Fitness Tools

Caloric Needs

Believe it or not, Doreen found that if she eats more lean, grass-fed/pastured meat (see the Ethical Eating page), she can lose more weight.  Incredibly, she can actually eat more calories, too.  (Actually, protein requires much more energy to digest than fat or carbohydrates, so protein gives a boost to one’s metabolism.)  However, she’s also almost totally eliminated sugar, floury products, and processed foods.  It’s the refined carbs that cause weight gain, at least partially.  It may also be that grain-fed animal products cause weight gain, too, because of the excess omega-6 fatty acids that are in grain-fed products, which cause inflammation in the body.  Excess Omega-6 fatty acids cause various other diseases.  (See my article “The Trouble with Eating Grains and Legumes.”)

If you aren’t eating lean, grass-fed/pastured meat, NutritionData has a great BMI and Daily Needs Calculator tool to calculate your caloric needs.  Keep in mind that if you want to lose weight and use this calculator, you can lower your daily caloric intake.  BUT don’t go below 1200 calories for women and 1500 calories for men without consulting a doctor.

If you are very active, you can increase your caloric intake.  Believe it or not, eating too few calories can slow your metabolism because your body believes you are starving, so it begins to horde calories by lowering your metabolism.  Make sure you are eating enough.

Analyze What You Eat

One of the best ways to stay on track with healthy eating and well-balanced meals is to use software to help you.  My favorite site to analyze food is NutritionData. It has wonderful articles and great tools to help you know what you are eating.  You can even set up a free account, type in your foods, and have it analyze them. Most important to me are the comprehensive nutrient lists.  (The graphs are beautiful, too.)  Check out the nutrients for a raw, sweet, red pepper.

I was keeping three spreadsheets: one with nutritional data, which I had gathered mostly from NutritionData; another with my meals, so I could balance them out; and the third I used to calculate new recipes.  The second and third spreadsheets utilized the information from the first (just copy and paste).

Another site to look at is FatSecret, which a friend’s daughter uses. You can register for a free account to track what you eat.  You can also get the nutritional information for foods, but it only tracks those you see on most nutrition labels.  I’m tracking more nutrients, so this falls short for me, unlike NutritionData.  However, it may work well for you.  Try them both.