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Monday, July 03, 2006

Supermodel or sumo: you choose

Will the things you've eaten today help you look supermodel-svelte or sumo wrestler-squishy? Are you really doing enough exercise to make up for an occasional pack of chocolate bickies? And most importantly, are you getting the nutrients you need to be really healthy?

There's a site called FitDay which can tell you all that and more, and it's free! The Bargain Queen put in her height and weight, then entered all the exercise she's done for the last few days (including shopping ;) and everything she's eaten lately. Here's what she found out:
  1. She's right in the middle of the healthy weight range for her height, even though she's just outgrown a couple of pairs of jeans and feels like a hippo.
  2. Her calorie intake each day is about right and the couple of glasses of wine she drinks 3-4 nights a week aren't as fattening as she thought.
  3. On the days when she goes for a nice long walk, she burns 200+ more calories than she normally eats.
  4. The bad news? She doesn't get enough of a whole lot of nutrients, including zinc, calcium, vitamin D, a couple of B vitamins and folate!
The Bargain Queen now feels justified to stop stressing about her weight. It's the middle of winter, so what's a couple of inches anyway? On the other hand, she has to up her nutrient intake by eating more of the following (in rough order of how much of the nutrient they contain):
  • Zinc: oysters, mussels, scallops, red meat, poultry
  • Calcium: dairy (except The Bargain Queen's lactose intolerant so that ain't going to happen), canned salmon w bones, Chinese cabbage, kale, broccoli
  • Vitamin D: sunshine! Or if it's really overcast, fish
  • Vitamin B2: mushrooms, liver (ew!), green vegies, egg
  • Vitamin B3: liver, peanuts, chicken, tuna, salmon, turkey
  • Folate: liver, lentils, green vegies
(This isn't an exhaustive list of the foods that contained each of these nutrients; if you want more info, Google know all ;)

Now The Bargain Queen doesn't recommend this level of analysis every day (unless you're medically classed as obese and your weight threatens your health). She's always maintained that the more you think about food as calories and nutrient rather than flavours and textures, the less fun it is to eat - although she also eats what makes her feel healthy because if she went solely by flavour she'd eat mostly chocolate and then she'd feel ill.

But despite her aversion to calorie counters and weight-loss diets, The Bargain Queen found this fun and will probably keep doing it as an occasional check-up. It's a bit like those web quizzes that are so popular with the young people these days, only with a more meaningful outcome than finding out which Happy Days character you're most like. If you're procrastinating online right now, give it a go!

(Found via a link on I Wish I Were Buffy.)


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