Trying to improve nutrition

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Looking back over my diary I've gotten into the habit of eating the same stuff over and over, and seems like I could do better on varying my diet. Could probably do better on getting enough protein. Not a vegetarian, but just don't like meat much. Also just realised I'm not getting as many vegetables as I'd thought. It's all looking very carby and lots of bananas in the smoothies I make.

Adding eggs and eggy things would probably be a good idea, but I just can't do it. They make me sad.

Weight loss / maintenance is going according to plan. Some days I'll eat some of my exercise calories back, some days I won't. It seems to even out over time. I keep some back to account for logging inaccuracies and don't think my Fitbit is entirely accurate either. Everything is always weighed and barcodes scanned and checked. Sometimes estimated to what seems the closest database option if I'm eating out (not often).

But I don't have a good handle on what keeps hunger at bay for me - there doesn't seem to be a pattern. Some days I'll be ravenous, some days not at all, and doesn't seem to make a difference what I've eaten.

Weight loss is not the issue here, but just good nutrition for health, and keeping me feeling good and comfy. Diary is open so thoughts would be appreciated. I'm pretty sure the answer's just going to be eat more veggies so I don't know why I'm asking really :)

Replies

  • TavistockToad
    TavistockToad Posts: 35,719 Member
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    yep, more fruit and veg would be good!
  • middlehaitch
    middlehaitch Posts: 8,483 Member
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    Yes, more veg and variety in fruit.

    Your protein is low too, as you know. A couple of easy ones for protein are change to a Greek yogurt or skyr. Both offer between 17-22g protein for a 175g serving at 120-150 cals.

    Eggs, I know sad, but try making a 3 egg omelette. 210 cals 21g protein. Good for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Can even be pre cooked and reheated in a microwave.
    Stuff it with chopped veg and cheese, ham, shrimp, or chicken, and you have a good nutritious meal. Great with salad and/or baby new potatoes.

    Cottage cheese, tuna and prawns/shrimp are versatile and full of protein for relatively few cals. Great bang for your buck.

    For your fruit, there are some great frozen fruits now. I love the mango with my yogurt. Try different ones.
    If fresh is your thing, when getting your bananas get 2 other pieces of fruit, or a basket of berries.

    Finger veg and cottage cheese is a great lunch, or just take some with you to have with your sandwich.

    If meat isn't appealing all the time try lentils and beans in soups and casseroles, along with a mix of veg.

    I noticed you are not always meeting your cal goal, never mind eating back exercise cals. Try to eat more, (a consistent amount of exercise cals will help you work out your actual burn, not your device's estimate)
    if you are not using a food scale for everything you may find it will help you get a better handle on how many cals you should be eating.

    Cheers, h.
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 27,897 Member
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    @tracengel I know why my vegan friends would find eggs sad but I have no idea where you are coming from, so please elaborate and I will tailor my response accordingly.
  • bigbandjohn
    bigbandjohn Posts: 769 Member
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    I'm a fan of "if it works for you, do it." Yes, adding variety is good, but I'll admit at least for breakfast I have 1 or 2 "go-to" items everyday, and that helps me a lot since I know the nutrition information already by heart. Either a homemade egg wrap or a "breakfast muffin sandwich" that is 300 calories or less if I'm on the go.

    Yet dinnertime, while I plan ahead, I tend to mix it up there. Lunch is usually last night's leftovers, or frozen leftovers from a prior meal.

    The keys are nutritional balance. Add more veggies, but also make sure it's ones you like and don't mind adding. The worst thing you can do is say "I'll add more squash because it's low calorie and nutritious" when you hate it. That will cause you to swing further away. Find what you like that fits your plan the best.
    tracengel wrote: »
    Adding eggs and eggy things would probably be a good idea, but I just can't do it. They make me sad.

    I'm curious.... why does that make you sad? I come from a family that raised chickens. I see you also had chicken for one meal, so that really confuses me. Maybe this will help:

    https://www.chowhound.com/food-news/54729/whats-the-difference-between-fertilized-and-unfertilized-eggs/

    Most eggs on the market are unfertilized, so "baby chicken" should not be a factor there I would think.
  • thisPGHlife
    thisPGHlife Posts: 440 Member
    edited November 2018
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    Unfortunately I can't look at your food log (I'm not sure if you have it open or not but I'm on mobile and it won't let me look regardless) so forgive me if any of this is stuff you're already doing.

    You say your diet is fairly carb heavy. I know for me, protein, fat, and fiber keep me really full. It may help with both issues to focus on getting more protein. Whenever I conciously plan my day around getting higher protein it seems to work the best for me so maybe preloggingg as @Lounmoun mentioned could help.

    One thing I love doing is making a batch of taco chicken in the Crock-Pot. It's literally chicken, peppers, and onions topped with taco seasoning and a can of diced tomatoes. I'll put some of it on salads with some salsa, no dressing needed. Tasty and filling! Since you aren't big on meat, you could do a smoothie that utilizes things like Greek yogurt or skyr like @middlehaitch mentioned, 2% fairlife milk has 13g per cup, tera whey protein has I think 22g per serving, pbfit has a decent amount. Those are all things you could mix into oatmeal as well and I think oatmeal even has something like 6g per serving.

    (Edited for clarity)
  • johnnylakis
    johnnylakis Posts: 812 Member
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    A daily multivitamin is good too
  • urloved33
    urloved33 Posts: 3,325 Member
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    tracengel wrote: »
    Looking back over my diary I've gotten into the habit of eating the same stuff over and over, and seems like I could do better on varying my diet. Could probably do better on getting enough protein. Not a vegetarian, but just don't like meat much. Also just realised I'm not getting as many vegetables as I'd thought. It's all looking very carby and lots of bananas in the smoothies I make.

    Adding eggs and eggy things would probably be a good idea, but I just can't do it. They make me sad.

    Weight loss / maintenance is going according to plan. Some days I'll eat some of my exercise calories back, some days I won't. It seems to even out over time. I keep some back to account for logging inaccuracies and don't think my Fitbit is entirely accurate either. Everything is always weighed and barcodes scanned and checked. Sometimes estimated to what seems the closest database option if I'm eating out (not often).

    But I don't have a good handle on what keeps hunger at bay for me - there doesn't seem to be a pattern. Some days I'll be ravenous, some days not at all, and doesn't seem to make a difference what I've eaten.

    Weight loss is not the issue here, but just good nutrition for health, and keeping me feeling good and comfy. Diary is open so thoughts would be appreciated. I'm pretty sure the answer's just going to be eat more veggies so I don't know why I'm asking really :)

    omg this is like I wrote this myself. :)
  • J72FIT
    J72FIT Posts: 5,948 Member
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    crazyravr wrote: »
    My evening snack pretty much every night as I am just blowing through Ozarks is 200g cottage cheese, mixed in with Walden Farms pancake syrup topped with 200g frozen strawberries or any other frozen berries.

    That sounds amazing!

  • tracengel
    tracengel Posts: 28 Member
    edited November 2018
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    Hehe eggs make me sad because they taste horrendous and make me gag (the texture... man, I can't).

    I'm sure if I thought about it hard enough I'd feel sad for the poor non-existent potential chickens too, but that's not the issue. I just don't like them, even though they'd be convenient, cheap and have lots of good nutrition that I could use.

    You're all correct in your suggestions of course, and it's nothing I guess I didn't know already. Thank you all for taking the time :)
  • middlehaitch
    middlehaitch Posts: 8,483 Member
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    Ugh! If you can't stand the taste, ignore my omelette suggestions. I interpreted the sad as boring.

    Make small sustainable changes over time, you'll have a greater chance of success than doing an overhaul.

    I always liked just a couple of cookies and coffee for breakfast, changed it to a protein bar and Mandarin orange a few years ago.
    The switch was easy, still got a sweet breakfast, but instead of mostly fat and carbs I got 20-30g of protein, and an added serving fruit with good micros and fibre- and all for the same calories. Easy and sustainable.

    Cheers, h.
  • amy19355
    amy19355 Posts: 805 Member
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    It took me a few weeks to get accustomed to eating a big breakfast, and I'm glad I persevered because it has made a few positive changes I like:
    1. energy and productivity at work is much improved
    2. 1/3 of of my daily calories are already consumed, making it easier to be sure I"ll get in my full dose of needed calories in the remainder of the day.
    3. enjoying any kind of food for breakfast is OKAY - it doesn't have to be cereal or other traditional breakfast foods. THe other day I had shrimp and grits, and anther day I had rice.beans and chicken. Today I had grits with eggs, and a side of yogurt.

    bottom line for me is: while food is my fuel for living, it doesn't have to be boring to my taste buds.

    while it may seem boring that all i eat are the same foods over and over, what isn't reflected in my food diary is the variations of flavoring achieved through the addition of spices, herbs and interesting combinations of food stuffs.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 32,058 Member
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    I've said it before, I'll say it again:

    IMO, the answer to all "need more protein" questions is in this thread:

    http://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10247171/carbs-and-fats-are-cheap-heres-a-guide-to-getting-your-proteins-worth-fiber-also

    It links to a spreadsheet that lists many, many foods by protein efficiency: Most protein for fewest calories.

    If you don't like meat or fish, keep scrolling past the meaty/fishy things at the top, and you'll find other sources. I found it very helpful, even as a vegetarian.

    As for veggies/fruits: Probably the only solution is just "eat more of them". If you don't enjoy them, consider blending them into things, or try them different ways (roasted seems to be popular, even among people who don't mostly like them other ways). If it's not that you dislike them, it may be more a matter of focusing on gradually increasing them, until eating them becomes a habit.