Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Healthier living = less stress = less symptoms!

I am not fat. Just getting that out of the way quickly to preempt anyone yelling at me for the following information: I am dieting. Keep in mind, dieting just entails having a certain eating pattern and/or certain foods that you adhere to.

My big problem that requires a diet (aside from just eliminating fiber & fats) is that I don't have good eating habits. I forget to eat, or blow it off because I'm busy. Then, when I get a minute to sit and realize how hungry I am, I eat everything. I also eat when I'm bored and when I'm watching TV. Worst yet, I have clean plate syndrome and will eat everything someone else puts on my plate unless it's outside of my medical ability to consume.

Because of the above, I have put on 15-20 pounds in the last few months. Clearly I'm not eating fats, so portion control and spacing out meals are my big problems. Before the IBS, I would have eaten a lot of fruits, veggies, and fiber. That, in fact, is my overwhelming instinct right now. That, of course, is impossible. I would lose weight if I did, but in a very unhealthy way. I have, however, found a solution:

On this website (which, dear readers, is FREE to join), you can put in your goals, whether that's just to be healthier or to lose a certain number of pounds by a certain date. There is then a page where you can track your calories by meal and get a total (as well as total fats, carbs, and protein:

A section where you can track your water consumption (this also shows the button to add foods to your calorie count):

And a section where you can track exercise and calories burned:

And yes, the above are screenshots from my personal profile. The workout is for today, which is why there's nothing in it yet. On my break I'll be doing 20 minutes on the elliptical machine in my apartment's workout room.

I think my favorite part of the site is that it gives you a range of calories to eat per day. I'm sure I was around 2,000 before (although I never counted), and going straight down to 1,200 calories would be too great a drop. But I can handle 1,550. In fact, as you can see, yesterday I managed with 1,495.

One of the biggest bonuses of eating proper portions and eating less is that it also encourages me to go to bed earlier (the later I stay up, the more I'm going to eat). And getting 8-9 hours of sleep for the last two nights has been amazing.

In short, I think this is going to be a great thing for me, and I'll be a lot happier with myself. And now that you all know I'm doing this, I have even more incentive to stick with it. I highly recommend this site to anyone who wants to embrace a healthier lifestyle.

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