2019 Calorie Counting: Week 1

If you haven’t been following along, start with my explanation of this calorie counting experiment.

I made it through my first week!

Macros

I noticed the calorie counts in MyFitnessPal didn’t match up with 4/4/9 (cals per gram of carb/protein/fat) calculations, so I started a spreadsheet of daily macro totals and will be using my own calculated calories from now on. Turns out that there are several different methods that can be used by nutrition labels to determine calories.

The averages from my baseline were 259 grams of carbs, 99 grams of fat, and 140 grams of protein for 2,485 calories. During my first week I averaged 212g C, 83g F, and 196g P for 2,379 cals. My goals were 220g C, 70g F, and 200g P for 2,310 cals. I’m really pleased with the shift I was able to make. It could have been even better, but I faced some challenges right off the bat.

Many of the meals I had left from last week’s Factor 75 delivery were very high in fat and eating two of them was already putting me at or over my goal for the highest calorie macro. To make up for it, I decided to cut back on carbs and still try to get as close as I could with protein. It was too late to change my food delivery for this week, so I’m having a similar issue, though not quite as bad because I’m able to plan it out right away.

My housekeeper brought me a bunch of food, so I have no idea what the actual macro content was for 4 of my meals. I simply estimated based on items I found in the MFP database. My actual intake for the week could be very different (either high or low) from what I estimated.

On the first day I was realizing how much the volume of food is when you replace fat calories with proteins and carbs.

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Seems like a lot of food!!!

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My usual lunch would be the Factor 75 meal without the sweet potatoes and cottage cheese. I powered through even though I’d already eaten a lot more in the morning than normal. After dinner I was so full I didn’t even think about snacks.

On day two I ate a late lunch right before going to a movie so I wouldn’t get popcorn and Mountain Dew. It was tempting. On day four my body seemed to already be adjusting; after eating a bit for breakfast, my stomach was rumbling at noon. A couple hours after eating some banana pudding I was given, I could feel cravings, which I hadn’t had in the previous three days. I’d been so full I hadn’t thought about treats. That’s what excessive carbs do! On day five shortly after finishing off the pasta and banana pudding I could feel the meal. Too many carbs!

I still don’t like the macro tracking, but having the Factor 75 meals makes it bearable. If I was cooking on my own and had to input recipes and serving sizes I may have quit already. I’ve been planning out¬†everything I’ll eat the night before, which has been huge for me. I just look at the log and eat what I’m supposed to. There isn’t any stress about needing to get 50 more grams of protein at 10pm.

Water

During my baseline I averaged 101 ounces of water, but like I mentioned in the last post i was already increasing my intake. This week I averaged 110 ounces per day, for a nice bump. On days I go to the gym, the average is even higher at 115 due to getting an easy 34 ounces between my intra- and post-workout drinks.

Going in, I thought water would give me the biggest struggle, but it’s been easy. I am waking up 1-2 times a night to pee with the water increase, compared to not getting up or getting up once a night before. Hopefully my body adjusts.

Scale

My averages coming in were 199.3 pounds and 15% fat mass on the scale. Over the last three mornings I averaged 199 and 15.2%. Not much change, which could be due to those macro estimations being off, so I don’t want to jump to any conclusions. Fat percentage is hard to measure, so I don’t like to look at it too closely. I find it better to look at fat trends over longer periods of time.

Thoughts

No plans to quit yet. Due to the high fat F75 meals I still have, I expect week 2 numbers to be similar to week 1. My food delivery on Tuesday will have meals with much lower fat content, which will make everything easier to manage.

It’s too early to make any observations about how I feel, so I’ll wait another week or two.

Beyond the Whiteboard, my favorite app for tracking CrossFit workouts, added a Macros feature and it looked really good. I was going to try their free trial over the next two weeks, but I immediately noticed the database of foods can’t compare with MFP so I cancelled after entering one meal.

Continue on with the update for week 2.

All of these posts will be tagged 2019 calorie counting to make it easy to browse the posts.