100 lb. Club - Couting Calories




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mel hughes
06-22-2009, 12:53 AM
I've heard many of you ladies mention this as your "diet plan" of choice. It seems to me you ladies are having a lot of success.
So here is my question.

When comparing just basic calorie counting to Weight Watchers, which do you think is easier to follow and if you've tried both, which works better?

I've lost 15lbs this month on WW, but I was thinking maybe I should switch over.
How do you keep track of your daily intake?


Thanks in advance!


sockmonkey70
06-22-2009, 12:59 AM
Hmmmm...I have always been a calorie counter. I dabbled with Weight Watchers at one point, but in the end it was just simpler to keep up with calories and learn correct portions.

I would suggest writing everything down if you're going to count calories. Everyday. It seems I start getting off track when I get lax on documentation. I hope one of these days it will be a habit and I won't have to write down everything I put in my mouth, but I soooooo haven't got there yet. Mental notes tend to get lost in all this clutter hehe.

mel hughes
06-22-2009, 01:04 AM
That is what I was thinking, it'd just be easier to count the calories. My husband said "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." lol

I don't even know how many calories I should be having a day.


Idealmuse
06-22-2009, 01:08 AM
WW and calorie counting are almost the same. I've lost as much as 40 doing WW in the past, but I prefer calorie counting/balancing a deficit. There is just a better connection to knowing what's worth it and what's not. One point in WW can vary pretty widely (which doesn't matter with one point but 25 of them can giveyou quite a varient in calories) so your really never sure of what your intake was. Makes it harder to plan your exercise aspect.

Plus it's cheaper!

But really try and do what works best for you. If you do decide to try it w/o WW you can always go back.

Alana in Canada
06-22-2009, 01:10 AM
Ask your weight watchers person what the calorie count is! It's not top secret info--or it shouldn't be!

Kira told me that 1 point = 50 calories, I believe.

15 lbs in one month? Awesome!!!

It'll be one month for me on Thursday this week--already! If I have lost more than that it won't be by much (and it'll all have been water weight anyway. I was a great salt eater!).

sockmonkey70
06-22-2009, 01:18 AM
There are several calculators on the internet that will tell you how many calories you should be eating for you weight/activity level (just google calorie calculator). The amount will usually vary a couple of hundred among the different calculators, so you just have to choose what you think will work with best for your lifestyle. I always liked to err towards the high end because I would rather lose weight slower than be hungry hehe.

I would stagger my calorie intake too. Say I wanted to average 1500 calories a day...I might eat 1300 calories one day and 1700 the next. I just tried to make sure my average for the week was 1500. It is supposedly helpful in avoiding plateaus, and it helps when you are planning a day to eat out with friends or something. And when I stopped losing weight at a certain calorie range, I reduced it by 50 calories every week or two until I started seeing results again.

This site helped me alot. http://www.fitday.com/
I need to start using it again!

It looks like you are doing great on weight watchers though! Just do whatever makes you most comfy :)

abetterme
06-22-2009, 01:23 AM
I have counted points in the past. It worked but I prefer just counting calories. Of course, if you don't like counting calories, counting points works too! You're always counting something, Lol. I think they both work. :-)

Idealmuse
06-22-2009, 01:41 AM
Someone did figure out that it averages out to 50 a point but depending on fat/fiber it varies.

cfmama
06-22-2009, 02:44 AM
I've never done weight watchers but I DO calorie count. I track all of my calories at fitday.com and aim for 5-10 fruit and veg servings, fat under 30% and 100 grams of protein. Other than that I let the chips (lol) fall where they may.

I LOVE it. I've lost 124 lbs in 9 months. That... rocks.

rockinrobin
06-22-2009, 07:12 AM
Kira told me that 1 point = 50 calories, I believe.

This is what messes *me* up with WW. That and ""free" foods. Although I know it is HIGHLY successful for so many. But then again, I do know MANY people who eventually stall out on it.

I think counting something, keeping tabs on something is a VITAL component of weight loss/management. But - if I'm counting already, why not count the ACTUAL calories? I believe with the WW method it's more of an estimate. That one point will vary. If there's more fiber in it and other variables, but higher calories (more then 50), it's still one point. As well as some other inaccuracies. There are also lots of 0 points food, which to me would NOT work. I'd be eating those all day long and NOT create a calorie deficit. For me, I find it much simpler to count actual calories. You can find calorie info so easily these days, there's a kigillion sites for them and on every box and package that you purchase - WW points, that's just not the case. Oh and all those WW cakes and ice cream bars and things - not for me either.

You obviously had a GREAT month on WW (yay!!). If you enjoyed that, then you may just want to continue on with it. Maybe you'd like to try calorie counting for a month at some point so you can get a good feel for it and then you could decide for yourself which you prefer.

Keep up the good work though in whatever you choose. :)

synger
06-22-2009, 12:10 PM
I've tried food group restriction plans where you don't count anything but you eliminate whole food groups from your diet. They don't work for me.

Almost every other plan out there counts SOMETHING. Calories, points, exchanges, fat grams, carb grams, etc.

I just find it easiest to count calories. I also find that the more I do, the more accurate my internal calorie-list becomes. When I am faced with food choices, like in a restaurant, and I woefully underestimate the calories, I learn a great deal about it when I put them in MyPlate. And I learn to make better choices because of it.

Exchanges don't work as easily for me, especially with "mixed" food... which is most of what I eat. It's very hard for me to figure out how many fat exchanges and how many veg exchanges are in a lunch from the pay-by-the-ounce bar, when I didn't make the marinated tomatoes and cheese or the dill cucumber salad myself. Much easier to look in a database and find the calorie count for similar items.

I've never tried Weight Watchers, but I know a LOT of people who absolutely love the points system. But for me, who is on the computer every day so the databases are at my fingertips, it's just as easy to deal with calories.

mel hughes
06-22-2009, 12:46 PM
Ask your weight watchers person what the calorie count is! It's not top secret info--or it shouldn't be!

Kira told me that 1 point = 50 calories, I believe.

15 lbs in one month? Awesome!!!

It'll be one month for me on Thursday this week--already! If I have lost more than that it won't be by much (and it'll all have been water weight anyway. I was a great salt eater!).

I don't go to the WW meetings, just doing it at home with the info on my own. I know how many calories are in what I'm eating because I have to use that to determine the point value along with the fat grams and dietary fiber.
I was just thinking it may be easier to keep up with calories alone.

And I'm terribly addicted to salt..lol

mel hughes
06-22-2009, 12:57 PM
There are several calculators on the internet that will tell you how many calories you should be eating for you weight/activity level (just google calorie calculator). The amount will usually vary a couple of hundred among the different calculators, so you just have to choose what you think will work with best for your lifestyle. I always liked to err towards the high end because I would rather lose weight slower than be hungry hehe.

I would stagger my calorie intake too. Say I wanted to average 1500 calories a day...I might eat 1300 calories one day and 1700 the next. I just tried to make sure my average for the week was 1500. It is supposedly helpful in avoiding plateaus, and it helps when you are planning a day to eat out with friends or something. And when I stopped losing weight at a certain calorie range, I reduced it by 50 calories every week or two until I started seeing results again.

This site helped me alot. http://www.fitday.com/
I need to start using it again!

It looks like you are doing great on weight watchers though! Just do whatever makes you most comfy :)

I'm signing up for the site right now! Thanks!

mel hughes
06-22-2009, 01:00 PM
I've never done weight watchers but I DO calorie count. I track all of my calories at fitday.com and aim for 5-10 fruit and veg servings, fat under 30% and 100 grams of protein. Other than that I let the chips (lol) fall where they may.

I LOVE it. I've lost 124 lbs in 9 months. That... rocks.


Well, sign me up for your plan lady! lol I am going to start forcing myself to try some different veggies and fruits. I swear I will..lol

I ate a banana the other day. :D

rockinrobin
06-22-2009, 01:04 PM
If you're not benefiting from one of, IMO, the biggest benefits of WW - their support groups, then for sure I would think seriously about switching to CC.

FromFat2Fit
06-22-2009, 01:08 PM
Thanks for the FitDay info. I have been using Spark to keep up with mine and it has been so slow lately. I just signed up for FitDay and I am loving it!

mel hughes
06-22-2009, 01:09 PM
Thanks for all the replies ladies! I think I will try to do simple calorie counting this month and just see what works out better and easier. I'm having trouble finding something on what my calorie intake should be. Any suggestions?

rockinrobin
06-22-2009, 01:27 PM
Thanks for all the replies ladies! I think I will try to do simple calorie counting this month and just see what works out better and easier. I'm having trouble finding something on what my calorie intake should be. Any suggestions?

Well, how many WW POINTS were you consuming? I'd multiply that by 50 to give yourself an idea of a starting point.

mel hughes
06-22-2009, 01:34 PM
Well, how many WW POINTS were you consuming? I'd multiply that by 50 to give yourself an idea of a starting point.

What a good idea! I had 31,so that gives me 1550 calories.

time2lose
06-22-2009, 02:07 PM
Mel,

If you kept the food journal with WW, you could go back and calculate how many calories you were eating.

bargoo
06-22-2009, 02:10 PM
I have done WW as well as other diet plans. I think I have tried them all, or so it seems. I decided I wasn't going to pay someone to tell me what to eat so went to calorie counting. This works best for me. I am in maintenance, now and find calorie counting works best for long term weight loss. That has been my problem in the past, I would pay a lot of money for some program. lose and regain, over and over again. Calorie counting is free and a very flexable way of losing and maintaining.

synger
06-22-2009, 04:32 PM
Thanks for all the replies ladies! I think I will try to do simple calorie counting this month and just see what works out better and easier. I'm having trouble finding something on what my calorie intake should be. Any suggestions?

I'd figure it out one of three ways.


If you use an online calorie counting database like fitday or myplate they both estimate how many calories you need to lose 1 or 2 pounds a week, based on your current weight.
Or you can find a calorie calculator that will tell you how many calories you need to maintain your current weight (I use the one from Mayo Clinic (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/calorie-calculator/NU00598)). Subtract 200 or 300 from that, and increase your exercise, and see how that limit works for you for a couple weeks. Lower it a bit more if you want to lose a bit faster. But don't go too low. (I started with 2200 to maintain my weight, and aim for 1600-1800 a day)
Or just continue on WW for a few days, and put your food into the database of your choice (fitday, myplate, sparks). See what total you usually get with the WW points. Then make a calorie range based on that.

mel hughes
06-22-2009, 06:44 PM
Mel,

If you kept the food journal with WW, you could go back and calculate how many calories you were eating.

I think I'll do that just to see. I'm sure I was eating more calories than I should've been..lol

Trazey34
06-22-2009, 07:03 PM
the secretary in my office says she's lost 1000 pounds (that's right a THOUSAND) at W.W. over 25 years LOL She keeps telling me "it works" but I have to wonder at anything you have to keep doing over and over and over lol i want this chunk off me and GONE for good! I'm a calorie counter simply because I'm a suspicious cynic -- any business who's success hinges on my repeat business isn't where i need to be right now LOL

TJFitnessDiva
06-22-2009, 07:33 PM
I do WW and now do it at home (was going to meetings but stopped in March). To me CC and WW are almost alike. WW has some funky formula that takes in account the calories, fat and fiber of a serving and that equals a point amount. Fiber is capped at 4 so people can't add more fiber to something to lower the points value (I could go on lol but I'll stop there) I've done both but I tend to become obsessed more with a bigger number...dunno why but it just is lol It's working for me and since I've totally changed the way I eat...lean meats, healthy fats, whole wheat products, fresh fruit and lots of fresh veggies, etc....I know I won't be going back to my old way of life. It's just what I do now.

I do however track my calories for a week every few months on the daily plate to get an idea of what area in my diet I need to tweak...sodium, eating too much carbs, not enough protein, etc. I'm a carb/salt nut and sometimes I indulge a little more in those areas even if I stay with in my points or calories.

If keeping track of points is working for you then I say stick to it. It's certainly a lifestyle change no matter if you CC or not ;)

As for the zero point foods (which is usually a serving of a veggie, 30 cals or less...plain with no additives) or any double/triple serving...if you add 0+0 it does not always add up to zero ;) So you'll wind up counting it some way if you over indulge.