How I Became Aware Of My Nutritional Needs

nutritionRecently, I made a $20 bet with my (male) roommate about who could lose the most weight by 4th of July. What better incentive to get my butt in gear than cold, hard cash? Even though it’s technically a competition, it’s really a win-win for me! Even if I lose, I know I’m better off with the new knowledge I’ve gained in the past month from researching different ways to get fit and lose weight.

Before the bet even started, I had been using MyFitnessPal to estimate my caloric intake everyday. It was shocking, to say the least. I never would have believed that I was eating 400 calories every night when my significant other bought me a treat of Reese’s peanut butter cups. To put that in perspective, most of us should be eating 400-500 calories every meal!

After I cut down on snacks—don’t worry, I still get my Reese’s peanut butter cups when I need to, usually around my period—I found that my daily caloric intake was finally starting to hit the normal range.

As the bet went into full swing, I found a Reddit board geared specifically for women looking to get fit. This resource was a godsend for me! There I found a calculator to really get down to the nitty gritty of how many calories I need to eat—taking into account that I’m at risk for diabetes, how active I am physically, and other factors—along with the breakdown of the three important nutrients (often called “macros”): protein, carbohydrates, and fat. That was another eye opener for me. Most of my calories were coming from carbs—which was already a big no-no because of the aforementioned diabetes risk. And jeez, I felt like I was eating a lot of protein: tofu, steak, burgers, etc., yet here I was with a nearly 50/50 split between carbs and fat with barely any protein. Protein, apparently, is really hard to come by! At least for me. But as I research and input food into MyFitnessPal, it’s become easier and easier to know what’s good for me.

It’s been an interesting journey so far. I’m only about a month into the challenge, and so far, I’ve been happy with my progress, which has come only from becoming more aware of my food. And I’m not even starving, which was something I was afraid of when I started. It goes to show you how easy it is to overeat when you are ignorant about your food and nutritional needs.

For those of you like me who always found it difficult to start a workout or running regime to lose weight, I think you might benefit from starting like me. It’s an easy task to track your food, and starting slowly in your weight loss journey is a great way to build a habit to get you to your goal!

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About This Blogger

June Owatari

June Owatari is a professional writer who is passionate about reproductive and mental health, craft beer, and anything DIY. She plays in two bands Mariel and Raymond the Sparrow and feels lucky to be fully immersed in the San Diego arts community. Her biggest dream is to write while traveling the United States. You can find June on Twitter @juniejuniejune.