by Jack Baugh
This is a glimpse into a 26-page comprehensive nutrition and lifestyle analysis.
Part 1: Dietary Analysis (Tracking)
Part 1: Dietary Analysis
Part 2: Physical Activity Analysis
Part 3: Step Tracker
Monday 9/23: I took more than my normal amount of steps on Monday. This was due to a morning workout and playing basketball after school.
Tuesday 9/24: Tuesday was a normal day in terms of walking. I walked to and from my classes at school, did a few shopping errands, and went home.
Wednesday 9/25: Wednesday was also a normal day in terms of walking. I walked to and from my classes at school. After school I did 30 minutes of swimming and my weight-lifting workout, but these activities did not equate to a high count of steps.
Thursday 9/26: The extra step count today came from the basketball I played after school. The rest of the steps came from the normal to/from classes.
Friday 9/27: Today’s activities were extremely similar to yesterday (Thursday). The high number of steps came from playing basketball after school.
Saturday 9/28: Today I did chores around the house and went back to rec center to play basketball. These activities resulted in a large number of steps.
Sunday 9/29: Today I stayed home all day, doing homework and playing video games. This is actually a pretty normal Sunday for me, resulting in few steps, but gets me rested and ready for the upcoming week.
Part 7: Try a New Activity
For a new activity, I tried using the stair climber during a workout at the North Boulder rec center. Rarely do I use any cardio machine and this was my first time using the stair climber. I warmed up doing some stretches and then did the cardio portion of my workout on the stair climber. The activity was much more difficult than I expected and I would describe its feeling closest to backpacking. I may use the stair climber again but I would rather do cardio workouts in other ways, like running or playing basketball. Since I don’t think I’ll add it to my workout schedule, it won’t really contribute to my overall health. If I did enjoy it, it would be a good way to get in a quick cardio session and gain strength.
For the dietary analysis, what surprised you about your results?
The number one thing I found most surprising in my nutrition analysis was how low my calorie intake was compared to what I should be eating. My average calorie intake was 2500 calories while the DRI created for me by NutritionCalc was 3000 calories. As I am also currently trying to build muscle, my calorie intake should probably be even higher than the NutritionCalc DRI. I was also surprised that my sodium intake was high. I eat mostly unprocessed food and eat most of my meals at home, so I was surprised that I was getting more than the recommended amount of sodium.
What was the effect of taking pictures and recording your moods and hunger?
The effect of taking pictures of what I ate was probably helpful in remembering what I ate when it came to entering in NutritionCalc program, but it was also a little irritating as it was difficult for me to remember to take the pictures before eating. Also, my phone camera doesn’t work very well so it was hard to get good in-focus images. However, recording my hunger levels throughout the day made me realize that I was ignoring hunger throughout large sections of the day. Its effect was to change my future eating patterns to include small meals between breakfast and lunch, and the same between lunch and dinner. This should also help add the additional calories I was lacking in my daily intake.
How did your step tracker results compare to the U.S.average and to the recommended number of steps per day?
Over the week of tracking, my steps per day averaged to 10,175. This was slightly over the recommended steps per day of 10,000, and double the average number of steps taken by Americans (4,774), according to a study published in Nature in 2017 and referenced in an online article by CBS News.
What are the national recommendations for exercise (i.e., how many minutes or days of activity/week and types of activities recommended)? Consult the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website for these recommendations. Did your exercise level meet these recommendations? Did the quality or quantity of your sleep affect your activity level the following day?
The Center for Disease Control publishes guidelines for exercise on their website, which points to a publication put out by the Department of Health and Human Services. This publication lists guidelines for amounts of activity people should strive for to remain healthy. For adults aged 18-64, at least 150-300 minutes of moderate-intensity, or 75-150 minutes per week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity is recommended. The guidelines also state that this aerobic activity should ideally be spread out through the week. It is also recommended that adults do muscle strengthening activities on all major muscle groups at least twice a week.
My current exercise routine consists of 3 days a week of weightlifting, interspersed between my job on 3 other days, which consists of physical labor. My workouts each focus on isolating a different set of muscles in intense exercise. Each workout lasts an hour and consists of intense exercise, giving me 180 min per week of intense exercise and more than the recommended 2 strength training days. In addition, I work 16-18 hours a week for my job at a tire shop. The job has a lot of physical activity, pulling, mounting, and stacking tires in a fast-paced environment. At least half of my time on the job counts as moderate intensity exercise, adding up to 480 minutes per week. Given the guidelines I well exceed the recommended amount of weekly exercise for an adult to remain healthy.
The amount of sleep I had the night before didn’t affect the amount of activity I did, but rather affected how I felt about doing it. The less sleep I had, the more reluctant I was to work out, but I did it anyway.