My recommended calorie intake is 2472 kcals; my intake for the three days was 2327. As a result, I was consuming fewer calories than I needed to and was recommended. I believe that the recommendation was realistic; it allowed me to eat a fair amount of food without exceeding the requirements, allowing me to burn off a few calories. Since I wasn't putting in as many calories as I was roughly requiring, my body had to burn some calories from fat in order to make up for the shortage.
My recommended intake for protein was 46 grams, while I personally had 88 grams. I was recommended to only eat 130 grams of carbohydrates, while I ate 269, and I only ate 18 grams of the 25 grams of fiber that was recommended to me. I am not very pleased with the macronutrient phase of the diet, as I had far too many carbs and proteins, and not enough fiber. In the long term, consuming the current number of kcals I am, it is possible that I could still gain weight, as I am not consuming the right kinds of calories (carbs and proteins mostly). While weight loss might eventually result as a consequence of taking in fewer calories than needed, I will be somewhat malnourished due to the lack of macronutrients.
My average vitamin and mineral intake was higher than normal; the biggest deficits were a decided lack of potassium (3170 mg instead of the recommended 4700), calcium (625.7 mg instead of the recommended 1000), and vtamins C and E. Everything else I took in more than the recommended intake. As it stands, I am not very pleased at all with my current intake - I am getting many of the minor vitamins, but potassium and calcium are very important nutrients to absorb. Furthermore, I have consumed nearly twice the maximum recommended range of sodium (4690 instead of a maximum of 2300), which can be extremely unhealthy for me.
I need to specifically increase my intake of foods high in calcium and potassium, as well as vitamins C and E. I also need to drastically cut down my intake of sodium and phosphorus; fatty and salty foods should be reduced immediately. Oranges and orange juice with vitamin C should be consumed more often, and I will incorporate bananas into my diet more often for the potassium. If I continue down the present road of my nutrient levels, it is possible I am at risk for osteoporosis, due to the lack of calcium in my bones. Higher blood pressure can occur if too much sodium is ingested at a regular rate.
I have learned a great deal about nutrient intake throughout this exercise. For one, I realized that calcium can absorb better into your system if you have higher levels of vitamin C along with it. My short term goals, for the foreseeable future, are to slightly lessen my sodium intake. That will start with cutting out things like soda and fatty foods, as well as foods high in salt. That should at least mitigate some of the most egregious errors. Incorporating more fruits and vegetables into my diet will offset the choice of eating more carbs instead, so that should lessen those levels as well. My long term goals are to bring all of my nutrient and caloric levels down to acceptable levels; while I am eating just enough calories, I need to get them from better places, so that my protein and carb levels go down below acceptable levels.
In terms of my future plans to improve my diet, there are several steps I can take. I wish to pay more attention to the contents of the food that I am consuming, making sure to take a closer account of everything I am taking into my body. I will have the USDA nutrient intake chart available to me more often as a reference, so that I can make sure I am eating the right foods to see to my nutritional needs. I also wish to make stronger choices based not on specific hunger cravings, but on what I know is a)healthy for me and b) will satiate my hunger. There is also a desire to eat at a more regular schedule, making sure to eat at appropriate times when my metabolism will use the energy most effectively (e.g. eating nothing after 7 or 8 pm).