Balancing Carbohydrates and Fats

Posted on 28 Feb 2010 In: Uncategorized

What balance of carbohydrates and fats do I want in my daily diet?

My reading leads me to believe that trying to put the exact amount of calories in so I can function but need to burn body fat to get enough is a bad idea. It will tell my body that there is famine, and make it very efficient. When I relax my diet, my re-tuned body will save as much as it can as body fat, in reserve against the next lean period.

I worry also about getting enough fat – essential fats and fats that carry the fat-soluble vitamins.

So, I’m going to try to reduce my carbohydrate intake to the point where my body’s insulin response is not triggered (at least on the days I manage to stick to my diet!). PMS is making me crave carbohydrate, so it will be easier to get going in a few days. I will count my success in days per week and month, because a ‘fail’ day is just a day, I do this diet one day at a time, the good days building up.

I hate the idea of calorie-counting, but I need to do a little bit of carbohydrate counting. I need to remember that a slice of bread is 15 grammes or so, an orange, ten grammes of carbohydrate. I cook the same for everyone, even stew with dumplings, but I cut right back on carbohydrates until I have lost the weight (in theory, I stop losing weight when I get into my ideal range – it will be interesting to see if that is the same as my idea of ideal). Sounds easy?

Before I State my Waist-to-Hip Ratio

Posted on 21 Feb 2010 In: General

Before I state my waist-to-hip ratio, I’d better introduce myself. I live in the midlands of England, and work part-time in an office. My name is Anne, and I have two children at high school. Food is on everyone’s mind – children saying ‘I’m hungry’ and ‘What’s for dinner’; adult thoughts focus on much the same things, and I am the one who does most of the cooking.

I want my kids to grow strong and helathy, and for myself, I want to be well nourished and enjoy my food without increasing my waistline. Okay, the waist-to-hip ratio is 0.77. Not too bad, but there are some tight waistbands in my wardrobe and I’d like to get into those clothes again.

Since I don’t take enough exercise to cancel out all that sitting at desks, I need to modify my diet to suit, but I want to sit down and eat the same food at mealtimes as my children. It must be a question of balance.

I am a bit skeptical about the 2000 calories a day recommended for women. I’m not average! I am also pretty unimpressed with low-fat diets, and think they won’t deliver the essential fats my children need. Since my brain is more than 60% fat, just as theirs are, I reckon we all need to know our fats.

So, where do I start with planning the family meals? Vegetables seem uncontroversial, more green stuff is on every diet list bar the most way-out. Protein is on the menu mostly in the form of meat, fish and dairy products, with a few beans and lentils. What is the right amount? Too little is no good, and too much is apparently hard work for the body to process, and hard on the budget. More research coming up.  Nutritious meals on a budget will be achieved this year!

Diet, what diet?

Posted on 7 Jan 2010 In: Uncategorized

Do I have to?  I never wanted to diet, I never wanted to give my children food supplements.  Do I have to eat differently to the rest of the family?  Do we have to take vitamins?  I want us all to sit down to the same food together, and to get all the nutrients we need from our food.  Food should be a shared pleasure, and not a worry.

This year I am going to have to look harder at our food.  I love food, I like cooking (I don’t love having to do it every night, but I do enjoy cooking).  We buy some snacks, but mostly we eat food – cooked from scratch.  I have been ignoring most of the health scares, saying to myself “all things in moderation”. I, however, have not been moderate enough of late.

My hip to waist ratio is neither flattering nor very healthy and I need to work out how to feed my family the best food I can on a budget.  I have managed my shopping well for years, but I want to be sure I am buying the best quality food I can for my money.

One meal for the family, good for all of us, is my aim.

Growing children need good nutrition, but so do parents.  We are busy, and our bodies do make less good use of the food we eat as we age, apparently.  So we should all be eating the best we can, not forgetting our favourite treats and trying new things.