The deeper I head into the task I have set myself, the more I am realising that food and diet is a crucial element that cannot be taken lightly. One of the main issues I suffered with in the early stages was not knowing what or how much I was eating on a daily basis.
Little did I know, MyFitnessPal existed.
For those of you who don’t know, MyFitnessPal is a calorie counter website and app which allows the user to set themselves goals and monitor their food intake. It’s for those who wish to lose or gain weight, as well as people who purely want to watch what they eat.
It’s full of simple and enlightening quirks, which I have found to be extremely helpful from the moment I downloaded it from the App Store a fortnight ago. Oh, did I mention it’s free!
If your someone who is into their fitness and has a specific goal in mind, then I would highly recommend getting this app. Now it’s time to look at how I’ve been doing these past few weeks…
After downloading the app for my IPhone, the first step was to set my goals. By now you must have grasped that my aim is to gain weight and muscle, so naturally I said I was looking to bulk up.
I began on 13st, which was an increase of nearly a full stone from when I started training. So the next logical step is to try and go a stone heavier, hopefully building up to a weight of 14st by the summer.
After inputting some details, MyFitnessPal gave me these recommendations for daily intake…
Saturated Fat: 37g
If that seems like a lot to you…then your correct. I would estimate that I ate around 2,500 calories at most on average before I downloaded the app. Before I started training (the cardio days) I would estimate around 2,000 calories at most.
The thought of being told you can eat more may sound appealing, but trust me, when you have 800 calories left to consume at 11pm the fun comes to a halt.
Huh??…is the reaction I expect from the majority when they hear the word macro. Put simply, ‘to macro’ means tracking the number of grams of protein, carbohydrates, and fats you consume on a particular day.
Luckily, MyFitnessPal do all this for you, recommending what percentage of carbs, fats and proteins you should be taking in.
On the left are my daily requirements. As you can see on Monday 18th January I was slightly over on all two areas in terms of percentage, carbs and protein albeit marginally.
My fat intake for the same day was six percent below my 30% goal. I will use the same day to showcase what I ate and what time of day I take in the most calories.
Of course it’s important to stress that not every day is the same, so I am using this particular day as an example.
EXAMPLE OF WHAT I EAT
Below is just some of the foods I ate on 18th January. Keep an eye out for the overall breakfast, dinner, lunch and snack totals.
So on this day it’s clear to see I am quite far off from reaching my targets in a number of areas. Most importantly my calorie intake is 479 below what it needs to be. I am also around 40g away from fufilling my carbs and fat goals.
However, it’s not all bad news! My protein goal was met, and surpassed, and my sugar cosumption is only a mere 5g away from being pefect.
One problem I have encountered though is my sodium intake, which is consistently over what it should be on a daily basis. This is something I need to look into as it becoming a reccuring theme.
So where did my calories come from most on the 18th? Lets find out…
Perhaps interestingly, lunch was my most carb-filled time of day, followed by dinner and snacks. Breakfast is down in bottom position, and with a quick glance it is clear to see why. A venison sausage sandwich in a wholemeal bun was never going to lap up the calories…
The key reason why lunch was the highest on this day was due to me having my protein shake at this time. I take three scoops of My Protein’s Hard Gainer Extreme, which contains nearly 400 calories per shake. Oh, and it’s chocolate smooth flavour, which makes it sound tastier than it is…
Scrolling down my results the days following the 18th shows me something. There is no pattern to my eating in the slightest, with the most calorie filled time of day alternating between lunch, dinner and snacks.
I like to think this is a healthy thing, as I would hate nothing more to be stuck on the same cycle of eating every day. The unpredictability of what I am eating makes this process that little bit more exciting.