Friday, 30 October 2009

The daily plate slash livestrong blaat

This is a post all about The daily Plate, now known as Livestrong.
I Had a few interesting emails from people, so thought I would write down what I know, or what is given to me by livestrong and therefore know!

according to their charts a person who is about 238lbs (moi!) and wants to lose 2 pounds a week (or more please) can eat the following:

1833 cals
they should get this from and NOT EXCEED the following MAX daily allowances (100%)
60g of fat
274g carbohydrates
45g protein

If you look on the previous post next to each item it has a percentage. This shows that I at X% of my daily allowance in that nutritional group.

If I eat within the above proportions, I will achieve weightloss.

As I lose weight, the calorie allowance gets lower, and the nutritional allowances will change, but will still be roughly 15%fat, 12%protein and 74% carbs. There are also other important elements in the diet like fibre, and Livestrong does chart these too, but I couldn't be bothered to go to all that effort.

As you eat through the day, you chart each food. You type into your plate the food you ate - for instance today I had some pate. I type in "Tesco Liver and bacon pate" and there it is. I click and add it to my plate and type in how many portions of it I have eaten.

It can be a little pesky, because you might have measured in grams, but the person who listed the item might have listed it as oz without a conversion, or they could have listed a portion as 100g, and you only had 20g. Both of these is easily remedied. A simple gram to oz conversion sorts the first, and with the second is a little harder.

When you add a food to your plate, it automatically puts *1* portion on your plate. If 1 portion was 100g, and you only had 20g, then you had 0.2 of a portion. So that's what you do. You change the 1, to a 0.2 and then it will log it perfectly for you.

"What if I make a lasagna?" I hear you cry... well that's cool too. You either log each individual item in the meal and how much you had of each (1 onion in dish, 4 people served, so I had 0.25 of a portion bla bla) or you 'Make a Meal'. If its something you often make, then the best thing is to create a new meal by adding all the ingredients in the programme, and then saving it.

If you add this to your plate it will also add the WHOLE thing as a portion, so again here you must be careful. If the dish serves 4, then when you add it to your plate you must change the portion to 0.25 if it served 10 people, then you change it to 0.1 of a portion.

If you honestly cannot be bothered, then just manually add the calories.

I wish I could cut and paste to blogger because it would be so much easier. Its a real fag not being able to do that. What I might try is a screen shot and show you what I see, but it will be so small I am not sure how it will turn out.

Basically Livestrong (or the daily plate as it used to be called) is a great tool for helping me keep track. I can see when I eat too much fat, see when I nail my protein target and also if I am drinking enough water. Its also great as it charts your weight on a graph and also give you access to loads of (sometimes obscure) daily exercises that it calculates how much you have burned off. It takes into account your weight and calculates that for example doing the following :

Sailing on ice (?) or water (competitive) for 1 hr would burn 540 cals

Reclining - talking, writing or reading burns 108 cals per hour

Sanding floors with a power sander burns 486 per hour

Sex (vigorous) burns a measly 171 per hour. (per hour? HA!)

I think I will plump for reclining and chatting - less like hard work! So its a useful tool to have when you might think you have blown your days allowance, you can add these activities to your daily plate and get a Net calorie count. I always set my activity level to naff all so that I can track things when I do them. So if I take the dog for a half hour walk, I can track it because I set my level to sedentary (lying of bed eating chocolates mode!) and don't feel like I might be cheating or counting something twice if you know what I mean.

I would recommend it as after all it is FREE, and if you do upgrade, its only £25 a year which is nothing. Upgrading unlocks some useful features and allows you to look back over time and stuff which I think is useful, but its perfectly workable free to be fair.

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