Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Determining Your Eating Plan

I've spent quite a bit of time reading financial sites, blogs and such. I've learned quite a bit over the past couple of years... information that I wish I had back when I first started earning money. One of the basics that everyone has heard of is creating a budget. However, a budget is generally some kind of ideal situation that doesn't match what you're currently spending. The reason for this is that most people don't really know what they're spending. To combat this problem, many recommend that you first track your spending for a while (at least a month, 3 months is better) and then come up with a "spending plan", which is like a budget except it shows you what you're spending your money on currently, not what you want to spend your money on in an ideal world. From there, you can develop a budget and ease your way into it, tracking your progress as you go.

Well, I'm trying to apply this same concept to nutrition. I've tried some basic diets where I change what I'm eating pretty dramatically and then add exercise on top of that, but I've found that I'm really enthusiastic at first and it dies off after a few weeks. This time, I'm starting out by tracking what I eat normally, and I'll make adjustments as I go. I'm using a program called CRON-o-Meter (free). The app has USDA nutrition information built in, which means that many basic and prepared foods (even fast foods) are already in there. A few times a day I'll enter what I've eaten and as the day progresses I can see how everything stacks up. Most importantly, when I'm surprised by the numbers I an easily click through the things I've eaten to find out what has had the most impact. Then I can make changes. See, I'm ok at reading the labels, but it's hard for me to get a picture of how that item fits in with the other things I've eaten that day.

I've found that I'm a carb-a-holic. I have a really hard time keeping my carbs in good proportion with the protein and fat. Since I naturally eat a lot of carbs, I try to avoid them when I can and I've found that recently it's working out much better.

1 Lonely Comment:

Kristen said...

Very interesting. I may give it a try!