Charts and graphs

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Ever since I started the LRP I have been very diligent, almost anal, about keeping track of what I eat with sparkpeople. Which is kinda funny, because I'm really not anal about anything. I'll save you the tales to prove this, suffice to say I have inadvertently grown mold. I'm not a gross person though, honest!

Anywaaaaay, one of the nifty parts of using Sparkpeople to record what I eat is their reporting feature. With just a couple clicks I can see a graph of my weight loss, nutrition, or other goals over almost any period of time. I haven't looked at my nutritional habits in a while, so when I took a gander today, I was a bit dismayed to see this.

That, my friends, is the past month of my eating life. See all those red dots? Those are days where I didn't eat enough protein. A lot, right?!?

Protein is good for weight loss. Whole protein sources, like red meats, chicken, fish, and beans take longer to process in the stomach (why the hell am I always hungry a hour after eating Chinese then?!?!). Longer processing time means you feel fuller, longer, and your body uses more energy to digest. Additionally, the protein smooths out your blood sugar, decreasing rapid spikes or drops.

As tasty as it sounds, I'm not going to run out and start eating steak for dinner every night, and neither should you. I need to work on incorporating healthy, protein-rich options such as eating more chicken. Eating fish fillets and switching my normal cucumber sushi roll for shrimp or tuna sashimi. Good non-meat sources of protein include chickpeas, lentils, quinoa, tofu, broccoli, and black beans. Now, I love beans, and I would eat them more if someone would just improve current bean-cooking technology. I mean, they have 5-minute rice, why not 5-minute beans? If you don't know what I'm talking about, then clearly you have never bought a bag of dry beans with the idea of "whipping up a quick meal." You can stop laughing at me now.

Oh, and here is a nifty site that graphs the nutrition of a food item. Yay shrimp!