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Diet Evaluation

June 6-13, 2004

by Gary F. Zeolla

I previously evaluated my diet from August 27 to September 2, 2003. Since it had been about nine months and since I had made changes to my diet, I evaluated my diet once again from June 6-13, 2004. I once again kept track of every thing I ate for a week and evaluated it using DietPower. This is an excellent program that automatically evaluates one’s diet for levels of calories, carbohydrates, protein, fats, cholesterol, fiber, and 21 vitamins and minerals.

Caloric Proportions

In my previous evaluation, I found out I was consuming 2195 calories, with about 29% of the calories from protein, or about 1.4 grams/pound. I also took in 46% of calories from carbs and 25% fat. I said at that time I thought that was too much protein and not enough carbs. So after that I cut down some on the protein and increased the carbs. But my lifting seemed to suffer. So I changed my diet again, but this time I increased the protein while reducing the fat. And this did seem to benefit my lifting.

For this evaluation, I ended up with the following macronutrient levels:

Calories 2138    
Fat 54g 22% of cals  
Saturated Fat 10.3g 4% of cals  
Polyunsat. Fat 14.8g 6% of cals  
Monounsat. Fat 19g 8% of cals  
Carbs 240g 44% of cals  
Fiber 38g 152% of DV  
Sugar 23.5g 4% of cals  
Protein 185g 34% of cals 1.5g/lb

So it can be seen that my calorie level was a bit lower than last time. However, this was only because on two of the days I just wasn't that hungry and ate only about 1700 calories. On the other days, I averaged more like 2300 calories. But this is why is important to keep track of ones diet for several days to get an average.

As for fat, I reduced it to 22% of cals. This is good. But what I would like to do is to reduce it to about 20% and increase the carbs correspondingly. But the important point to note is the low level of saturated fats. Experts generally recommend keeping sat fat to less than 10% of cals, while I'm at less than 5%. Where most of my fat comes from is the healthiest kind of fat, monounsaturated fats. This is from the fish and nuts and seeds I eat regularly.

Next, it can be seen that my carbs level is actually a little lower than last time. However, on those days when I ate less, what I ate less of was carb foods. So my average on the other days would have been higher.

My fiber level is more than adequate. This is due to all of the vegetables, fruit, whole grains, beans, and nuts and seeds I eat. My sugar level is very low. And most of the sugar I do eat comes from fruit. The only processed sugar I eat is in the fruit spread I use on the toast I eat with my eggs.

As for protein, since I weighed about 120 pounds during this week, I increased it to exactly 1.5 grams per pound. This was exactly what I was shooting for. It is at the higher end of the protein level I generally recommend for weightlifters of 1.0-1.5g/pound, but it seems to be what I need.

Nutrient Levels

Along with calories, fats, carbohydrates, and protein, DietPower also evaluates a person’s diet for cholesterol, fiber, and 21 different vitamins and minerals. Below is the average amounts of each nutrient and percentage of the DietPower “recommended” amounts that I consumed over the evaluation week.

Item Amount Percentage
Cholesterol 245 mg 82
Sodium 2050 mg 141
Potassium 4350 mg  124
Vitamin A 6000 mcg  667
Vitamin C 182 mg 202
Vitamin D 0 0
Vitamin E  16.4 I.U. 75
Thiamin (B1) 1360 mcg 91
Riboflavin (B2) 1760 mcg 104
Niacin (B3) 25.6 mg 135
Pyridoxine (B6) 2470 mcg 124
Folic Acid 434 mcg 217
Vitamin B12 3.64 mcg  182
Pantothenic Acid 5.19 mg  94
Calcium 993 mg 99
Magnesium 411 mg 98
Zinc 11.6 mg 105
Copper 1890 mcg 211
Manganese 4.2 mg 182
Selenium 186 mcg 338

For most nutrients I am consuming at least the recommended amounts. Some of my levels were so high that the DietPower program indicated "caution" that I might be consuming too much. However, with engaging in a strenuous activity like powerlifting, I doubt very much this is the case.

The highest level percentage wise that I consumed was for vitamin A, 667% of the Daily Value. The reason for this is at the beginning of this week I went to the East End Food Co-Op (an organic/ natural foods store near Pittsburgh). They had organic peaches and apricots on sale, so I bought those. I also bought a 2 lb. bag of carrots. Meanwhile, my dad gave me several bunches of kale and leaf lettuce from his garden. So with eating peaches, apricots, carrots, kale, and leaf lettuce all week, this really gave me the beta carotene!

This shows how ones diet can vary from week to week, and especially from season to season. If it had been winter, I probably would have bought oranges and grapefruit at the co-op, and I wouldn't have had my dad's kale and lettuce to eat. So my vitamin A would have been lower, but my vitamin C would have been higher.

One nutrient that I was low in was vitamin E. This is a little bit troubling, but it is probably due to trying to decrease my fat levels. It is due to possible deficiencies of fat soluble vitamins, along with essential fatty acids, that it is not wise to go too low in ones fat intake. And I would never want to go below 20%. But this does show why it is wise to use a good multi-vitamin/ mineral supplement. If even someone like myself who is vary meticulous about his diet ends up low on some nutrients, how much more would the average person. 

Similarly, I consumed no vitamin D. This is due to using protein powders (which are not fortified with vitamin D) rather than milk. However, I get plenty of sun during the summer, so this is not a problem. Moreover, the mutli's I now use daily (either Jarrow Formulas Multi 1-3 or Twinlab's Daily Two Caps) have 400 IU's of vitamin D.

It should also be noted, many of the foods I consume were not in DietPower's database, so I needed to add them myself. But in such cases, the only nutrients that can be included for the food are the ones included on the "Nutrition Facts" label of the food. So the user does not get "credit" for any nutrients in the food that are not listed. As a result, the program might underestimate one’s consumption of such nutrients. And I suspect this was the case for many of the nutrients, including vitamin E. My levels for these nutrients were probably higher than what the program found.

Two Typical Days

My diet differs somewhat between days I workout and days I don't. On workout days I tend to consume more carbs than on non-workout days. Since I workout in the afternoons, my pre-workout meal is lunch. So on workout days, and I consume a lunch that is high in low-glycemic carbs. On off days, my lunch is higher in protein. Also, on workout days I consume a post-workout drink rather than a mid-afternoon snack.

I generally eat six times a day, about every 2-4 hours. For each meal, I try to consume at least 20 grams of protein. This insures that I consume at least 120 grams (1g/lb) of protein. I also try to consume at least one or two servings of fruits and/or veggies at each meal. This insures eating several servings a day. Only at my evening snack do I generally not consume any fruit or veggies. It should also be noted that most of the fruit and veggies I consume are organic or from my dad's garden, and he doesn't use any pesticides or chemical fertilizers.

Below is what I consume on a typical workout day and on a typical non-workout day.

Workout Day

Breakfast (6:30 a.m.):
Whole grain cereal - 1 cup
Pro-Blend protein powder - 1 scoop
Walnuts - 1/2 ounce
Blueberries - 1/3 cup
Raspberries - 1/3 cup
Turkey breast - 1.5 ounce
(I know, this last one looks weird, but it increases my breakfast protein.)

Mid-morning Snack (9:30 a.m.):
Pro-Blend protein powder - 1 scoop
Peach -  1 medium
Apricots - 2 small
Whole wheat crackers - 2-3

Lunch (12 noon):
Old-fashioned oatmeal - 3/4 cup dry
Pro-Blend protein powder - 1 scoop
Mixed nuts - 1/2 ounce
Raw broccoli - 1 cup

Post-workout Drink (4:30 p.m.):
Maltodextrin - 40 grams
Optimum's Natural 100% Whey Protein

Dinner (6:00 p.m.):
Salmon - 5 ounces cooked
Baked potato - 1 medium
Non-fat yogurt - 1/4 cup (on the baked potato; try it!)
Kale - 1 cup cooked
Salad (made with leaf lettuce, tomatoes, celery)
Flax seed oil - 1 tsp.

Evening Snack (9:45 p.m.)
(I try to time it so I'm finished eating about an hour before I go to bed.)
Non-fat yogurt - 1 cup
100% Egg White Protein - 1/2 scoop mixed into the yogurt
Dry whole grain cereal - 1 cup

Non-workout Day

Breakfast (6:30 a.m.):
Whole grain cereal - 1 cup
100% Egg White Protein - 1 scoop
Almonds - 1/2 ounce
Blackberries - 1/3 cup
Strawberries - 6 medium
Turkey breast - 1.5 ounce

Mid-morning Snack (9:30 a.m.):
Pro-Blend protein powder - 1 scoop
Peach -  1 medium
Apricots - 2 small
Pistachios - 1/4 cup

Lunch (12 noon):
Sardines - 1 can
Kidney beans - 1/3 can
Tomato Sauce - 1/4 cup
Garlic - 1 clove
(The above three mixed together, along with some chopped onion and spices)
Raw cauliflower - 1 cup

Mid-afternoon Snack (3:15 p.m.):
100% Egg White Protein - 1 scoop
Watermelon - 1 large slice

Dinner (6:00 p.m.):
Chicken breast - 1 large
Natural BBQ sauce - 1 tbs.
Sweet potato - 1 medium
Kale - 1 cup cooked
Salad (made with leaf lettuce, tomatoes, celery)
Flax seed oil - 1 tsp.

Evening Snack (9:45 p.m.)
One whole egg and three egg whites, scrambled
Sprouted grain bread - 1 slice
Fruit spread - 1 tsp.

Final Notes

See the three part article Basics of a Healthy Diet for details on my dietary choices. Further details on the DietPower program I utilized for this evaluation can be found at DietPower for Weight and Health Management. The program itself can be ordered from DietPower. For my next posted diet evaluation, see Diet Evaluation - June 16 to July 15, 2014.

Diet Evaluation. Copyright 2004 by Gary F. Zeolla.

The above article was posted on this site June 23, 2004.

Powerlifting and Strength Training
Powerlifting and Strength Training: My Diet/ Eating Plan

Nutrition: My Diet Evaluations

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