Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Uh-oh: new obsession starting

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I can tell now when something is capturing that particular kind of interest that leads to my focusing intensely on something—like (in earlier years) fountain pens, or (as now) shaving. I know the shaving interest has sort of fulfilled itself: I don’t find myself wanting to acquire more equipment or supplies, and my technique is pretty well polished now. I continue to enjoy greatly the morning shave, but as a field, I’m not exploring and learning much in that area—just taking pleasure in what I’m doing.

But the decision to start doing something about my fitness: first I signed on with Traineo, and now I’ve brought up Fitday, which I’ve used in the past and think highly of.

Fitday, like Traineo, is a free on-line fitness monitor (diet, exercise, weight, BMI, etc.), but Traineo adds the idea of a support team, with whom you can communicate and who can provide encouragement—or, I suppose, send messages like, “You’re never going to make it—why not give it up now and enjoy the holidays?” 🙂

Fitday works on-line, but I downloaded the software so I have it on my computer. I did that when they were having server problems, and I admit that I like having my own file locally. So I brought it up this morning, put a shortcut on my desktop, and started a fresh new file (“leisureguy 2006.fdy”) and am setting up the initial info.

Fitday is really excellent at being able to track all sorts of stuff and provide graphical and tabular summary reports that help you see what’s happening. One thing that it will do is to track your nutrients, both micronutrients (vitamins and particular minerals) as well as your macronutrients (fat, including type of fat, carbohydrates, fiber, protein, alcohol). (You can see how this will appeal to an obsessive interest, right?)

So you set your weight goal and deadline, and enter the proportion of macronutrients you want. This page provides excellent guidelines, including this overall recommendation:

Carbohydrates, fat, and protein all contribute to the body’s energy needs. To meet the need for these macronutrients without increasing risk of chronic disease requires that people eat a balanced diet. Low-fat, high-carbohydrate diets might be harmful to people with a particular type of blood-lipid profile, while diets high in fat could lead to obesity and its complications. Dietary reference intakes suggest that adults consume 45% to 65% of their total calories from carbohydrates, 20% to 35% from fat, and 10% to 35% from protein. These proportions are more flexible than previous proportions and will be useful for those planning diets to meet their unique needs.

So in setting up my profile on Fitday, I used 20% of calories from fat, 50% from carbohydrates, and 30% from protein.

Fitday figures I should average 2522 calories/day to meet my goal, so once I enter the percentages, it shows me the calories in each category and the grams/day in each category: e.g., 20% of calories from fat = 504 calories/day = 56 grams/day. Fitday also lets you specify your target grams of fiber. Diabetics need to keep this figure relatively high, so I set it at 40 grams/day. That’s very easy to achieve if you eat whole grains, beans, vegetables, and fruit.

The Fitday charts of micronutrients are helpful—for example, I found that eating a relatively small amount of cooked parsley would more than supply the amount of vitamin K I needed, and that my regular diet was providing ample vitamin E and vitamin C, so I stopped taking those supplements.

So here I go, into a new endeavor.

Written by Leisureguy

9 December 2006 at 9:37 am

Posted in Daily life, Software

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