Consumption is defined as a process by which a substance is entirely used up, destroyed, integrated or changed into something else. On the other hand, consumption of goods and services refers to the quantity of goods and services used within a particular period of time (Boyle & Long, 2008). This paper analyses my personal food intake within a seven-day period, with an aim to better understand whether the foods I consume are beneficial or destructive to my general health.
The following table summarizes the various foods that I ate in the past week.
Nutrition experts advice people to eat according to a balanced diet that comprises of proteins, carbohydrates and vitamins, each in the right quantities in order to live healthy lives. However, not many people follow this advice due to either lack of money to buy foods that incorporate all the required nutrients in one diet, or ignorance types of food that constitute a balanced diet, or due to tastes and references of different individuals. I fall under those who love tasty food with moderate to high percentage of fat in it; despite the fact that I know they are not always healthy. From the table above, it is evident that I eat a lot of fried food which has a lot of oil; this is not only unhealthy, but also has a negative effect on my body and life.
In my quest to find out whether I am consuming the right types of food, within the required calories, I did a research in order to determine how many calories I was consuming per day. For instance, on day one, I took a cup of black coffee, 3 slices of bread, two fried eggs, and an orange for breakfast; fried chicken (a breast and a thigh), rice and a glass of Apple juice for lunch; and 500ml yoghurt for dinner. We can see that all the three nutrients; proteins, carbohydrates and vitamins are present in my first day’s meals. However, something that is worth noticing is the quantity of food that I take per meal, which is quite big, and, thus, has a lot of calories in it.
According to Boyle and Long (2008), the daily calorie intake varies per person depending on one’s lifestyle. With the help of an online calorie calculator, using my age, weight, height, exercise level and gender, I found out that my daily calorie intake should not exceed 1,500 calories per day if I want to maintain my current weight (70 kilograms). Let us take a look at the numbers of calories I consumed on day one. According to Insel, Ross and McMahon (2010), a cup of black coffee with two cubes of sugar has 50 calories, three slices of bread have 204 calories, 2 eggs have 158 calories, a medium sized orange has 71 calories; so on day one I consumed 483 calories on breakfast alone. At a lunch time, I took 1 fried chicken breast, which has 423 calories, while a thigh has 158 calories, rice (1 serving spoon) (241 calories), and a glass of apple juice which has 117 calories, totaling to 939 calories. During dinner I had 500ml vanilla yoghurt, which has 175 calories. My total calorie intake for day one was 1597 calories, which is slightly above my recommended daily calorie intake.
On day two I took a cup of black coffee which has 50 calories, 3 slices of bread with butter (1 tbsp. of butter has 100 calories) (304 calories) and 1 apple (80 calories), totaling to 434 calories. During lunch I consumed beef pie (620 calories) and carrot juice (94 calories), amounting to 714 calories. On supper I ate liver stew (320 calories) and cooked bananas (1 serving), which has 125 calorie, summing up to 445 calories. My total calories for a day two are 1593 calories.
On the third day I consumed a cup of black coffee which has 50 calories, 2 medium sized potatoes (boiled) (176 calories), and a medium-sized water melon (50 calories) for breakfast. According to my research, a medium sized boiled potato has 88 calories, and therefore, the two potatoes I took had 176 calories (Insel, Ross & McMahon, 2010). My total calorie intake for breakfast on day two was 276 calories. During lunch I drank 500 ml Yoghurt (vanilla), which has 175 calories. On the same day later, I ate meat stew (347 calories), vegetables (kales), which has 50 calories, and rice (241 calories), totaling to 638 calories (Boyle & Long, 2008). My total calorie intake that day was 1081 calories.
On the fourth day I took a cup of black coffee which has 50 calories, 1 (medium-sized) sausage (100 calories) and 3 slices of bread (204 calories), and a banana (100 calories) for breakfast. The total calorie intake for breakfast was 454 calories. During lunch hour I ate liver stew (320 calories) and cooked bananas (125 calories), totaling to 445 calories. Then I took meat stew (347 calories), vegetables (50 calories) and rice (241 calories) for dinner, adding up to 638 calories. The total amount of calories I consumed that day was 1537 calories.
On a day five in the morning I took a cup of black coffee (50 calories), and 3 slices of bread spread with 1 tbsp. of peanut butter (1 tbsp. of peanut butter has 105 calories), which has 309 calories, totaling to 359 calories. At a lunch time I ate chicken stew (314 calories) and rice (241 calories), totaling to 555 calories. In the evening I consumed 3 fried eggs (237 calories) with a cup of black tea (50 calories), totaling to 287 calories. The amount of calories consumed that day was 1201 calories.
On a day six in the morning I drank a cup of black coffee, which has 50 calories, with 2 medium-sized potatoes (176 calories), and a banana (100 calories), totaling to 326 calories. At a lunch time I consumed a medium-sized plate of French fries (600 calories), fried chicken (581 calories), and sausage (100 calories), totaling to 1281 calories. On supper I took meat stew, which has 347 calories and 2 chapatis (300 calories). Note, that one piece of chapati has 150 calories (Boyle & Long, 2008). The total calories I consumed that night were 647 calories, bringing the total calorie intake of day six to 2254 calories.
On a day seven I took a cup of black coffee (50 calories), 3 slices of bread spread with butter (304 calories) for breakfast; French fries (600 calories), fried chicken (581 calories), and sausage (100 calories) for lunch; and a 500ml yoghurt (175 calories) for dinner. My total calorie intake for that day was 1810 calories.
From my research, it is evident that I have been exceeding my recommended daily calorie intake, except for day 3 and 5, in which the total calories were lower than 1500 calories. The above table not only gives the foods I ate during the past week, but an overview of what I eat on a daily basis. I cannot deny the fact that I am very shocked at how many unnecessary calories I have been pumping into my body without knowing. That explains why I have not been able to loose weight, despite several attempts to become slim. The exorbitant daily calorie intake on day six and seven are attributed to my eating out over the weekends at lunch time, where I have been ordering junk foods. Thanks to this research, now I know that I have been eating unhealthy foods, and, therefore, I have no option, but to switch to healthier diets, if I want to live healthy.
Even though I have incorporated fruits or fruit juices in my meals, there are very few occasions that I eat vegetables. From my research, both fruits and vegetables are very important sources of vitamins that help to boost our immunity, and, therefore, I need to eat more of them. It is also worth noting that a majority of my foods lack fiber, which is very instrumental in digestion.
To conclude, this research, has equipped me with information on the calories contained in the food that we consume on a daily basis, and from now on, I will eat healthier foods with low calories, especially fruits and vegetables.