this couldn’t happen. It’s probably for the best because I was feeling terrible and didn’t eat very much, so I had zero energy.
Ah well – you best believe I was back to my old self for today (Monday), and I can’t wait to share how it went tomorrow.
Well, that wraps us up for another day’s log. Let’s huddle in for a quick message of motivation to close:
Remember: this is YOUR journey and no one else’s.
Do what is right for YOU, YOUR body and YOUR health (and your mental health).
Be real and honest with yourself about how this journey is fitting in with your lifestyle and how it's impacting you emotionally.
Just because I am, or anyone else is, doing things a certain way, it doesn’t mean it has to be your truth.
Other people are doing what's right for THEM - but you need to dig deep and find out what works best for YOUR health and lifestyle.
Your path may look completely different and that is okay.
Every BODY is different and your path is unique to you and your lifestyle.
As long as your choices are made with your overall health (physical and mental) in front of mind, nothing else matters.
You are the best expert on your body there is – so trust your inner guidance and stay true to your heart along the way.
Until tomorrow, keep shining bright.
- Xo Rhi