Google+

A Full Three Days of Eats (Gasp!)

Hello friends!

So a couple months ago I mentioned that for my Nutrition class this semester we had to do a “Diet Analysis,” where we measured and tracked everything we ate and drank for three days. We then entered all the information into a program (a CD called Diet Analysis Plus) which analyzed all our stats. I asked if you all would be interested in seeing my stats and the overwhelming answer was YES!

I always find it fascinating to see what and how much other people eat, but I’d never actually tracked what I ate or counted calories before, so this was a really interesting project. It’s hard work measuring everything you eat, though!!

014

Before this project, I literally had no idea how many calories I was eating in a day, although I figured it was about right since my weight is stable and I never let myself get too hungry (hungry Anne = angry Anne) or too stuffed (hate that feeling).

To preface, some info:

  • I am 5’4’’ and about 120 pounds, give or take.
  • I note drinks EXCEPT for water. I drink water all day long, every day, out of my BPA free Nalgene :) It comes everywhere with me!
  • I will link to any meals that are on my recipe page.

Without further ado, here are my eats!

Day 1

(~1900 kcalories)

Breakfast (~400 kcals)

001

  • Microwave Banana Oatmeal (0.5 C oats, 0.5 C skim milk, small banana, 1/4 C blueberries, 1 Tbsp. almond butter)
  • Black tea (unsweetened) with 0.25 C skim milk

Lunch (~550 kcals):

038

  • Egg Sandwich (1 whole wheat pita, 2 eggs (microwaved), 1 laughing cow light swiss cheese, 0.5 C fresh spinach)
  • Progresso Less Sodium Veggie Soup (2 C… entire can. Still too much sodium. Oops!)

Afternoon Snack (~400 kcals)

  • 2 slices whole wheat bread, toasted and topped with 2 tsp. peanut butter (and then dipped in yogurt mixture below… YUM!)
  • 0.5 C nonfat plain Greek yogurt, mixed with 1 tsp. strawberry jam

Dinner (~450 kcals)

004

  • Quinoa (0.25 C dry) topped with sautéed shrimp (1 serving) and broccoli, and roasted parsnips and carrots (in 1 Tbsp. olive oil).
  • 1 Tbsp. low sodium soy sauce

Day 2

(~1900 kcalories)

Breakfast (~350 kcals)

  • 1 whole wheat pita
  • 1 medium banana
  • 1 Tbsp. almond butter

Morning Snack (~200 kcals)

020

  • 0.5 C nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 0.5 C blueberries
  • Half a pear

Lunch (~500 kcals)

023

  • Turkey Sandwich (2 slices whole wheat bread, 1 serving oven roasted turkey breast, slice tomato, sliced avocado, 0.5 C fresh spinach, 2 tsp. mustard)
  • Mexican-style sweet potato fries with 2 Tbsp. organic ketchup
  • 0.5 C unsweetened applesauce

Afternoon Snack (~300 kcals)

  • Dried peaches (no sugar added) (12 g)
  • Green tea
  • Chocolate coconut chew Larabar

Dinner (~550 kcals)

026

  • 0.75 C brown rice, topped with 1 C kidney beans, boiled zucchini, squash, and peas, 5g feta cheese, and 0.5 C Prego fresh mushroom tomato sauce

Day 3

(~1950 kcalories)

Breakfast (~400 kcals)

004

  • 2 C Kashi Heart to Heart cereal (Yes, apparently I eat way more than the serving size)
  • 1 C skim milk
  • Banana & berries

Morning Snack (~100 kcals)

  • 1 orange
  • Black tea (unsweetened) with 0.25 C skim milk

Lunch (~500 kcals)

001

  • 1 whole wheat pita with 2 Tbsp. hummus, cucumber, and 0.5 C fresh spinach
  • Huge Goat Cheese & Beet Salad (2 C mixed greens, beets, green pepper, cucumber, avocado, 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinaigrette)
  • 1 kiwi (skin and all!)

Afternoon snack (~250 kcals)

  • 0.5 C nonfat plain Greek yogurt topped with a sliced pear, 0.5 C oats, and 0.125 C walnuts (which were microwaved with cinnamon… mmm!)

Dinner (~550 kcals)

018

  • 1 C whole wheat pasta topped with one 2.6 oz. can pink salmon (mixed with 1 Tbsp. dijon mustard and 0.25 C nonfat plain Greek yogurt – this made my pasta sauce), 0.5 C frozen peas, broccoli and sliced tomato (similar to this recipe)

Impromptu Evening Outing (~150 kcals)

  • 6 oz. red wine (about a glass and a half)

So there you have it! A full three days of eats in my world.

Some thoughts:

  • The program calculated my recommended daily energy need at around 2000 kcals. If I didn’t exercise, this would be less.
  • All three days I was right around 1900 kcals, but I didn’t go out to eat at all, so I assume my count would be up to 2200 kcals on those days. (I’m a fan of the squiggly line effect — eat cleaner at home (within reason) so you have more room for indulgence when you go out!)
  • It’s recommended that our calories balance fall within the following percentages:

Carbohydrates: 45-65%

Fats: 20-35%

Protein: 10-35%

Here’s my three day average percentages (not sure why this adds up to 99%… maybe the 1% was alcohol since I had wine?):

image

Yay! I was within all the ranges! My carb intake was on the higher end, fat was right in the middle, and protein was on the lower end. (I’m going to work on increasing this, especially with all my running right now!)

As you guys can see, I’m a big fan of spreading out my calories throughout the day. I don’t like having HUGE meals because I don’t like feeling too full, and I’m the type of person that needs constant fuel all day long. It was really interesting to see my calorie spread and all my stats.

Some questions for you all:

  • Have you ever tracked your eats?
  • Were your stats what you expected? Did anything surprise you? (I was surprised by the huge amount of cereal I’m eating… but it’s the only way it’ll keep me full, and it’s not super caloric cereal, so it’s all good)
  • Are you a grazer or a 3 square meals a day person?
  • Are my three days of eats what you expected?

If you have any more specific questions about my eats or stats, please feel free to ask :)

Stay tuned — I’ll be back with my eating tips for feeling satisfied all day long. Also… a fun GIVEAWAY!

Comments

  1. 1

    New to your blog and I love it! It is very hard to write down and measure everything you eat…calorie counting is hard work, but it is very effective for people wishing to lose weight…or simply analyze their intake for a class :) I think it’s an enlightening experience for anyone, though.

    I’m a huge tracker when I’m trying to lose weight. My weight naturally bounces around a lot and I’ve lost 80 pounds to get to the weight I’m at now. That required a lot of food journaling and to me, that was key. For weight maintenance, I think satiety signaling is fine, so long as you listen to those satiety signals :)

    Great post…good luck in school and pursuing your RD! It’s a great field :)


    Welcome to the blog! :) It really was hard work tracking everything – but very enlightening, for sure. It really makes you aware of what you’re eating! Congrats on your 80 pound weight loss – that’s amazing! :) -Anne

  2. 2

    That’s really interesting. I bet you’re happy you’re right on track! I tracked my food once prior to dieting and it’s amazing how much calories add up and you have no idea. I aim for 3 small meals and a snack in the mid-afternoon, about 400 calories each. I hate the feeling of being fuel or too hungry too, so it works out well.

  3. 3

    Wow- you are right on! I have tracked my food before, and usually know now off hand how I am doing. :)

  4. 4

    thanks for this post Anne! it’s super helpful to have the nutrition recommendations all in one place and to see what a healthy diet looks like day to day :) I’m right on par with you about eating “style” (ie. fuel all day long!), but I was wondering what time of day you workout and if this affects your meals; for example, I workout in the evening and am usually not hungry for dinner, so getting the protein and carbs I need is often a challenge the evening of a hard workout. do you find that hard workouts curb or increase your appetite?


    Great question, Crystal! I usually work out in the morning (I lose motivation and energy as the day goes on!).

    On Tuesday and Thursday I have class later in the day and am at home doing work before then, so I’ll have breakfast around 7, work out around 10 or so, and have lunch at a normal time when I’m back. If I’m really hungry I’ll have an extra morning snack before my workout.

    If it’s a Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, I am in the office from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., so I’ll get up at 6:30, have a small snack (sometimes just half a banana, sometimes a piece of toast with nut butter if I’m hungrier) and go work out. Then around 9 a.m. or so I’ll have a real breakfast before heading to work. (This isn’t shown in any of the days I tracked because I was tracking during part of the snow storm debacle.) On days like this I won’t have a mid-morning snack since I had a pre-workout snack and a later breakfast.

    On days I have a normal workout, it definitely increases my hunger. If I have a really intense workout like a long run, though, that will sometimes mess up my appetite and make me less hungry. I usually just try to listen to hunger cues. If I’m hungrier, I’ll eat more, if I’m not, I won’t. It all evens out. Usually the day AFTER a long run I’m hungrier. -Anne

  5. 5

    I hope I get to try software like this when I get into my food and nutrition courses! After seeing your eats and total calories, and another bloggers over the weekend, I’m feeling like I probably don’t eat enough at all. I’m hoping to track my calories for a few days next week and get a better idea of where I’m at.

  6. 6

    I was actually really surprised at how filling and healthy your meals looked and you were only at around 1900 calories per day. I have just recently began tracking my calories and am super surprised at how quickly the cals add up. I have noticed that because I am tracking I make healthier choices. (It’s kind of like a game where I want to keep my cals in a certain range).

    I am very interested to hear about your tips for staying satisfied all day long. I feel like I am hungry ALL the time. Maybe this is because I am not eating the right things or the right amount of calories. I appreciate you documenting your meals like this, it will give me some ideas. I am currently eating around 5-7 small meals a day – which seems crazy to me but I am honoring my hunger and have added an intense boot camp regimen to my mornings while still doing my normal running at night. I new to your blog too, and I am definitely a fan! I will be sticking around to hear your tips!

  7. 7

    I absolutely loved reading this post! I had to do this exact same thing back in college for a Fitness Physiology Class that I took.
    I noticed that your daily food intake didn’t really include desserts. How do you go without? I confess to eating some form of dessert every single day, but it’s a habit I want to break. Any suggestions?


    Hey Steph! Another great question!

    I’m definitely a big fan of dessert, I just didn’t happen to have any on these three days. My approach is keeping dessert as a special indulgence, not an every day occurrence. As I mentioned in the post, I aim to eat healthier on regular days so that I have more wiggle room when I go out to dinner, on weekends/fun outings, etc. I also don’t buy dessert foods to keep at home because for me it’s out of sight, out of mind! So that could help if your problem is the after dinner freezer raiding. You’ll find that if you slowly phase out having them all the time, you’ll stop craving them all the time, too. Your body will get used to it – sometimes it’s just breaking the habit! I LOVE ice cream, but I never buy it to have at home, because then it wouldn’t be as fun. So I save it for when I’m out as a special occasion (my favorite thing ever is walking around with ice cream on a beautiful day), and would just count it as my afternoon snack or, if it’s with dinner, just write it off as part of the squiggly line effect. If your problem is temptation while at work, having something on hand (e.g. a big snack of yogurt and fruit) will help, too. I used to cave to sweets and candy more when I wasn’t prepared at work and didn’t pack enough food, especially for the afternoons. Letting yourself get too hungry usually = making bad decisions. And the candy wouldn’t help because I’d still be hungry and then just have a sugar crash and feel sick!

    My other tips are indulging in a smaller amount of a REAL dessert as opposed to a larger amount of “diet” dessert, and making sure that when you do have dessert, it’s worth it. For example: my mom’s homemade cookies? Totally worth having a couple. Ice cream on a beautiful day? Worth it. Store bought cake at work? Not worth it. Hard candy/processed candy bars? Not worth it.

    I hope this helps! -Anne

  8. 8

    Anne – thanks so much for sharing this. It is REALLY interesting. Like you, I have never counted calories. I just look at how my body feels after foods and if and when I get too hungry. I think I would be quite surprised if I counted. Most days I eat more than my 6 foot one (180lbs) boyfriend . . . but it works for me.

  9. 9

    Thats awesome that you just posted this, a friend of mine recently started tracking what she is eating and did the same for her husband 1 day and it was like 3000 calories so I thought when I get back I would like to track what David and I eat for a few days. I can’t wait to see how much he puts down! And me too of course! Thanks for the motivation, and I knew you were a rock star eater, no question!


    Ha oh man I want to hear what David gets to – I bet it’s like 40,000 cals per day ;) -A

  10. 10

    Thanks for the quick response Anne! (I’m a blog lurker who found your blog through Jenna’s). I like your point about how once you eat less sugar your body stops craving it. That really makes sense! Thanks for the great advice.

  11. 11

    Those are some delicious looking meals you posted. Do you know if those were exercise days? During marathon training I get starving the day after my long runs.

    I’ve gone through phases of counting calories or points, but for me led to becoming obsessive about my food. I think what most surprised me when I first started counting was serving sizes – especially for things like cereal and ice cream! I still measure out certain foods to keep my portions under control. Like you, I have mini-meals throughout the day.


    Hey Liz! Yes, they were exercise days, but not super long run or day after super long run days (I’m the same way about the day after hunger!) I’m currently training for a 10 miler (my day-by-day training details are under the “training” tab), and I believe Day 2 was a 5 mile run day, and Days 1 and 3 were strength training/lighter cardio. My eats don’t really increase noticeably unless super long runs are involved :) -Anne

  12. 12

    i’m usually a 3 square meals kinda gal…mainly because if i don’t eat like that i’ll snack all.day.long. i’ve tried to track my stats, but i became WAAAAAAAY too obsessed with it, so I stopped. I would love to have a scale like yours though, mainly to keep portion sizes reasonable!


    I may or may not be doing a giveaway tomorrow for that exact same scale ;) -Anne

  13. 13

    Thank you for posting this Anne! You are a great example of someone who eats healthy and balanced meals :)
    I’m a total grazer too… I don’t like big meals. I tend to eat snacks all day long.

  14. 14

    Hi Anne!

    I’m a new reader to your blog too! I have fought the body image demon for years and finally have decided I’m happy, healthy and beautiful, and it’s time to kick the demon out! I have tracked calories for years, I still do now. Not always on a daily basis but it really helps to put things back in perspective and keep balance in my eating. I’m more of a 3 meal a day type person, but I will eat a morning/afternoon snack if I’m hungry. I listen to what my body is telling me and if it needs a snack, I eat one! But many days I just have my 3 square meals. I just started my own blog and I love looking at you meals and recipes to find new ways to eat healthy. Thanks for sharing your story with us!


    Thanks for the sweet comment, Rebecca! Good for you for developing a healthier relationship, both with food and yourself :) And I love the blog name! -Anne

  15. 15

    wow, i was really suprised by how on target you were every day with your calories within such a tight range. that said, i have never once tracked a days worth of eats. it kind of stresses me out.

    love your blog! i lived in arlington to 4 years and dc for a few more, so i feel like i am back home!

    I was surprised, too! Yeah, I would never be able to track my eats on a daily basis – it was so much work and a huge hassle to measure/weigh everything, but VERY interesting and cool to see my stats :) I’m so glad you like the blog! Arlington is the best ;) -Anne

  16. 16

    I’m pretty big on grazing myself! The only time I really do not want to eat anything is about 3-4 hours before I go to sleep- unless it’s a little tea.

    I eat a big bowl of cereal in the morning as well! But I see it as a way of sustaining myself through the day and giving myself a good morning boost to my system.

    For about a month or so I kept track of everything I ate and entered it into a program that came with a BodyBugg that my parents had given me. What interested me most about it was that I was actually eating less than I should, when considering my activity level. I always ate more fiber than the recommended amount and was really good in the protein- but the fats seemed to pile up a bit.. but I think there should be a distinction between fat types. Even though, yes, fat is fat, I think it makes a difference if its from candy bars vs. avos and fish :)

    Good job with staying within the target range!!


    I definitely agree on the fats – for this project, one of the questions the teacher asked was how we could change one of the unhealthy fats in our diet to a more healthy fat. I didn’t have any unhealthy fat on these days, but it definitely makes a difference! -Anne

    • 17

      I’ve found a similar trend in my eating as Renee, that I tend to eat less than what is recommended for my activity level, but I notice if I eat more I feel full. I’m wondering if I should gradually increase my calories to my recommended level or stay with what’s been working. I’m not losing weight so I assumed I was fine. Nonetheless, I don’t want to underfuel my body!


      As long as you are maintaining a healthy body weight, then I’d say stick with what’s working for you :) Everyone is different! But if you do feel hungry, by all means, eat more! -Anne

  17. 18

    You are such a consistent eater. That is fascinating. Did you change what you were eating knowing you were tracking it or did you stay true?

    Awesome!

    Nope, that’s really how I eat! (Unless I’m going out to eat or traveling, then it’ll be a little more indulgent, but nothing too crazy!) I’ve gotten to a good point with my food intake where I know what kind and how much food makes me feel good, and I stick with it :) Our teacher specifically said she really wanted us to just eat normally for the project – aka not eat super healthy just because we knew we were tracking it. That way we’d really be able to analyze our diet truthfully! -Anne

  18. 19

    Fascinating! It seems like you are eating a whole lot more than I do (volume-wise) and yet you weigh 10 lbs less than I do-I am 5’4″ (well, slightly under) and hovering around 130 right now. My goal is to get down to around 120. maybe your activity level is greater (I have a sedentary desk job-boo…but I also workout 4-5x a week) and of course the food you are eating is probably quite a bit healthier…I eat pretty healthfully but I am sure there’s room for improvement in this area. I’d love it if you did this for a full week-then I could just copy your eating habits and finally drop those nagging 10 lbs that have crept up on me…. :D


    I’m a HUGE fan of volume eating… it’s all about food that provides maximum volume and nutrition for less calories. I just feel way more satisfied that way! I try to bulk up lunch and dinner in particular with lots of veggies. :) I don’t think I’ll be tracking a whole week anytime soon… but it would be very similar to this with a couple dinners out, a little more wine, and one or two desserts worked in! :) Also, I am very active – exercising means I get to eat more, after all! Plus, I just feel better. I aim to work out 6 days a week with one rest day, but even that day isn’t completely sedentary. You can check out my current fitness schedule under my training tab! -Anne

  19. 20

    Wow, miss consistent here, aren’t we ;-)
    I used to keep track, and did very intently for 1 day and found out I was eating 2-3x the amount of fiber I needed. LOL. Besides that one day, I think there’s bliss in not knowing how much ice cream is in the cup ;-)

    I totally agree ;) And yeah I was way over on the fiber, too, lol. But that’s not a bad thing! -Anne

  20. 21
    Adventurer says:

    Really impressive and informative. Looking forward to more! :-)

  21. 22
    Jen Robinson says:

    I find the most useful thing in tracking calories for myself and Dan these past couple months has been learning about portion sizes- in terms of how much rice or pasta or cereal (lol) we are actually eating when we put what we normally do in a bowl. It’s pretty eye-opening. On a day where I let myself eat, snack and drink as much as I want I go up to about 2200 calories, otherwise I hover more around 1500. Keep in mind I’m a lot less active than you are and I am 2″ shorter but weigh the same as you! :)

  22. 23

    Wow … you are SO HEALTHY!!! The calories in 1 day of my eats would amount to at least a week of yours!!

    I never used to count calories, but when I was in high school I was a freak about my weight and used to know how many grams of fat were in just about everything and never went above 30grams a day. I’m only about 4 kilos heavier now and I exercise less (though still exercise) and eat like a maniac!! I am a grazer though and tend to eat lots of carbs and fats throughout the day (cheese is my best friend) but in fairly small portions. Email update soon please! xox

  23. 24

    Boy, that seems like an extra healthy three days! Your diagram is almost perfect – way to go! I’m assuming I’ll have to do this for one of my nutrition classes at some point – I am very interested for the results…

  24. 25

    Very interesting! I have tracked from time to time using daily plate on livestrong.com. For me, i tended to eat better when I had to write it down. Typically, there are days where getting enough veggies is hard for me and surprisingly deficient when I track my intake. I kind of think that is because I eat so much on the go and those are a little less grab and go than say an apple or yogurt.

  25. 26

    I loooove this post! I was a big fan of Livestrong’s “Daily Plate” website where you can log your eats & exercise, and they give you a cool pie chart similar to yours :-) I love how you have so much fun variety in your daily meals! Delicious.

  26. 27

    As an almost-RD, I LOVED reading this!!! I’d give your diet an A+ :)

  27. 28

    Hi, I loved seeing this and seeing the different kinds of foods you incorporate in your daily meals.
    I was wondering how you eat 1900 and still maintain being 120lbs. I am about 5`3 and am 144(not my “happy” weight). I eat about 1350 a day.
    Do you burn a lot in you excercise routine?
    Thanks!

    • 29

      Hey Aleisha! I do burn a good amount from exercise and am very active, but it’s important to make sure you are fueling your body properly either way! I’d recommend going to see a Registered Dietitian for some advice on your diet and how to get to your “happy” weight in a sustainable, healthy way :)

  28. 30

    The idea of tracking what I eat + calories stresses me out. I don’t know if I could have ever been a calorie counter… This was really informative though, bookmarked for meal ideas!!

  29. 32

    How did you come to your estimated calorie needs for a day? I’ve tried online calorie calculators before, but they all seem to give different outputs. Any tips?

  30. 34

    I’m over here from the fitnessista browsing around a little more. I’m at your height but 20 lbs heavier. I’m using a calorie counter on my phone that puts me at 1200 calories a day. But I’m struggling big time to lose the weight. Probably my most fit, healthy adult weight would be 125 but that still feels so out of reach for me right now. Only 15 lbs but my weight won’t budge. I’ve been stuck for a while. I ‘m now participating in the winter shape up workouts but pretty consistently have always worked out. I’m afraid you’re going to recommended increasing my calories but honestly that scares me. I also eat a very healthy mostly whole foods diet. I just can’t seem to lose it. Any suggestions?

  31. 36

    I just found this post and I love that you show you can eat quite a lot and still maintain a healthy weight even without exercising. I’ve struggled with disordered eating in the past and I’m paying the price now trying to restore my metabolism and increasing my calories. There was a point where I couldn’t eat more than 1200 calories without gaining and the saddest part was that I thought it was normal and I’d be like that for the rest of my life! So thank you for showing me that you can “normally” aka eat lots of delicious foods, still be healthy and not fear foods.

Speak Your Mind

*

Current ye@r *