Thursday, March 31, 2011

Counting Calories

The other day I decided to download a calorie counter app on my ipad. My reason for doing this started off as curiosity of what percentage my diet broke down to, in terms of protein, carbs, and fat. What I was going to do with this information once I had it was still unclear, but knowing seemed like a good idea. Perhaps I would show it to my nutritionist and she would recommend that I eat a ton more carbs…not the complex ones, just the basic yummy ones that always get a bad rap. Wouldn't that be nice? "Brianna, I would recommend eating more pancakes at breakfast, making sure you throw in some fries at lunch, and always polish off your dinner with some brownies." Only in my dreams I suppose.

So the other day I started plugging in my meal after lunch time and quickly realized that was the wrong day to start this gig. We had a barbecue at the training center -- just because it was Thursday -- and I took full advantage with a hamburger, chicken breast, baked beans, potato salad, and a nice ice cream bar to finish it off. Well, that was over 1000 calories and it almost made me regret the ice cream. The ice cream, however, is a very rare occasion, but the huge lunches are not. Having a dining hall at your disposal after hours of hard training that leave you famished makes filling up very easy. I continued plugging in my numbers and quickly realized I will never in the foreseeable future eat less than 2000 calories a day. Dinner hadn't even been cooked yet and I was already there.

The other thing I have quickly realized is that portion sizes are created for toddlers. Do you know what a 4oz chicken breast looks like? It looks like that chicken was extremely flat chested. I looked on the back of my pita chips yesterday to find out that a serving size is 7 chips. Well I was already 3 servings in by that point. So much for the "guilt free" the front of the bag promised. The only thing I probably stay on point with serving sizes is my vegetable portions.

I'm not sure yet what I'm going to do with this information but I do hope to put it to good use. I plan on tailoring my eating habits and watching what I eat a bit more closely when I start competing but for right now I am still in the watching phase. For instance, yesterday morning I tweeted a picture of my breakfast …

I watched that disappear quite quickly.

Of course I don't mean to make light of eating healthy and creating good eating habits. I think it's super important. I'm mainly just pointing out how easy it is to be unaware of what you consume until you put it down in black and white. For me, counting calories isn't so important but counting what column those calories are going in, is. I have a feeling my carbs covered in sugar diet suggestion won't do much for me nor will it help me fly through the air any further so I'll save that for special occasions.


Bianca said...

Welcome to my world.

brit brat said...

this made me crack up! flat chested chicken? hahahaha
giiirl since I started using the app, my goal is 1200 calories a day so I can lose 10 lbs in 5 weeks. DO YOU KNOW HOW HARD IT IS TO EAT 1200 CALORIES A FREAKING DAY??
sorry, my blood sugar is low :(

Brianna said...

buuuut, if you exercise you can eat more calories and still lose 10 pounds!! win, win.

Daniel said...

Ms. Glenn,
This made me think about something common in the other athletic sport I follow, pro cycling.
During the big Tours (France, Italy, Spain), an average pro rider consumes anywhere from 6,000 to over 9,000 calories a day, trying to keep ahead of the expenditure.
And will lose weight throughout the 21-day race.

Just change events; race the 10K, lol!

And tell Ms. Brit Brat, jogging for more minutes than Big Sis will help balance it out.

Kevin said...

Ms. Glenn,

I appreciate your efforts because we are what we eat. For me it is not how much I eat, but what I eat. The food today as a whole isn't all that wholesome. It is full of chemicals and byproducts. I think this is really doing some harm on all Americans. If we could all get back to the basics. Eating whole foods, organic produce, and animals raised free range style. Keep informing us on fitness and health. Thanks