Am I Eating Enough?

Am I eating ENOUGH?

 

Life is busy. It’s easy to get caught up in work meetings, running errands, squeezing in a workout, etc. One of the most common mistakes in maintaining a healthy weight - or losing weight- is side tracking meals. Let’s answer the common question of “Am I eating enough?”

 

First, it’s important to establish a specific goal. (ex: Lose 5 pounds in 6 months, maintain weight for race in 3 months) A timeline and measurable, realistic goal is important to keep you on track and focused. Second, its important to establish a base/starting point. Keep a food journal for one week. Weigh in, or have a friend take measurements. Record everything you eat, count total calories, carbohydrates, fats, and protein along with the times you ate or drank. This information is important in identifying when, what, and how much you tend to consume. It may be time-consuming, but its an important step in moving forward with a healthy, individualized fueling plan. Third, analyze your activity level. Are you extremely active (training 2-3 hours/day, 6 days a week), very active (1-2 hours 5-6 days a week), moderately active (45-60 min 3-5 times a week), generally active (30-45 min 2-4 times a week), or rarely active (30 min 1-2 times a week) ?

 

Once you’ve made a goal, identified a starting point, and assessed your activity, we can take a look at quantity and food group ratios. You’ll need to look over your food journal, along with your workout regimen. Take a look at the chart below and see how similar/different your logs are.

Calorie Intake Guidelines: ( Ages 31-50) 

Very Active

Male: 2,800-3,000

Female: 2,200

Moderately Active

Male: 2,400-2,600

Female: 2,000

Rarely Active

Male: 2,200-2,400

Female: 1,800

The USDA suggest the following ratios of macronutrients: 

45-55% Carbs 

10-35% Protein 

20-30% Fat

Remember that nutrition is VERY individual and will take some trial and error. Try to eat 4-5 meals/day, and prevent major hunger strikes by eating every 2-4 hours. Consult a nutritionist or registered dietician for special dietary needs or restrictions.