What does my fridge say about me?

The proof is in the pudding as the saying goes and the evidence about your diet can be seen by looking at the food that you have stocked up on at home. Often people kid themselves about their diet and what they actually eat, puzzling why they are not losing weight. It’s time you took an objective look and what really seen by simply opening your fridge and freezer door and taking an objective look at what you eat and ask yourself, ‘what does my fridge freezer say about me’?

If you are already on a healthy eating plan but it doesn’t seem to be working out as well as you thought, or if you want to get started on the right diet, then you need to have a good understanding of what you are eating. This might sound obvious but it is amazing how easy it is to either be in denial about what you eat, or not really be aware of what your diet looks like overall. As well as keeping a food diary actually physically getting a snapshot of your diet enables you to see just how healthy it is. There’s nothing wrong with some sugary snack in moderation but is the balance right?

First of all, take all of the food you have in your fridge and lay it out on a table. Do the same with your freezer foods, making sure they don’t defrost though. Separate these into categories. Place all the ready meals in one area, as well as processed or sugar-laden foods. Next, put vegetables together, meats and dairy products. You can put baked goods together as well as any fried foods you have.

Without concerning yourself with facts and figures take a quick sweep of what you have on the table. Does it look like you have a healthy diet? Ask yourself if you have too many snack foods or ready meals, or if you are missing some green, leafy vegetables. Do you have lean meats and fish or do you rely more heavily on dairy products and pastries?

Next think about the basic food groups, which are carbohydrates, proteins and fats. There are simple carbohydrates, as found in sweets and fizzy sodas, and there are complex carbohydrates which take longer to digest which you find in bread, rice and pasta, as well as some vegetables like broccoli, kidney beans and chick peas. Some fats are better for you than others too and foods such as olive oil, fish and lean meats have less fat than butter, cheese and processed foods.

Each gram of carbohydrate has about four calories and a gram of fat has nine calories. If you go off the average diet of 1200 calories for a woman and 1800 calories for a man, then you can work out how many calories you are eating and how many grams of fat and carbohydrate. This is where it can get confusing. As a rule of thumb, although much depends on your activity level and whether you want to maintain or lose weight, a diet of 1200 calories should be made up of around 32-46 grams of fat, nine of which are saturated and the rest unsaturated. This equals around 300-420 calories from fat.

With carbohydrates, weight maintenance is achieved, in general with around 100-150 grams of carbohydrate a day. When it comes to protein then you should be looking at getting around 10-15% of your calorie intake from these. To make it easier to remember, think of it in simple ratio terms:

carbohydrate : fat : protein
60% : 20% : 20%

Of course this really is just a guideline and if you want to lose weight or even put weight on then you need to adjust these in the right way.

Do the foods you have in your freezer reflect a healthy ratio? If not then perhaps it might be time to get rid of fat-rich processed ready meals, or cut down on sugary drinks and treats. Do you need to add in any foods which are lacking, such as fish, lean meat and some dark green vegetables to make your fridge and freezer say something healthy about you? Contact us for some nutritional help before your next food shop.

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