Thursday, 12 February 2015
This is so much harder than I thought
I know that my food issues make dieting next to impossible, but I figured I would at least be able to make healthier choices, even if they are not quite healthy.
As I said yesterday, I am using the Noom app for my phone to track my food intake and exercise. Having used the app before I was sure I knew what I was doing and I know that it wont force me to eat things I simply can't.
The problem is two-fold, firstly there is no list to tell you what the green, amber and red foods are you just have to either guess or work it out by dividing the number of calories by the number of grams, if it works out less than one its a green food apparently. This might work well with pre-packaged foods or while checking labels while doing the food shop, but it is absolutely useless when in the canteen at uni.
There are a few different eating places in my university a big main canteen and several other small cafes. My friends and I usually go to one of the smaller places which is good from the point of view that there aren't many people there but bad from a food choice point of view. I am left with a baked potato or a sandwich, occasionally they have things like burgers which I can eat but clearly wouldn't fit in with my new healthier eating plan.
I usually take a baked potato with butter, tuna and cheese. The potatoes are tiny and I am usually hungry again before my next class is over but it's usually my only option. So today I had the potato minus the butter and cheese, figuring that reducing the calories is obviously a good thing. I also thought that potatoes might be a green food since they technically are a vegetable and apparently a lot more nutritious than people give them credit for, I had already had cereal for breakfast which turned out to be an amber food even although its one specifically marketed for healthy eating and I have seen much unhealthier cereals (children's ones) which have been green. So I was quite near my limit of amber foods for the day (as well as a total daily calorie allowance, Noom breaks this down into an allowance of green, amber and red foods) so when I realised that both the potato and the tuna were amber foods I was a little distraught. I was over my amber allowance already and I had just had lunch!
In fairness to me I was still well under the total and the only red food I have had in two days was the tiny amount of mayo that was in the tuna, but its still disheartening.
The second problem is that my diet seems to consist almost entirely of amber foods and while I can stay under my total limit, I have a feeling I will always be over the amber section.
In trying to combat both these problems I decided to come home and have the only thing I could think of that I knew to be a green food that I could eat - baked beans. Of course I cant just eat baked beans so I had to add to my amber list with two slices of toast. I am still under the overall total with just about enough allowance to spare to eat half a dinner or something like that, but I can't have any more amber foods and there are no green foods I can eat on their own.
Ironically I still have loads of red calories available, over half my remaining available allowance is in the red zone. This effectively means I can help myself to something really unhealthy like chocolate (I actually don't eat chocolate, that's just an example), but not something moderate like bread.
I am beginning to think that the only way I can make this work for me is if I just ignore the colours and just try to stay within the total limit for the day. Since most of my safe foods seem to be in the amber zone I think my only other choice is to starve.
Noom promises weight loss without having to starve yourself but because this newer version breaks your limit down into the three colours (the old app didn't do this it just showed you the colours you didn't get separate allowances for each) and everything I eat seems to be amber, I am already starving and its only day two.
On the plus side, my walk to and from the train to uni boosted my exercise total for the week and since I am working on Saturday (I work in a hospital) and I will be on my feet all day running about I think my exercise will be way over my goal and that's with only one gym visit this week.
Now if I could just find something I am actually allowed to eat!