It’s time to get down to business! Welcome to DAY 4 of our jumpstart to ProjectU. 🙂 They say that “what gets measured gets managed” and that’s as true in the world of nutrition and fitness as it is anywhere. So the first step to improving our eating habits is figuring out what our eating habits actually are. With that in mind, we’re going to play a little game. Your assignment will be split into two parts for this: today’s estimates and tomorrow’s results.
- So let’s start by grabbing our journals/blogs/record-keeping tools of amazingness. Begin an entry with today’s date.
- Answer the following questions:
- How would I describe my eating habits? What would I say about how I eat if someone asked me to describe my daily food intake? Do I overeat, undereat, or eat just the right amount?
- If I had to estimate which macronutrient (carbs, fats, proteins) I eat the most daily, I would say…
- What food choices would I most like to improve?
- I would guess that I eat approximately _______ calories in an average day.
Great! No shame in however you’re eating now. This is our baseline from which we will work to tweak and improve. Everyone starts from somewhere, so all I need you to do is be honest and candid with yourself. It’s just food…not a reflection of your worth or character.
Now, let’s get to measuring. Go to www.myfitnesspal.com and/or download the MyFitnessPal (MFP) app for your phone. It’s free. They’ll ask you some basic information about your weight and make some (bogus) recommendations about what percentage of your calories should come from different macronutrients. IGNORE that. All I want you to do today is to use it as a recording tool. We can tweak the goals later.
As you eat today, make the same choices you usually do. Eat with the same mindset you had yesterday, but record EVERYTHING you’re eating in MFP. (if you’re opening this after breakfast, go back and add everything you’ve eaten so far).
Once in the app, click on “Diary” at the bottom mid-right. If you’re accessing it on a computer, click on “Food” in the menu bar at the top.
From there, it will bring up various meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks) and give you the option to “Add Food.” As you eat, you’ll want to click “Add Food” and search the database for foods that match up with what you’re eating. There will be a lot of guessing and estimating today and that’s okay. This is just to get a general idea of where you’re starting. It doesn’t have to be perfect.
If you eat something with a barcode, you can scan it with your phone and MFP will automatically add it for you. Just look for the little barcode symbol beside the “Search for a food” box.
If you eat at a restaurant, you can search for a food by the name of the restaurant and the item. Ex. “O’Charley’s Loaded Potato Soup.”
If you eat at home with a homemade recipe, search “Homemade” with the name of your item. It’ll bring up someone else’s recipe, but it will get us close enough for today’s purposes.
Don’t forget to include drinks in today’s totals.
If you have any trouble with setting up MFP or logging your food, email or text me and I’ll walk you through it. firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-924-1174.
Don’t sweat the results of this. All you’re doing today is logging food. That’s it. Eat what you normally eat and log it into MFP. Easy peasy.
Have a great day! See you tomorrow!
All the best,
Ashley & the ProjectU Team