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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Meals for a weekly diet

The USDA says we need to concentrate more on a weekly view of food intake, or our weekly diet, rather than a daily view.

So, from a food portion viewpoint, my diet is now meal based, but from an overall perspective, it's weekly based.

Weekly Meals
4 days a week, a meat meal. 2 of those days are for fish, 1 day for beef or pork, and 1 day for chicken. These meals are for a single meal. So, out of a total of 3x7, or 21 meals, 4 meals are include meat, and 17 include no meat.

Every day, 3 glasses of fat free milk. These are taken with a meal, or otherwise. I sometimes take a glass of milk as a snack, so don't always have it with a meal.

Every lunch and dinner meal includes vegetables.

Every breakfast meal includes either steel cut oats, or a selection of fruit, sometimes raw or sometimes in the form of a smoothie.

I try to use fresh vegetables as opposed to canned, because of the additional sodium that is frequently added to the canned.

I try to eat higher fiber, lower fat foods, lower sugar foods in my food selection, so the bulk of my calories are from vegetables and fruits. This means cutting down on cheese, pasta and other high starch (high in sugars) foods such as white rice. On the cheese,I use lower fat, but it's preferred to intake fat free milk instead. If I'm eating cheese, then I drop a milk for the meal.

I'm targeting 1500 calories a day intake. I think one of my problems has been skipping breakfast, eating too big a lunch, and way too big a dinner. I think that kept me from getting a full feeling as the sizes were inconsistent. So now I'm also targeting similar size (bulk) for each meal, in general terms, and always includes breakfast. So 500 calories, more or less, for each meal, gives me the 1500 for a day. That seems to be helping, and I find that I'm feeling more full after each meal now than in the past.

I only weigh once per week. Hopefully, I see a drop of about 1 pound per week, but maybe not. That's OK; I'm still going to be losing weight as opposed to adding weight.

I'm trying to fit a diet into my day, not fit my day into my diet. Taking a weekly view on foods helps in many ways. For instance, we might be out on the road traveling, and fitting my diet into my day means we may be stopping at a fast food joint. On that day, I may be able to hit my target meal allocation, more or less, for the calories, but I may be over allocated on the sodium. On a weekly view, since I'm rarely not eating a home prepared meal and thus am in control of the sodium placed onto my food, I'm always low on sodium, thus the meal at the fast food restaurant doesn't cause me any issues about getting more sodium on this meal - I'm under on sodium on all other meals throughout the week.

Diet Supplements
Since foods high in Omega-3 are considered by the USDA to be beneficial, I take 2 1000mg tables of fish oil every day. I also take 2 1000mg tablets of flax seed oil to help with keeping my skin pores open, as I have an issue with this. I also take a daily multi-vitamin high in B12. I looked into taking a vitamin high in potassium, but in analyzing my meals, by increasing my vegetables and fruits I'm getting enough potassium now, but was definitely low this before.

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