Sunday, 1 November 2020

Grocery shopping list for October 2020

This post is the twenty-second in a series and the first to chronicle diets. During this month I left my home and moved in temporarily with an old friend in advance of the completion of a new house. More details will follow at the beginning of next year; separate blogposts are being written.

4 October

Got back from Wollongong and popped into the convenience store to buy milk.

5 October

Went to Woolworths and bought (see receipt below) couscous and pumpkin, coleslaw, apples, tomatoes, blue cheese, Arnott’s biscuits (Chocolate Montes, Caramel Crowns, and Gaiety), and sugarless flavoured mineral water.

7 October

On Facebook I put up a post asking for suggestions for apps for walking to lose weight and got some comments but then visited my GP and had a talk with him. He said it won’t matter how much you walk if you’re eating too much in the way of carbohydrates.

I weighed myself in his office – I don’t keep a set of scales at home – and the figure was higher than it had been two months earlier, so he gently lectured me for about five or ten minutes detailing what to look out for and how to keep my carb intake low. 

I found a mobile phone program in the Apple store called the Keto Tracking App. It’s free to use with basic functions, but you’ll probably need to pay (either subscription or one-off cost) if you want to use it properly. It allows you to scan barcodes to log foods consumed, which lets you see how much of the daily allowance – given my goal of losing weight – each item represents. For food without a barcode you can source details from the packaging or online, and then enter them manually. 

The app suggests 29g of carbs daily but a commenter on another post I made said 45g of complex carbs a day is the most sustainable method if you want to lose weight. If I stick to the phone’s recommended allowance, the app says I’ll reach my target weight – losing 10kg – by March. 

Some of the app’s navigation isn’t crash hot, but the ability to see – per item – carb intake is wonderful as it gives you an idea, from moment to moment, about what is suitable to eat and what is counterproductive. I would’ve liked to see a better progress chart with the goal strongly highlighted so that you have a better feel of where you stand in relation to it. 

The Keto Tracking App could also better integrate with the iPhone’s own health database. The phone’s step tracking is great as it tells you in the absence of any effort on your part – apart from the necessity to carry your phone with you – how far you have walked each day. The Keto Tracking App has a water intake recording tool as well as an exercise tracking tool but it wasn’t clear to me that there’s a benefit to using these. On the one hand, water has no carbs unless it’s sweetened with sugar. On the other hand, Apple provides its own exercise monitor for free, so: why not use it?

Carbs eaten on this day: 117g. (Estimate made with the app.)

In the evening I went with a friend to Coles and bought a honeydew melon, a pear, kiwifruit, and beetroot.

8 October

Went to Woolies and bought (see receipt below) prawns, ginger, lentil salad, eggs, lentil soup, avocados, “Aussie Bodies” low-carb snacks, and mouthwash. Later I went to the Vietnamese restaurant near the light rail station and bought a container of fried rice to take away.

Total carbs eaten on this day: 94g (near bedtime I went mad with Gaiety biscuits, having eaten little during the rest of the day).

9 October

My first day using a new app I found the day before called FatSecret, which is free to use and which you can sign into using your Apple login. It also synchronises with the Health app that comes native with the iPhone. Instead of using a barcode scanner to identify foods, Fat Secret gives you a search function that allows you to find retail items in a list within the app. 

You can also change the way quantities and volumes are registered. Instead of a whole honeydew melon, you can choose a slice (one-eighth of a 13-inch melon); instead of a whole avocado you can punch in “0.5” as the quantity; instead of a standard serve (250ml, or a cup), you can punch in a different amount in millilitres. This gives you flexibility. And, unlike the Keto Tracking App, FatSecret allows you to edit meal entries instead of having to delete and re-enter them. 

Overall, it’s a better application and includes a barcode scanner so that you can add foods that are not already listed in the database. The way you can plan the next day’s meals, and monitor nutrients to be consumed even before eating anything, is marvellous.

I found this app while searching for carb content of a food I was going to enter into the other app. In fact I found both of the apps in the same way but FatSecret is definitely the one I’m going to use by preference, though I’ll keep Keto Tracking App on hand in case I need to find out things that FatSecret cannot uncover.

On this day my application to join the Keto Tracking App Facebook group was accepted and I bought a Withings wifi-enabled scale at Amazon Prime (delivery free and due in 2 weeks’ time).

In the afternoon, on the way to Wollongong, I bought a pack of water at a petrol station.

12 October

Went to the Fish Market for breakfast with a friend and while there bought school prawns, asparagus, a lettuce, tomatoes, onions, garlic, eggs, and chocolate snacks. In the afternoon had a local appointment and while out popped into Woolies and bought flavoured sugarless mineral water and some of the “Aussie Bodies” low-carb snacks my GP had recommended.

13 October

At Coles bought kimchi, noodles, pork sausages.

15 October

Went to the pharmacy and while in the arcade bought avocadoes and flavoured sugarless mineral water.

16 October

Went to Woolworths and bought milk and sugarless flavoured mineral water. Also went to the GP and got weighed: 2.5kg lower than at my last visit.

18 October

Went to Woolies and bought (see receipt below) flavoured sugarless mineral water. The Woolworths branded bottles are bigger and cheaper than the Schweppes ones, but it always seems sneaky for a retailer to benefit from a supplier creating a market for a range of goods, then undercutting them with their own, home-branded product (priced lower than the original).

Here’s the winning record of a week’s worth of calories and carbs, using the Fat Secret app. Each meal is shown in a different colour: yellow for breakfast, blue for lunch, pink for dinner, and purple for snacks.

Here’s the iPhone’s activity report for the same week, measuring the number of steps walked:

A large number of snacks eaten on Friday indicative of hunger I felt due to the small quantity of calories consumed the day before (see earlier table). On Friday evening I ate a good deal of snacks – including ones with lots of carbs in them – at home on the couch after spending most of the day indoors. 

The week’s tally of carbs is visible in the following table:

20 October

Went to the convenience store across the road and bought milk.

21 October

Went to my GP and weighed myself. This time, I’d lost a further 1.7kg. We had another chat about dieting and eating.

26 October

Went to Woolies and bought (see receipt below) brazil nuts, protein bars, and some flavoured sugarless mineral water.

My diet’s statistics for the previous week were also available on this Monday. First, the calorie intake:

You can see in the above chart how I’ve adjusted the intake level to increase the amount eaten at breakfast and lunch, and decrease the amount of food eaten for dinner. The level of calories consumed is also more uniform across the week, compared to the previous week. This is because I’m getting used to the diet, and can better, now, understand what my body needs. 

The following chart shows the week’s activity report made using the iPhone:

Finally, the macronutrient report for the same week:

The amount of carbs increased due to eating meals with others; it’s more difficult to control your diet when those around you aren’t following the same regimen. This trend continues in the subsequent week during which time I’m living at a friend’s house – appositely perched, looking out over a river, right on the edge of a cliff. At dawn you can hear birds and your computer’s fan, accompanied by a water feature making its sound.

27 October

Went to the GP and weighed myself. Had put on 600g, and I mentioned the circumstance where I’d been staying with friends and had less control of my diet. The doctor listened then gave me more pointers.

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