Monday, April 30, 2012

Nutrimirror: A Way to Track Your Food, Exercise, & Weight Loss

Happy Monday everyone!  It is good to be back and among the living after fighting off what I not so affectionately referred to as "the black lung".  Lauren was so kind as to pass it on to me.  I, being the kind sharer that I am, shared it with my friend, Shannan, my husband, my son, Nathan, and my daughter, Madison.  Shannan went to her doctor who said it was Influenza B.  I am not sure what it was, but it was definitely in my top 5 of the sickest I have ever been.  I praise God for His healing and His continued healing for our family.  I want to thank each and every one of you who prayed for us.  Those prayers were felt and appreciated!  Now, on to the blog.

I have never struggled with my weight.  I have always been slender and eaten whatever I wanted to.  It didn't seem to matter if I worked out or not.  My weight, for most of my life, would stay the same.  Then a certain age came into my life.  It's name was Forty!  Forty said the rules were going to be different and what I ate did matter.  Forty said I had to exercise if I was even going to think about getting any extra weight off.  Forty said everything I once knew or believed about my body was different and new, and it was up to me to figure out the new rules. 

So, I started working out two to three times a week partly to build up more muscle and burn more calories, but partly to just be healthier.  The weight stayed the same.  I then decided to run this year in the half-marathon in July which required me to start training this month.  I was running/walking 5 to 6 miles a week, but instead of losing weight, I gained two pounds.  I know muscle weighs more than fat, but that is not the direction I wanted to scale to go.

I got online one night to see if I could find a free food diary or food log to keep track of my daily caloric intake.  What I stumbled upon was much better than what I was looking for.  It was Nutrimirror.  Visit Nutrimirror at wwww.nutrimirror.com. Nutrimirror is a website which is free to join where you can track your caloric intake, your exercise activity, your water intake, set weight loss goals, etc.

Every day on Nutrimirror, you can go onto the website and list all the foods you have eaten on the food log.  It keeps track of the calories, fat, vitamins, and minerals in each food that you eat.  You can enter foods for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a snack.  It keeps track of how much water you consume in the day.  At the end of the day, it will tell you how many calories you consumed for the day and whether or not it exceeds or is under your recommended calories for the day.  It will even give you reports and overviews of how you are doing for that day, that week, or that month.

You can also set weight loss goals.  For example, I set a weight loss goal of 5 pounds.  Every day it would give me an amount of calories I could consume to maintain my weight and an amount of calories for weight loss.  The weight loss goal will only allow you to lose no more than one pound per week to stay healthy.  Again, it will tell you whether you have consumed too many calories or not enough calories to meet your weight loss goals.

There is also an exercise log to track your exercise.  So, when I go for a three mile run and enter it, it will raise the calories I can consume that day by the number of calories I burned during my exercise.

The best thing I am getting though is an education.  For someone who has eaten whatever I have wanted to eat all my life, I have never looked at calories really.  I am shocked and amazed and frightened by the number of calories in some of the things I eat.  For example, this morning I sat down with my daughter and shared a Toaster Strudel (Cinnamon Roll flavor) together.  When I entered that one Toaster Strudel into my food log, it showed that I had already exceeded my total fat for the day.  One Toaster Strudel has more fat in it than I should have in a day.  What a shocker.  My favorite drink at Starbucks (the mocha) has the most calories.  I am now ordering the tall Caramel Macchiato nonfat which has only 90 calories. 

I still want to live my life and eat what I like to eat.  However, I can't eat everything I used to eat and not think that Forty will have anything to say about it.  It has been a great tool for me to keep track of what I am eating.  It has helped me to remember to drink more water or take my calcium or multivitamin every day.  It has educated me on food and making healthier choices.  If you are looking for some of those same things, I would encourage you to give it a try. 

"I am the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt. 
Open wide your mouth, and I will fill it."  Psalm 81:10, NIV





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