Balancing my diet

I’ve been busy these last few days, but I decided to log my nutrient intake for one day to see how far off my current diet is from being balanced.

I have made some changes recently and have started eating a healthy breakfast and lunch, and including some activity in the morning. I’ve also begun drinking a lot more water instead of having 10 cups of coffee per day! I’ve always snacked a lot, and used to have a very small unhealthy breakfast and then snack all day and not really have a ‘lunch’ per se. I now make a conscious effort to have ‘lunch’, and I’ve found in doing this I tend to think about how I’d like to fuel my body and choose to make something a little more nutritious than I used to. These are changes I have already made, but would like to if my diet is still in need of serious repair or maybe just a few more nutritious changes…

So here’s what I ate on Monday:

Breakfast: Sultana bran with lite milk, coffee

Morning snacks: 2 handfuls of Coles trail mix, 1 slice soy+linseed toast with peanut butter (no added sugar or salt variety)

Lunch: Multigrain roll with baby spinach, beetroot and tuna (in springwater)

Afternoon snacks: 1 chopped apple, 1 cup white grapes, multigrain roll with peanut butter (No added salt or sugar), coffee

Dinner: Steamed asparagus, broccolini and brussel sprouts with brown rice and 2 sausages

Late snacks: Multigrain bread with vegemite and avocado (boyfriend insisted I try it :/ Kinda weird tasting…!), Sanitarium Up&Go

Water intake: 1.4 L

I really didn’t need those snacks after dinner, and an Up&Go before bed? Don’t ask!

Although my nutrition was only tracked for 1 day I felt it was a fair representation of what I am eating at the moment and I ate when and how much I’d normally eat. I wasn’t hungry at all during the day, but ate when and what I wanted to.

The verdict

I tracked the nutritional value of each meal through and then calculated the total amounts of energy, carbs, protein and fats and graphed them in MS Excel.

% of energy intake1

NHMRC guidelines recommend that the percentage of energy should come from the following sources:

Protein 15-25%
Carbohydrate 45-65%
Fats 20-35% (with saturated fats no more than 10%)

Judging by this the sources of energy in my diet are pretty well balanced, although maybe a little more energy could be sourced from carbs.

Fat breakdown

Each type of fat shown as a percentage of total FAT intake. Saturated fat represents a bit more than 1/3 of total fat intake. Remember from the 1st graph that total fat was 32% of my total energy intake, making saturated fat 9.6% of my total ENERGY intake.

Of the fats, saturated fat intake was a bit more than 1/3 of total fats (40%). As I mentioned above, the amount of energy obtained from saturated fat in our diet should be no more than 10%. Since 9.6% of my energy intake was from saturated fat, I am within the recommended limit.

It is recommended that 14 g of fibre are consumed for every 4200 kJ (1000 calories). My total energy intake for Monday was 11258 kJ (about 2680 calories), so I should have consumed about 38 g of dietary fibre. I ate about 45 g of fibre, so I definitely consumed enough.

To be completely honest, I was very surprised that my diet was so balanced. I’m glad I crunched the numbers, because it makes me happy knowing when I eat that I’m giving my body just what it needs and I’m not depriving myself of any macronutrients.

Increasing my fibre and water intake has been a big goal for me for a long time so I’m glad the type of meals I’m consuming provide plenty of fibre to keep things moving, and I’m drinking much more water than I used to (averaging 1 to 1.5 litres a day). Most importantly, I’ve been feeling much more hydrated and energized lately, so I know I’m doing something right!

Things I would like to change

Although I was pretty happy with how balanced my consumption of carbs, fats and protein is, I feel that maybe the distribution of my food intake throughout the day could be modified slightly. I’ve been feeling lately that I tend to binge in the afternoon and evening. I’ve tried to correct this by eating a bigger and more nutritious breakfast and making sure I eat a proper lunch, but I still find myself eating the bulk of my foods later in the day and I’ve been feeling rather bloated when I go to bed and I believe it’s affecting how well I sleep.

As such, I would like to aim to increase the bulk of my snacking in the first two thirds of the day and to eat my dinner a little earlier and prevent eating large snacks or meals after 7 pm. (On Monday I ate dinner at 8 pm and ate late snacks at around 9.45 before going to bed at around 11.30 pm).

I’d also like to continue with the effort I’ve been making lately to increase the amount of healthy, unsaturated fats I consume, and to snack a bit more on fruit and veggies rather than so much bread (which actually has only recently become a habit). This will ensure I’m getting a good range of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals with my carbohydrate intake. Veggies are just so delicious!

I hate to think how many calories I used to consume!! I’m glad I’m no longer living off block after block of chocolate, insane amounts of coffee and packets of sugary lollies… Boy have I changed, and oh how much better I feel! šŸ™‚

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4 Responses to Balancing my diet

  1. Helen says:

    I’m impressed, I must say. Rarely do I encounter a blog that’s
    equally educative and interesting, and let me tell you, you have hit
    the nail on the head. The issue is an issue that not enough folks are speaking intelligently about.
    Now i’m very happy I came across this in my search for something concerning this.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Good for you, Kerrie! Love your blog and its name. Check out Kris Carr, who also made radical diet changes because she had cancer. She’s amazing! Thank you also for following my blog:Inspirationalmuse. More healthy stuff. šŸ™‚ Cheers! Michelle

  3. bidninja says:

    There are some very very good ideas here. Cannot wait to put some of these into action. Its very going to bring very good vibrations wherever the vibrations should be

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