Fitter, but not stronger or leaner

  1 Jan. 1 Feb. 1 Mar. 1 Apr. 1 June 1 July 1 Aug.    
Morning Weight: 65.5 kg 65.2 kg 63.5Kg 62.4Kg 64.2Kg 63.1Kg 63.8 Kg
Evening Weight: 66.5 kg 66.0 kg 64.6Kg 63.7 Kg 65.5Kg 64.9Kg 65.1 Kg
Morning Body Fat: 30.0% 28.0% 29.2% 26.6% 25.9%* 28.8% 28.1%
Evening Body Fat: 31.4% 30.4% 28.5% 26.1% 25.7%* 26.9% 27.6%
Measurements:
Bust: 33.5” 34.0” 34.0” 33.5” 33.5” 33.5” 34.0”
Waist: 27.5” 27.5” 27.0” 27.0” 27.5” 27.0” 27.5”
Belly: 32.0” 33.0” 32.5” 31.5” 32.0” 31.0” 31.5”
Hips: 40.5” 40.5” 40.0” 39.5” 40.0” 39.0” 40.0”
Thigh: 24.0” 24.0” 23.5” 22.5” 22.5” 23.0” 23.0”

As usual, I weighed and measured myself yesterday, as it was the first of August. If you recall, after weighing myself at the start of July my goal was to increase muscle mass and get stronger. Sadly, I have not put on the muscle I was hoping to.

For starters, my weight has only gone up by 0.2-0.7 Kg, which is well within normal fluctuations. What’s more, using my body fat and body mass to calculate lean mass (muscle plus bone), gives me a morning lean mass of 44.9 Kg on July first, and 45.9 Kg on August first. But my evening values are 47.4 Kg on July first and 47.1Kg on August first. So I’ve either increased my lean mass by 1.0 Kg or reduced it by 0.3 Kg. Either way, it’s not a solid result.

It does explain why I’m not seeing the results in the gym I had hoped. While I can now run for 40 minutes without pain or strain, I’m not that much closer to being able to do a pull up/chin up. Part of the problem is that I’ve been trying to increase both my running endurance and strength at the same time. Research suggests that signals switched on by endurance training, switch off signals for strength adaptations. As such, increasing both strength and endurance at the same time is very hard to do. So it’s time to switch up my training. I’ll still be doing some heavy lifting in the gym, but rather than running continuously for 30 to 40 minutes at a moderate pace, it’s time for some sprint intervals. This is also more consistent with the Tough Mudder challenge, where you would never run for more than a kilometre before stopping for an obstacle.

And yes, I’ll need to keep better track of my diet. It’s interesting that while I have increased my calories (and not always through healthy sources) neither my body fat nor muscle mass has gone up significantly. Clearly I was burning a lot of energy through my various exercise sessions! But if I’m serious about getting stronger, it might be time for a return of the diet diary, if not the daily diet diary blog.

 

*Dubious values as I was not using my own scale.

A much better diet week

Daily averages for the week:

Calories: Protein: Carbs: Fat: Alcohol: Fibre
2062 20% 46% 31% 3% 34g
1.55g/Kg 3.67g/Kg  
 
Total exercise calories this week: 2063  

This week’s diet has been pretty good. I’ve averaged just over 2000kcal per day, with four days below the target and three days above. I only had one day where I didn’t get at least five portions of fruit and vegetables, and I averaged over 30g of fibre and 99g of protein a day.  At the same time, I was able to enjoy cheesecake on Friday and a large gluten free Italian meal on Saturday night, complete with half a loaf of garlic bread (so very fluffy and delicious but 480 kcal on its own!). This meant it didn’t feel like a week without treats. More importantly, this felt like a way of eating I can sustain.

If there’s one area where I could improve, it was in the exercise I got. As I’ve gotten busier, I’ve found it more difficult to fit in all the sessions I want to do. So you’ll notice there hasn’t been much running lately, which is a problem as cardio burns the most calories in the least amount of time and encourages the body to use fat as fuel. What’s more, I was feeling slightly unwell on Friday afternoon so I skipped the gym. I did have a leisurely hike on Saturday and extra time on the treadmill before Javelin training on Sunday. These activities together burned roughly the same calories as a gym session, but will not build muscle in the same way. And as I’ve said before, more muscle means more calories burned at rest and a higher metabolism.

So this week I’ll be looking to plan my workouts better, so I get enough cardio and strength training.

The Score for 19 March:

Calories: Protein: Carbs: Sugars: Fat: Sat Fat: Fibre: Alcohol:
2114 111.56g 242.60g 100.37g 60.25g 13.01g 39.92g 16.52g
21% 46%   26%   6%
     
Calories burned through exercise: 697      

What I ate:

Time Item Amount Calories Protein Carbs Sugars Fibre Fat Sat Fat Alcohol
08:00 Centrum Multivitamin,  Vitamin E 400IU, Vitamin D 25 µg
Tap water 250mL 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Soft boiled eggs, 2 large 115g 150 14.49 0.00 0.00 0.00 10.35 2.88 0.00
Free From pure oats 50g 171 6.40 30.30 0.60 4.30 2.70 0.50 0.00
made with boiling water 250mL 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Tesco mixed frozen fruits 100g 40 0.90 7.90 7.90 2.00 0.20 0.00 0.00
Ground flaxseeds 10g 45 2.21 0.30 0.18 2.37 4.00 0.45 0.00
Black tea 450mL 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
11:30 Bfree quinoa and chia seed wrap with 49g 125 3.80 18.00 2.65 5.75 2.90 0.70 0.00
sliced Baked chicken breast, 62g 83 19.78 0.00 0.00 0.00 1.18 0.37 0.00
sliced tomato, 97g 19 0.68 3.01 3.01 0.97 0.29 0.10 0.00
mixed salad leaves, 10g 4 0.32 0.32 0.03 0.33 0.03 0.02 0.00
and Helleman’s real mayonnaise 6g 43 0.07 0.08 0.08 0.00 4.74 0.18 0.00
Trek Peanut Power energy bar 55g 203 10.20 25.70 21.10 3.00 6.00 1.00 0.00
Easy peeler oranges, 2 small 112g 53 1.02 10.85 10.85 1.70 0.23 0.00 0.00
12:00 Warm up + 25 min treadmill run
followed by Javelin Training
15:30 Homemade carrot and lentil soup 350g 217 8.93 26.68 9.45 4.69 7.53 1.47 0.00
Activia natural yoghurt 150g 96 7.50 9.90 9.90 0.00 2.90 2.00 0.00
Natures Path Mesa Sunrise cereal 50g 195 5.00 40.00 6.50 5.00 1.65 0.25 0.00
Sliced plums, 2 large 135g 56 0.81 11.88 11.88 2.16 0.14 0.00 0.00
Sunflower seeds 5g 30 1.04 0.57 0.13 0.43 2.58 0.23 0.00
Pumpkin seeds 5g 30 1.51 0.54 0.07 0.30 2.46 0.44 0.00
19:45 Homemade chilli con carne with extra vegetables 310g 278 23.01 21.85 14.64 5.49 9.16 2.14 0.67
Brown basmati rice 130g 150 3.75 30.83 0.51 1.44 1.23 0.29 0.00
Glass of red wine 150mL 127 0.15 3.90 0.90 0.00 0.00 0.00 15.85

Missing my targets

Daily averages for the week:

Calories: Protein: Carbs: Fat: Alcohol: Fibre
2492 20% 44% 33% 1% 36g
1.9g/Kg 4.28g/Kg  
 
Total exercise calories this week: 1992  

This has certainly not been my best diet week. I averaged 2492 kcal per day, when my target is 2000! My previous highest average daily calorie intake was 2430 and that was after I spent four days on holiday in London! Even then, it was three days of indulgence followed by three days of eating much less. This is the first week where I have had over 2300 kcal every single day (except Sunday); accompanied by large amounts of sugar and saturated fats, of course. This is not so much missing the target, as shooting in the opposite direction.

It would be easy to say that I felt stressed and out of control all week, but that was only true on Wednesday. Looking back, my diet was quite healthy and junk food free on Monday and Tuesday, simply high in calories. On Thursday it was only a small bag of chocolates extra and on Wednesday and Friday, it was one massive meal that was out of control, the rest of day was fine. It was a combination of factors that led to so many high calorie days.

I’ve found some people simply do not love food as much as I do. They can have a single chocolate biscuit and be completely satisfied. These people can easily work a small daily treat into their diet without it hurting their healthy eating goals. When I let go and eat as much as I want of whatever I want, it’s always a thousand calories! That being the case, I’m going to have to be much stricter about planning and sticking to my healthy eating plan.

The Score for 12 March:

Calories: Protein: Carbs: Sugars: Fat: Sat Fat: Fibre: Alcohol:
1895 106.19g 195.46g 70.37g 60.99g 16.25g 31.48g 16.44g
23% 41%   29%   6%
     
Calories burned through exercise: 510      

What I ate:

Time Item Amount Calories Protein Carbs Sugars Fibre Fat Sat Fat Alcohol
08:00 Centrum Multivitamin,  Vitamin E 400IU, Vitamin D 25 µg
Tap water 250mL 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Soft boiled eggs, 2 large 115g 150 14.49 0.00 0.00 0.00 10.35 2.88 0.00
Free From pure oats 50g 171 6.40 30.30 0.60 4.30 2.70 0.50 0.00
made with boiling water 250mL 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Tesco mixed frozen fruits 100g 40 0.90 7.90 7.90 2.00 0.20 0.00 0.00
Ground flaxseeds 10g 45 2.21 0.30 0.18 2.37 4.00 0.45 0.00
Black Tea 250mL 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
10:00 Black tea 350mL 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
11:45 Tesco free from seeded sandwich thins 61g 152 4.76 19.70 0.67 6.59 4.64 0.37 0.00
Baked chicken breast, 93g 125 29.67 0.00 0.00 0.00 1.77 0.56 0.00
sliced tomato, 100g 20 0.70 3.10 3.10 1.00 0.30 0.10 0.00
spinach leaves 12g 3 0.34 0.19 0.19 0.25 0.10 0.01 0.00
and Helleman’s real mayonnaise 10g 72 0.11 0.14 0.13 0.00 7.90 0.63 0.00
12:15 Javelin training
15:00 Natures Path Mesa Sunrise cereal 50g 195 5.00 40.00 6.50 5.00 1.65 0.25 0.00
with skimmed milk 200mL 69 6.80 10.00 10.00 0.00 0.20 0.10
Homemade fruit salad with pear, orange, plum, kiwi, nectarine and blueberries 160g 79 1.22 16.49 15.39 2.94 0.33 0.00 0.00
Yeo Valley natural yoghurt 95g 77 4.84 5.32 5.32 0.00 4.27 2.75 0.00
Sunflower seeds 5g 30 1.04 0.57 0.13 0.43 2.58 0.23 0.00
Pumpkin seeds 5g 30 1.51 0.54 0.07 0.30 2.46 0.44 0.00
15:45 Lindt Excellence 70% Cocoa chocolate bar, 2 squares 20g 113 1.90 6.80 5.80 0.00 8.20 4.80 0
17:30 Twinnings cherry and cinnamon tea 250mL 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
19:30 Homemade chilli con carne with extra vegetables 275g 246 20.41 19.38 12.98 4.87 8.12 1.90 0.59
Brown basmati rice 130g 150 3.75 30.83 0.51 1.44 1.23 0.29 0.00
Glass of red wine 150mL 127 0.15 3.90 0.90 0.00 0.00 0.00 15.85

 

Counting up the hidden sugars

Daily averages for the week:

Calories: Protein: Carbs: Fat: Alcohol: Fibre
2175 21% 47% 29% 2% 36g
1.77g/Kg 3.93g/Kg  
 
Total exercise calories this week: 2392  

I struggled more to keep my total calories down this week, with only two days being below my 2000kcal per day target. That said, my macronutrient amounts and proportions are right where I want them to be. I am also getting enough fibre and had only one day last week where I missed getting my five a day of fruit and vegetables. As well, I upped my exercise intensity this week with six workouts in four days, which brought my total exercise calories up to 2390. So despite my higher daily calorie intake, my overall calorie balance for the week was -1167 kcal. Coupled with the calorie deficits from the two weeks before that gives -2650 kcal, which means I’m well on my way to the -3500 kcal needed to lose a pound of fat.

Unfortunately I did even worse at keeping my sugars down this week. Five of the last seven days I was over 100g of total sugars. Now that’s no surprise on Saturday, when I had that coconut curry followed by chocolate mousse and Amaretto (140g of total sugars that day). What concerns me more is that even on days when I don’t have any flapjacks, desserts or chocolate I am still well above that limit. For example, on Thursday my total sugars were 110g, but much of that came from fruit (31g), vegetables (23g), and milk products (21g). The only added sugars I had that day were honey in tea (6g), the chutney for my sandwich (8g), the cereal in the afternoon (6.5g) and balsamic vinegar sauce on my dinner (10g). None of these foods would be considered high in sugar by most people (though as a nutritionist I know sauces and chutneys are famously little sugar bombs), and I wasn’t having large amounts of them.

Looks like I once again need to keep an eye on all the hidden sugars I’m getting!

The Score for 26 February:

Calories: Protein: Carbs: Sugars: Fat: Sat Fat: Fibre:  
1929 86.61g 246.40g 92.41g 64.05g 23.82g 28.07g  
18% 51%   30%    
     
Calories burned through exercise: 0      

 

What I ate:

Time Item Amount Calories Protein Carbs Sugars Fibre Fat Sat Fat Alcohol
07:45 Centrum Multivitamin,  Vitamin E 400IU, Vitamin D 25 µg
Tap water 500mL 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Soft boiled eggs, 2 large 125g 163 15.75 0.00 0.00 0.00 11.25 3.13 0.00
Free From pure oats 50g 171 6.40 30.30 0.60 4.30 2.70 0.50 0.00
made with boiling water 250mL 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Tesco mixed frozen fruits 100g 40 0.90 7.90 7.90 2.00 0.20 0.00 0.00
Ground flaxseeds 10g 45 2.21 0.30 0.18 2.37 4.00 0.45 0.00
Black Tea 450mL 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
12:00 Sandwich made with Genius brown sliced gluten free bread, 2 slices, with 79g 195 1.95 35.10 1.87 7.80 5.15 0.39 0.00
Tesco honey roast ham slices, 56g 64 12.10 0.67 0.67 0.34 1.46 0.56 0.00
Tesco extra mature cheddar, 41g 170 10.41 0.04 0.04 0.00 14.31 8.90 0.00
and Baxters Albert’s Victorian chutney 32g 48 0.32 11.26 10.30 0.58 0.10 0.00 0.00
Tomato 113g 23 0.81 3.57 3.57 1.15 0.35 0.12 0.00
Red seedless grapes 102g 65 0.40 15.40 15.40 0.70 0.10 0.00 0.00
Galaxy milk chocolate 42g 229 2.80 23.50 23.30 0.00 13.60 8.20 0.00
12:30 Green tea 250mL 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
16:00 Nectarine, minus stone 94g 42 1.32 8.55 8.55 1.14 0.10 0.00 0.00
17:30 Decaf black tea with skimmed milk and sugar 450mL 62 3.40 12.00 12.00 0.00 0.10 0.00 0.00
Tesco Twists cheese and onion 80g 322 7.92 55.44 2.64 4.48 6.64 1.04 0.00
19:45 Homemade Chicken and roasted butternut squash risotto 350g 290 19.93 42.37 5.39 3.22 4.02 0.55 0.00

 

Finding balance

Daily averages for the week:

Calories: Protein: Carbs: Fat: Alcohol: Fibre
2122 21% 47% 28% 3% 31g
1.71g/Kg 3.81g/Kg
Total exercise calories this week: 2105

I seem to have reached a nice balance with my diet. My total daily average calorie count remains above 2000 kcal but my macronutrient amounts and proportions are right where I want them to be. I am also getting enough fibre and had only one day last week where I missed getting my five a day of fruit and vegetables. As well, I had five workouts this week, as opposed the last week’s four, which brought my total exercise calories up above 2000 kcal. This means my overall calorie balance for the week was -1250 kcal, which should help me lose a little of the fat around my middle.

The one area where I’m not seeing much improvement is in getting my total sugars down. I had said I would try to keep my total sugars below 100g per day this week, but I was over that limit four of the last seven days. I did have some chocolates on Wednesday and a Creme egg on Saturday, so that put the sugars up those days. The other culprit is the luxurious hot chocolate I had on Tuesday, made with milk, raw cacao, brown sugar and amaretto. That drink alone contains over 46g of sugar! Clearly chocolatey things are my weakness!

So this week’s goal is to stick to my fine dark chocolate when that craving strikes and stay away from cheap milk chocolates. Hopefully I’ll have more success at keeping the sugars down this week.

The Score for 19 February:

Calories: Protein: Carbs: Sugars: Fat: Sat Fat: Fibre: Alcohol:
2146 109.87g 232.56g 98.94g 68.88g 19.22g 28.55g 16.00g
21% 44% 29% 5%
Calories burned through exercise: 388

What I ate:

Time Item Amount Calories Protein Carbs Sugars Fibre Fat Sat Fat Alcohol
08:45 Centrum Multivitamin,  Vitamin E 400IU, Vitamin D 25 µg
Tap water 500mL 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Soft boiled eggs, 2 large 125g 163 15.75 0.00 0.00 0.00 11.25 3.13 0.00
Museli made with free from pure oats, 40g 137 5.12 24.24 0.44 3.44 2.16 0.36 0.00
Activia bigpot natural yoghurt, 175g 112 8.75 11.55 11.55 0.00 3.33 2.28 0.00
Tesco mixed frozen fruits, 100g 40 0.90 7.90 7.90 2.00 0.20 0.00 0.00
Ground flaxseeds, 10g 45 2.21 0.30 0.18 2.37 4.00 0.45 0.00
Sunflower seeds, 5g 30 1.04 0.57 0.13 0.43 2.58 0.23 0.00
and Pumpkin seeds 5g 30 1.51 0.54 0.07 0.30 2.46 0.44 0.00
10:00 Black Tea 350mL 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
12:30 Trek Peanut Power energy bar 55g 203 10.20 25.70 21.10 3.00 6.00 1.00 0.00
Golden delicious apple 98g 53 0.40 11.80 11.80 1.80 0.10 0.00 0.00
13:00 Javelin training
14:30 MaxiNutrition Lean protein powder, chocolate 40g 143 20.00 13.00 12.00 0.00 0.90 0.30 0.00
in water 275mL 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
15:00 Tesco free from fusilli pasta 70g 248 4.90 54.88 0.35 1.40 0.70 0.14 0.00
Topped with homemade tomato sauce with onions, mushrooms, green pepper and borlotti beans 325g 236 10.36 27.23 14.24 9.18 7.36 1.05 0.00
Tesco Parmigiano Reggiano 5g 20 1.62 0.00 0.00 0.00 1.49 0.98 0.00
Red wine, 1 small glasses 150mL 113 0.30 0.30 0.30 0.00 0.00 0.00 16.00
Plums, 2 medium 110g 46 0.66 9.68 9.68 1.76 0.11 0.00 0.00
19:15 Grilled mackerel fillet, skin removed 85g 220 18.02 0.51 0.51 0.00 16.24 3.66 0.00
Brown basmati rice 148g 170 4.27 35.08 0.58 1.64 1.40 0.33 0.00
Kikkoman Tamari gluten free soy sauce 7g 4 0.70 0.14 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0
Spinach 30g 8 0.84 0.48 0.45 0.63 0.24 0.03 0.00
Small, sweet vine ripened tomatoes 60g 12 0.42 1.86 1.86 0.60 0.18 0.06 0
Lindt Excellence 70% Cocoa chocolate bar, 2 squares 20g 113 1.90 6.80 5.80 0.00 8.20 4.80 0

 

Best week yet!

Daily averages for the week:

Calories: Protein: Carbs: Fat: Alcohol: Fibre
2209 21% 48% 28% 3% 32g
1.72g/Kg 4.05g/Kg  
 
Total exercise calories this week: 1693  

Birthday excesses aside, this has been my best week nutritionally. This is the first week where I’ve managed to keep the calorie count below 2100 for three of the days and below 2000 for another three days. Much of that is down to having a less fat this week: I went from 34% of my calories coming from fat to 28%.  Looking at what I ate there is less cheese and more vegetarian meals. The only problem with that is I had a couple of days where I failed to reach my protein target of at least 90g. So I’ll have to watch my protein choices.

However, I also felt really good last week. I slept well most days, had enough energy to get through the day, and was in a better mood. I was able to go hard in my workouts, which backfired a little as I strained a muscle in my hip. I then had a terrible training session trying to work through it on Thursday and had to take two days off. But it had healed completely by Sunday.

Going forward, I’d say my next challenge is to keep my daily sugar levels below 100g. I know the government guidelines are 90g of total sugars, but as I had four days this week over 110g, just having a week where I stay below 100g would be a win. So I’ll be cutting back on the sugar in tea, the steamed milk with vanilla shot, the hidden sugars in sauces, and keeping an eye on how much fruit I’m eating (and the desserts!).  The challenge will be to cut down on the sugar without taking all the joy out of eating!

The Score for 12 February:

Calories: Protein: Carbs: Sugars: Fat: Sat Fat: Fibre:  
2093 124.60g 243.28g 98.36g 66.87g 19.52g 28.00g  
24% 47%   29%    
     
Calories burned through exercise: 487      

 

What I ate:

Time Item Amount Calories Protein Carbs Sugars Fibre Fat Sat Fat Alcohol
08:00 Centrum Multivitamin,  Vitamin E 400IU, Vitamin D 25 µg
Tap water 250mL 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Soft boiled eggs, 2 large 115g 150 14.49 0.00 0.00 0.00 10.35 2.88 0.00
Free From pure oats 50g 171 6.40 30.30 0.60 4.30 2.70 0.50 0.00
made with boiling water 250mL 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
topped with sultanas 25g 74 0.68 17.35 17.35 0.50 0.10 0.03 0.00
and ground flaxseed 10g 45 2.21 0.30 0.18 2.37 4.00 0.45 0.00
10:00 Black tea 350mL 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
12:15 Homemade Carrot and lentil soup 253g 157 6.46 19.28 6.83 3.39 5.45 1.06 0.00
Slice of Genius sliced brown bread, toasted 31g 78 0.78 13.95 0.74 3.10 2.05 0.16 0.00
with Sunpat chunchy peanut butter 17g 103 4.22 2.47 1.14 1.24 8.28 1.56 0.00
and honey 5g 16 0.00 4.08 4.04 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Skimmed milk 250mL 87 8.50 12.50 12.50 0.00 0.25 0.00 0.00
Yakult light 65mL 27 0.90 6.60 3.60 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Nectarine (minus stone) 88g 39 1.23 7.92 7.92 1.06 0.09 0.00 0.00
14:45 Gym session
16:00 MaxiNutrition Lean protein powder, chocolate 40g 143 20.00 13.00 12.00 0.00 0.90 0.30 0.00
in water 275mL 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
17:00 Sandwich made with Genius sliced brown bread, 2 slices 77g 195 1.93 34.65 1.85 7.70 5.08 0.39 0.00
Princes tuna chunks in spring water, 60g 59 14.10 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.30 0.06 0.00
Hellmann’s real mayonnaise, 7.5g 54 0.08 0.11 0.10 0.00 5.93 0.47 0.00
and French’s New York deli pickle relish 7.5g 7 0.08 1.58 1.48 0.12 0.00 0.00 0.00
Small, sweet vine ripened tomatoes 112g 22 0.78 3.47 3.47 1.12 0.34 0.11 0.00
20:00 Chicken and mushroom risotto 442g 444 38.18 54.93 4.47 2.71 7.36 2.76 0.00
21:30 Tesco finest Sicilian lemon mousse 100g 222 3.60 20.80 20.10 0.40 13.70 8.80 0.00

 

Opening the black box

I’ve had several requests for more detailed information on the foods I eat and how I arrive at my nutrient totals, so I’ve decided to change the format slightly. From now on I will be including the full nutritional information table I use to calculate the daily nutrition score (total calories, total grams of protein, carbs, etc.). The new table is below.

For each food I use the nutritional information provided on the package. If the information is for 100g and I’ve had 115g, I simply multiply the values by 1.15. If I make a food from scratch, such as the turkey cottage pie, I create a separate table where I add up the nutrient values for all the ingredients, then divide by the number of equal portions. When I eat out, I can usually find the nutritional information on the company’s website. I also have nutrition analysis software which I use with my sports nutrition clients, that gives the average nutrition for most foods, such as a fast food hamburger.

The problem with each of these methods is accuracy. Obviously when I eat out, I don’t weigh my food and if the company does not provide nutritional information, then I’m simply guessing. But even when I eat at home, the information on the back of packages can be surprisingly inaccurate. For example, the bag of the Genius bread I eat says 100g should have 269 kcal. However, when you add up all the nutrients and their calorie values, you get 249.4 kcal ((2.5g of protein x 4 kcal) + (45g of carbs x 4kcal) + (6.6g of fat x 9kcal)). That’s only 20 kcal off, but I find just about every product is like this, so at the end of the day my percent values for each nutrient only add up to 98% of the calories (I usually round up to get to 100%).

For exercise calories burned, I wear a Garmin watch with heart rate monitor chest strap when I exercise. This uses my height, weight, age and heart rate throughout the activity to calculate calories burned, so is fairly accurate. Like many people, I lead a fairly sedentary lifestyle, sitting at a desk most of the day and reading or watching TV in the evening. I do walk to and from the gym, and the track when I’m coaching, so I walk maybe 2 miles (3km) per day. Using my height, weight and age to calculate my resting metabolic rate (the calories burned just to keep breathing) gives about 1330kcal per day. Adding my sedentary lifestyle to this gives 665 kcal burned per day, for a total of 1995 kcal per day to maintain my weight (without exercise).

Feel free to add any other questions you may have in the comments below!

The Score for 9 February:

Calories: Protein: Carbs: Sugars: Fat: Sat Fat: Fibre:  
1985 131.90g 231.26g 131.76g 54.59g 17.25g 29.36g
27% 47% 25%
Calories burned through exercise: 287

 

What I ate:

Time Item Amount Calories Protein Carbs Sugars Fibre Fat Sat Fat
08:30 Centrum Multivitamin,  Vitamin E 400IU, Vitamin D 25 µg
Tap water 250mL 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Scrambled eggs, 2 large 115g 150 14.49 0.00 0.00 0.00 10.35 2.88
with smoked salmon 36g 57 7.96 1.01 0.11 0.18 2.34 0.36
Chestnut mushrooms 92g 7 0.92 0.28 0.28 0.64 0.18 0.09
fried in butter 5g 37 0.03 0.06 0.03 0.00 4.11 2.61
Genius brown sliced gluten free bread, 2 slices toasted 64g 160 1.60 28.80 1.54 6.40 4.22 0.32
with butter 5g 37 0.03 0.06 0.03 0.00 4.11 2.61
and St Dalfour Raspberry fruit spread 24g 54 0.12 12.88 12.88 0.46 0.18 0.00
Black Tea 450mL 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
12:45 Homemade turkey cottage pie topped with potato and parsnip mash 250g 397 40.59 39.75 10.48 6.80 7.06 1.23
with ketchup 17g 17 0.20 3.94 3.88 0.00 0.02 0.00
Small vine ripened tomatoes 95g 19 0.67 2.95 2.95 0.95 0.29 0.10
Kiwi, 2 medium peeled 115g 63 1.27 12.19 11.85 2.19 0.58 0.00
Yakult light 65mL 27 0.90 6.60 3.60 0.00 0.00 0.00
16:00 Trek Peanut Power energy bar 55g 203 10.20 25.70 21.10 3.00 6.00 1.00
Golden delicious apple 100g 53 0.40 11.80 11.80 1.80 0.10 0.00
Black tea with skimmed milk and sugar 450mL 62 3.40 12.00 12.00 0.00 0.10 0.00
16:45 Javelin training
18:15 Baked chicken breast 107g 113 25.68 0.00 0.00 0.00 1.18 0.32
Merchant Gourmet red and white quinoa 110g 203 6.71 31.46 1.65 4.40 4.62 0.55
Broccoli, microwaved 100g 40 4.30 3.20 1.90 2.50 0.60 0.20
Cucina Glaze with Balsamic vinegar of Modena 10g 26 0.05 6.40 4.80 0.05 0.05 0.00
18:45 Starbucks steamed skimmed milk with vanilla shot Tall 146 10.50 25.40 25.10 0.00 0.30 0.20
21:00 Lindt Excellence 70% Cocoa chocolate bar, 2 squares 20g 113 1.90 6.80 5.80 0.00 8.20 4.80

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