Monday, November 16, 2009

Week 7 To Do List & Review of what I learned from the Nutrition Chapter

Happy Monday everyone!

Well as you know Monday’s are To Do list days so let’s get to that for this week.

Week 7: Health Screening (Holy crap I’m already on week 7! Where did the time go?)
  • Manual – Pages 149-167
  • Workbook – Pages 59-61
  • Master the Manual – Pages 33-38
  • Audio – Chapter 5
  • Flashcards – Chapter 5

Overall studying is going pretty well for me. I changed up my schedule a little so that I get an hour in the morning for studying and then I normally get another hour in after work in the afternoons. I made this switch because I find that studying in the morning is the best for me for retention and also for my attention span. I’m glad I made the switch because I am getting more accomplished study wise every day than before the switch.

Also some exciting news about studying, on last week’s to do list you may have noticed that I had an online quiz for the first 4 chapters scheduled. I am glad to report I scored a 90% on it! After reviewing the 3 questions I did miss I saw that they all were ones where I had debated between the answer I gave and the correct one. So I’m pretty excited to see that my approach to studying the materials is working and that I’m retaining it.

So let me fill you in on last week’s materials. As you might remember last week was the chapter on Nutrition. First off I have to say that so far this chapter was the easiest for me to get through so far. For the most part it was stuff I have been exposed to before with a little more detail to the information. They recommend that personal trainers refer to to assist in understanding basic guidelines. It was good to see that includes a recommendation about getting exercise daily. The rest of the chapter went into more specifics about the role that proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and water play in the body. They also covered things like cholesterol, triglycerides, and heart disease. The thing that I read that I was very happy to see was that ACE trainers are suppose to discourage their clients from using supplementation to meet nutritional needs.

Also, I learned that coming up with meal plans does not fall into the scope of a personal trainer but they can make suggestions on strategies that clients can use to make healthier choices. For personalized meal plans I should be referring clients to Registered Dietitians or other qualified professionals. I will be comfortable with making suggestions about making healthier choices, especially since that’s what I already do when friends ask me for help with their nutrition. It’s interesting because a lot of the suggestions that where in the manual where ones I already have given out.

So after reading the chapter, I was curious how my nutrition stacked up against the recommendations of percentages for protein, carbohydrate, and fat intake. You would think I would have known how I stacked up but since during my journey I have never tracked my calories or the breakdown. That’s right people I don’t count my calories and until this weekend I really didn’t have a clue what my calorie range was. One of these days I’ll go into a detailed explanation on what I eat and why but I’ll save that for another time.

Anyway, I signed up with because I knew they had a pretty decent meal tracking system that was easy to use. Didn't hurt that their site is also free. I tracked my food on Friday through Sunday. And here is what I learned tracking.
  • Calorie range: 1885-1605
  • Carbohydrate percentage range per day: 48.2% - 53.6%
  • Protein percentage range per day: 22.5% - 23.8%
  • Fat percentage range per day: 23.3% - 29.2%
Ok, so here is what I learned based on the recommendations that were in my manual. I don’t always eat enough carbohydrates (especially considering my activity level), I eat a little too much protein, and I eat the right amount of fats. I agree with the carbohydrate outcome, and I can tell when I am consistently below what I likely need cause my endurance drops. Normally to correct that issue I just eat some more carbohydrates for a day or so. However, it probably would be a better idea for me just to adjust my carbohydrate level overall so that I didn’t experience that drop in endurance. Reading the materials this past week made me understand that a bit better, especially the part about the carbohydrate loading experiments that have been done in athletes.

Below are the percentages that they recommend.
  • Carbohydrates 55%-65% of daily intake
  • Protein: 12-20% of daily intake
  • Fats: 20-30% of daily intake
As far as the calorie range it probably is a little inaccurate as an overall range because my eating those three days was very clean. On average, I follow a 90-10 approach of clean eating but those 3 days it was what I consider very clean. And it is normal for me to have several meals in a row where eating is very clean followed by a meal or a snack of less than ideal eating and then back to very clean eating. Since I have been able to maintain my weight over for the past several weeks I’m thinking that I’m doing well in the calorie balance department.

Looking at my results compared to the recommendations, it was interesting to see where I can make some slight adjustments to fall within them. Seeing that I’m not too far off from them, I doubt it would be hard to do that. Also looking at the recommendations, I’m doing pretty well with their recommendations too. If anything I could stand to eat a little more grains in place of some of the milk products I consume and I would be right in line with what they recommend. Doing that would likely correct my carbohydrate level issue.

I also learned something really important for me personally with this three day experiment. I hate tracking calories and nutrients I eat, even when tracking with a very user friendly system! I don’t know how people do it for long term at all. But we all have to find ways that work for us for managing our nutrition and for some people it works. I found that it made me think about food too much and I just didn’t like feeling that way.

I will say this that is a pretty good site with a lot of good information on nutrition, fitness, and health in general. I browsed through their articles and found a lot of good resources. I also spent some time on their message boards and it was interesting to interact with the people on the site. I plan on continuing to stay active on the site with the message boards and to continue to read the information they have. I also had a member email me and we have agreed to be motivational buddies. She seems to have been on a similar journey as I am and she’s very close to her goal weight. I look forward to getting to know her better and seeing how our “buddy” relationship goes.

So here are a couple questions for you:
Do you track your food intake?
Does your intake match the recommendations listed above for % of breakdown?
What are your thoughts on the recommendations?

Quote of the day:
“Facts are to the mind what food is to the body” ~ Edmund Burke


  1. I'm glad this part of your studies was a bit easier for you! And hopefully more fun :) Thanks for the website reference ( I will look into that as a source to give to clients.

    I do track my food intake, but only my fruit/vegetable and calcium intake (I make sure to get at least 6 f/v, and 3-4 servings milk/yogurt, etc.)

  2. Great quote! I only track my food intake when I notice that I've been eating a little too much or gained a few pounds.

  3. I do track my intake (on I think the MyPyramid is making some great improvements, but it's generally a LOT of information to focus on for a patient, so I try and hone in on the most critically needed diet change and work on that.