You might be surprised. Research has shown that most people underestimate their food consumption by about 30%. I’d have to say I see lots of “portion distortion” and “food amnesia” in some of the logs of my clients when I press them for details. I don’t think people are deliberately lying. Sometimes it’s just hard to remember everything, let alone put calorie values to everything.
Enter FitDay! It’s a free program that lets you log your food and exercise, set goals, and log body measurements. I’ve been playing around with it for several weeks and think it’s a great resource. And, did I mention it’s FREE!? They also offer some very inexpensive PC software if you’d rather have the program at your disposal on your computer (FitDay Software).
For me, the best part about it was getting a sense of the balance of fats, carbs and proteins I was eating. I’m pretty aware of my calorie intake most days, but not always sure of the balance of nutrients. FitDay really helped me out here. For instance, a couple of days my fat intake looked kind of high. The FitDay program breaks fat intake into different types of fats and I was able to see that the greatest percentage of my fat intake came from monounsaturated fats (good fats) like olive oil and almonds.
I also liked how I could take a few measurements (e.g., weight, waist circumference) and set goals as to what I’d like to achieve with these numbers and by what date. The software keeps track of where you are as long as you keep entering in your updates. Nice to have some accountability as well as a place to track progress!
The only negative I found was that some of the estimations for the calorie cost of exercise were rather low in my opinion. This will affect your energy balance for the day in that it will underestimate how many calories you expended in a given day. However, having my nutrition profile displayed for me with everything down to how much fiber and potassium I’m getting made the calorie stuff a minor issue for me.
FitDay is a great resource for anyone wishing to put their current eating plan to the test and see how it stacks up nutrition-wise. Give it a try!
Yours in health,