Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Day 3: Calories

Well, today was a long day. From the sounds of it, this semester is going to be rough! For instance, tomorrow I have class from 9AM-6PM NON. STOP. Does that give me an excuse to not work out? Absolutely not. By the time this blog is done, I'll probably be left with only 5 hours to sleep. In PA School you have to make sacrifices - and mine is sleep. This program may be grueling, but it's definitely worth it. In the weirdest way, I like my little busy life. My day was so busy, that I'm actually typing out this blog while my hair dries! 

[I know what you're thinking: why did she wash her hair tonight if she is running in the morning?! The answer: I use dry shampoo after my workouts. Saves me SO much time to get ready for class!]

Despite my schedule, I'm still able to follow my challenge meal plan. I haven't cheated once yet! In part because I don't want to let you down, and because I really want to prove to myself that I can do this entire 24 day challenge without cheating ONCE. 

One thing that keeps me on my toes when making healthy food choices is counting calories. I know theres 'diets' out there that have you obsess over counting calories - and I don't want you to do that. I'm introducing this topic because I think it's important for people to realize the nutritional value of their food choices. Couting calories is a good way to start. 

To begin, search a calorie calculator. Generally it's some sort of generator that you plug in your age, gender, height, weight, and how many times you work out per week. BE HONEST! After that, it'll give you a number or a range. That, my friend, is your calorie limit.

To monitor my daily meals, I use an app called My Fitness Pal. (Add me as a friend!! Jesolgat is my username). If you dont have a smartphone, you can also go directly to their website. You can manually enter your calorie limit, goals, etc. After that, you can log your food. Theres a neat scan option so you can scan a barcode of your products. I scan EVERYTHING I can to be exact : lettuce, carrots, etc. Everything else I manually enter. This app is neat because I can even log my workouts. 

Counting calories is a useful tool when people need a little bit extra help understanding what they are eating. When I first started, I quickly learned that anything I made had much fewer calories than anything premade and store bought. You'll start microwaving less and less, and meal planning more and more. :) 

Counting calories wasn't always a "thing". After the food industry made products loaded with things like sugar, people noticed rapid weight gain. To resolve this, calorie limits were set in place to help people. My hope (and my hope for you) is to never have to count a calorie again. To eat such healthy, clean, homemade meals, that counting calories is essentially useless! Our country is far from that goal though. 

Oh - and for your health and my sanity - give up all pop/soda/coke/whatever you call it. It is LITERALLY poison. Watch 'Food For Change.' I know I keep bringing up that documentary, but you'll quickly reassess what you put in your mouth. 

Wellllllll - I'm off to bed! If you want to try the workout I did today, I found them both on Pinterest