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Using SuperTracker, you will analyze your diet from 3 days of eating. You should keep a log of what you’ve eaten over 3-days, including all food and beverages. Do not include supplements (i.e. multivitamins, sports supplements, etc…). Let’s see how you’re doing from the food you eat only. One of these 3 days should be a weekend day – so you will have a record on two weekdays (Monday-Friday) and one weekend day (Saturday or Sunday). You do not have to record three consecutive days, but you can if you wish. You should then record all food that you have eaten into the diet analysis website. Pay special attention to serving sizes when you enter in your foods. Here is a good rule of thumb: When entering in most foods, assume you had two servings, not one. For example: a serving of peanut butter in a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is two tablespoons. Most of us don’t measure this out – we use a butter knife and spread it out on a slice of bread. Guess what – that’s usually 3-4 servings there. A service size of meat? That’s just 3 ounces – about the size of a child’s fist. How many restaurants out there serve just 3 ounces of meat? Not many. A children’s menu at a steakhouse usually contains 6 ounces of meat – 2 servings! Also – do not forget about condiments! They add up. How many servings in salad dressing? Same as peanut butter. Drizzling dressing (what most of us do) is an easy way to exceed 2 tablespoons.
Tips on Supertracker: There is a “Track Food & Activity” tab near the top of the screen. Feel free to explore the website, but to record food, you will need to select “Food Tracker” under the Food & Activity tab. There you can add the foods and beverages you consumed. Note that the software may not have the exact food or brand of food that you ate. In some cases, you will either have to pick the closest food that the software does have to your food, or you will have to create that food. To create a food, select “My Recipe” from the Food & Activity tab. Once all your foods have been entered over the three-day period, you should go to the “My Reports” tab near the top of the screen. Choose the “Nutrients Report” – select the days you recorded your intake for by the “View Report from” – then click “Create Report” on the right. Right above the “Create Report” button, there is “Export Report As” – then an option to explore as a pdf file, MS word document, or MS excel document. You should export your report – which option you pick (pdf, word, or excel) does not matter. Pick any that works for you.
The Analysis Part: From this report, you should write a 1-page typed report (maximum) summarizing your diet (11 to 12-point font, single-spaced). What are you getting too much of? What are you not getting enough of? What foods could you eat more of or less of to improve this? Credit is awarded for detail (i.e. “I am low in vitamin E, so I should include more almonds” will earn more points than, “I am low in vitamin E, so I should eat more vegetables.” (Not every vegetable is a good source of vitamin E). Make sure to address each and every nutrient that is “Under” or “Over” your recommendation. For everything else that you’re over in, I wouldn’t be overly concerned, unless you’re way, way over (example, 1000% of your vitamin A). In this case e-mail me if you have questions about a nutrient you’re really far over in). For saturated fat, sodium, and trans-fat, what is the top food source contributing most of that nutrient to your diet? SuperTracker will give you the exact food – don’t guess, and don’t assume. You must also show me that you’ve critically analyzed your diet for accuracy. Most individuals will grossly (and I mean hugely) underestimate their calorie intakes. This is usually, mostly due to underestimating serving sizes and forgetting about condiments. If you submit to me a report and your average calorie intake is 900 calories/day – unless you were really sick – that’s unlikely and would put you at risk for malnourishment. For the record, a sedentary (inactive) 60 year old women needs about 1200-1600 calories/day to maintain her bodyweight. The bulk of you are young, healthy, and probably more active. So be critical of your calorie intake. If you were sick when you completed your analysis – state so in the analysis. I’ll then keep that in mind when looking at your calorie intakes. One last important point: I DO NOT GRADE BASED ON HOW HEALTHY YOUR DIET IS! A good analysis of a diet consisting of nothing but bacon and donuts will receive a higher grade than a poor analysis of a diet consisting of kale, brown rice, and baked chicken. I also will not judge you. Please believe me on this. This assignment is about honesty to yourself (not me). I don’t have a perfect diet (no one does). This assignment is about you and for you. It’s not something you’re reading about in a textbook. It’s what you’re putting into your body each day.
You should then submit both the exported Nutrition / Nutrients Report (that the software provided) and your analysis summary on Blackboard by the due date noted above. When submitting the Nutrients Report – make sure to only submit one report showing the average of all three days.