Weight Loss Support - Does anyone else here just track calories?

12-02-2008, 06:16 PM
Do you track calories? If so, that's what I would like to focus on. Do you write down what you eat or do you have another method for tracking (magnets on the fridge, a bracelet)? I'd love to hear from you calorie counters.

I have the book "Calorie Counting for Dummies" which seems to have some great info.

12-02-2008, 06:23 PM
There are a lot of calorie counters here, we even have a forum dedicated to calorie counting:

12-02-2008, 06:25 PM
Oh, haha. Thank you for pointing that out. Now I can get even MORE support and I need it!

12-02-2008, 06:26 PM
I "write down" my caloric intake by using FitDay to track my calories. It is really working well for me. I also use FitDay to track my excercise calories. I have a HRM so it is pretty accurate (I hope). I like using Fitday because it gives me graphs and charts that show my progress towards a thinner life.

I am losing weight very, very slowly (sometimes not even a pound a week), but looking at a graph on Fitday from when I started gives me encouragement that I will eventually get there!!!!!

12-02-2008, 06:34 PM
I plan all my meals ahead of time for the day. I use the pad and pencil method. I have a good calorie count book. That way I don't have to be on line I use CalorieKing.
Others like to do it online, it is just a matter of preferance. The important thing is to plan ahead.

Mrs Snark
12-02-2008, 06:37 PM
I track calories and I write them down in my journal every day (along with my feelings and my exercise). Tracking calories has been the key to succeeding to my opinion. :)

12-02-2008, 06:40 PM
I also track using FitDay (the PC version). I also use data from a heart rate monitor (which has proved pretty accurate). I manage to keep enough of a deficit to average about 2 lbs/week. I pretty much do not go to bed without planning the next day's meals. Occasionally I'll switch things around, but within the plan that I've chosen.

12-02-2008, 06:41 PM
I keep a food journal and write down EVERYTHING I eat and drink. If I don't it is guaranteed I will eat too much. I've been doing this off and on for a couple of years and every time I am consistent in writing stuff down I lose. It's just a running list of the food, amount, and calories. I have three columns in a regular spiral binder notebook. I write several days on one page depending on room. Every so often--usually after lunch and dinner--I add the calories up to make sure I don't go over 1800. Once in a while I will go over then I exercise a little extra or not eat so much the next day. There is a great book, I don't remember the title right off hand, that gives a list of food and calories for each. I will post the name when I get the chance.

Thighs Be Gone
12-02-2008, 06:49 PM
I keep a spiral notebook and write down everything, everything! If I eat a tablespoon of ketchup, I track it. For me, it's the only way. The Daily Plate website and a pretty good help when you are unsure of calories. Lots of recipes already have calories, fat, etc. figured out for you. If you are cooking your own recipe, it won't take long before you know how many calories are in everything. This is a powerful thing--best of all, it's free.

12-02-2008, 07:15 PM
I also use Fitday and I love it. I usually eat a lot of the same things and you can save calorie counts for recipes and stuff. It has helped me a lot! :)

12-02-2008, 08:33 PM
I've read about a million diet books (haven't we all) and the one consistent thing I see is to write everything down. Maybe that's why I haven't done as well in the past. I always have trouble with writing things down. So, that's something I'm definitely working on!
I just purchased a menu planner which will help the hubby and I a lot. Sometimes when we can't think of what to make we eat fast food. So, this will help solve that.

12-02-2008, 08:37 PM
I'm not sure what you mean by "just". :)

I track calories - I input everything I eat into The Daily Plate at livestrong.com. I find tracking online is easiest for me since I'm on the computer all the time.

I also have made an effort to eat "clean" - that is to eliminate as much processed food from my diet as I possibly can and to eat foods with more of an awareness of where they come from and how eating them impacts the world around me.

Finally, I exercise. I lift weights, do HIIT cardio, and try to fit some yoga and/or pilates in there regularly. I also just started training for a 5k next year.

So ... from a diet standpoint, I just count calories as opposed to doing it as part of a "diet plan" ... but I also do other things to lose weight as opposed to "only" counting calories. :) If that makes sense.


12-02-2008, 08:58 PM
i keep a food journal. It used to be really detailed, but now its mostly just shorthand and abbreviations. Works well for me.

12-03-2008, 11:14 AM
I do the pen and paper method with a journal too. I track my calories and protein.

12-03-2008, 11:35 AM
I track mine on the Dailyplate.com. I like them because most of the foods I eat are already on there, it keeps track of foods you eat frequently and it also shows other nutritional information(grams of protien, carbs, sugars stuff like that.) I don't know how many grams of protien or anything else I should be eating, so it gives you the % daily value based on what you have input for that day. Counting calories is the way to go for me, because I've found that in order to be able to stick to this diet, I need to have a little leeway in what I can eat. If I want pizza, I can save calories for the day to fit in a slice of pizza for example.

12-03-2008, 01:17 PM
Well now I feel stupid for asking how to count calories with things don't have labels. Thanks for posting all of those sites that is cool. How do you know how many calories you need to eat?

12-03-2008, 03:33 PM
Thanks for posting all of those sites that is cool. How do you know how many calories you need to eat?

Trial and error.

There are so many calorie requirement calculators out there. Here's one I've used in the past:


However, if I put my stats into it (253, 64", 42yrs) and say 8 hours resting, 16 hours light activity, it tells me that I burn 2464 calories. So either I'm underestimating my activity, but on 2000 calories during weeks that I don't exercise I still lose ~2lbs/week. The reality is that I exercise as well (but I eat more when I do). I know that I 'roughly' burn about 2900-3000 calories a day.

Calculators are a good starting point, but in the end if you track your calories closely, you'll get a better feel for what you burn. Start with tracking everything closely, and just pick a number (say 2000 cals). Weigh and/or measure everything if you can. ie. make sure that the number is accurate. After a couple of weeks (a month is better) you'll either be the same, or lighter. Then adjust your number based on that. The reason that I say a month is better is that, depending on changes to your diet, some people lose water weight when starting to eat better.

Good luck :)

12-04-2008, 02:04 PM

Thank you! I am slowly starting to get the information I need :) I really appreciate you taking the time to answer my question. I am going to go to the website to figure out what I need. :)

12-04-2008, 05:55 PM
I got my calorie estimate. My BMR is 1697 and my over all was 2404. :) Thanks so much for all of the help.

12-04-2008, 06:12 PM

After a year at it (this time), and one other very unsuccessful attempt (lost weight, but made myself sick) the only thing I've really learned is what works for me. With more food I can be more active and I seem to lose more weight. If I take my calories too low I become less active (except for workouts) and I tend to lose less weight. So for me, keeping my calories up seems to be the secret for me. Eventually, if lucky, we all find what works for us.

Oh, and with the numbers you got there, it's usually suggested that you don't eat below your BMR. With 2404 as a starting point I'd knock 500 off that daily and just try moving around a little more (ie. park further away, take the stairs, etc.) and see how it goes. Good luck!

12-04-2008, 09:35 PM
Anne Thank you so much. Sorry to ask another question but...

How many calories do I have to burn to lose weight?

12-05-2008, 08:50 AM
You need to burn 3500 to lose a pound. So, 500 calories of a deficit each day will give you a pound each week. Although, having said that, the body doesn't always give up weight in a purely linear fashion. Water can (and does) play with the numbers as well. I've found that keeping my water intake consistent helps, although around my period I'll retain water some months, then drop it in a matter of days.

Lori Bell
12-05-2008, 09:49 AM
I count calories and track them in cheap day planner/journal. I love to look at it. :) I use various online calorie counters to determine calorie amounts in restaurant foods and foods that don't have labels.

I think what I love best about counting calories is it's free. In the past I have spent so much money to lose weight, and then I couldn't afford new clothes. I made a vow to never spend money again to lose weight. My hubby makes fun of me because he thinks I'm a conspiracy theorist, but I have a feeling that if you really dig deep, the Frito-lay corporation owns half of the diet industry. <big grin>


This is my oppenion only, and I personally don't care if any one spends money to lose weight. If you have extra, spend it to get healthy by all means.

Thighs Be Gone
12-05-2008, 10:04 AM
Extacee, I find myself saving calories too or having a low day because the next day I am planning to eat out or whatever. I think it's a doable strategy long-term that WORKS with careful monitoring of weight.

01-12-2009, 06:28 PM
Thanks a lot all of you. I am down 3.5 pounds, which isn't a lot but at least I didn't gain though the holidays.

01-12-2009, 07:02 PM
I have an app called "Lose It" on my iPhone.

It's really good. Needless to say I haven't been good lately...