So I'm doing the calorie counting and still trying to figure out my good range. In addition to that I'd like to make some other goals as well, like fat grams to stay under, how much protein to eat, how much fiber I need, etc.
What numbers do you guys shoot for, and what do you eat in a typical day to meet those numbers?
06-27-2009, 05:33 PM
I was thinking about this too!I was wondering if you other calorie counters ,watch how many carbs,sugars,salt you are eating?Is there a certain number you won't go over? Or do you just count calories?Thanks!Tracy:)
06-27-2009, 05:43 PM
I count carbs, fats, fibre and calcium, as well as the calories. I use sparkpeople and try to stick within their guide range.
06-27-2009, 06:45 PM
I count calories and calories only. BUT, and it's a big one, I make certain that my calories work for me. I am very choosy with those precious little guys. I need nutrient rich foods, satiating and voluminous ones. For me that means protein and/or fiber at each and every meal & snack. It also means I don't eat 100 calorie packs and the such. Because like I said I need - VOLUME. I need my food to last and keep me full for a long time. Those 100 calorie packs are over in 2 seconds flat, provide me with no nutrients and worst of all - they leave me clamoring for more & more 100 calorie packs. I needed to dry up my wants for "those foods" and eating stuff like that only keeps my wants for them alive. I needed to destroy that side of me.
By wanting lots of volume and filling foods - my numbers are all kept in check. I keep fats to a minimum because of this - too caloric. I eat only complex carbs because of this - nutrient rich and filling and heavily loaded with fiber. And I eat lots of protein because of this as well - filling, nutrient rich food.
06-27-2009, 06:56 PM
I don't count anything else, but I'm really conscious about protein and fiber. I eat a lot of both. When I have tracked them in the past I usually ate at least 80 grams of protein and at least 30 grams of fiber (mainly with Fiber One). Right now I'm really trying to get more fruits and veggies into my diet. It's harder than I thought it would be.
06-27-2009, 06:58 PM
Ooh - didn't see that - and what do I eat?
TONS and TONS of veggies. Salads of all sorts, roasted veggies of all sorts. Just an enormous amount of them. All throughout the day.
Lots and lots of protein - salmon, tilapia, egg white omlettes, turkey and chicken breast - prepared in all sorts of ways.
Soups - many different varieties - loaded with veggies. Chillis - loaded with beans and veggies.
No fat yogurt with 1/4 cup Fiber One cereal.
And some fruit.
I eat often - every 2 - 2 1/2 hours or so. I HATE being hungry and avoid it at all costs, so I eat often.
I'm a fabulous cook if I do say so myself. I urge you to be creative and search for foods that you LOVE. That is the key - if you love what you are eating on plan, then it's much easier to stay on that plan. No need to go off! Experiment with different veggies and methods of making them. Try out different spices and vinegars and broths for cooking while eliminating the fat. Be adventurous!
06-27-2009, 07:34 PM
I try to eat between 1200 and 1600 calories per day, under 165 grams of carbs, under 45 grams of fat and between 22-30 grams of fiber. I also try to stay under 2300 grams of sodium.
I almost always have cereal, soymilk and strawberries and blueberries for breakfast. Lunch is a turkey sandwich with high fiber bread, or a salad w/nuts and feta cheese, or hummus and a pita, or a lean cuisine. Dinner is a veggie burger with a spinach pancake or grilled fish or quesadillas with black beans and ff cheese. I just make lower cal versions ofwhat I feed the rest of the family.
06-27-2009, 09:26 PM
I echo what Robin has already said. I count calories only and try really hard to make them count. I eat lots of protein, complex carbs, and fiber rich foods. I don't eat sugar or white flour and again like Robin, I never touch those 100 calorie snack items. I would rather have yogurt, fruit, or some other healthy choice. I have finally learned that for me I have to stay away from lots of foods that have kept me fat all these years. I am also a very good cook and I totally enjoy searching out healthy and yummy recipes to feed my honey and myself.
06-27-2009, 11:38 PM
I have to count calories, carbs, protein, fiber, cholesterol, and calcium (those last two per my doctor). I try to shoot for a 40-30-30 balance with carbs-protein-fat, but I do best weight loss-wise if I can get my carbs below 40% of my calories for the day.
It's a hassle. But my body works a lot differently than most, and finding the right balance for weight loss has been really challenging for me. Most people don't have to work quite as hard to balance their food, I imagine.
06-28-2009, 01:58 AM
I mainly count calories, but I try to get at least 100g of protein, 25 grams or higher of fiber, limit my sugar, and sodium. I also agree with rockinrobin, make the calories count. If it doesn't benefit my body in some way, then its not worth eating.
I eat tons of fruit, yogurt, flax seeds, chicken, salmon, shrimp, cottage cheese, beans, asparagus, brussel sprouts, sunflower seeds, salads with lots of glorious things. I guess these are the main things that are included in my daily routine.
06-28-2009, 02:41 AM
Hee :) I don't actually count them anymore, because it's more habit/lifestyle, but when I started, I counted SUPERFOODS! I read this amazing book that jumpstarted my journey - Super Foods Rx: The 14 Foods That Will Change Your Life.
The 14 foods are:
Pumpkin, Oats, Blueberries, Spinach, Salmon, Soy, Walnuts, Tomatoes, Beans, Broccoli, Turkey, Oranges, Tea and Yogurt.
Most super foods also have sidekicks. So for example, pumpkin has sweet potato, orange pepper and carrots. Tomatoes has watermelon and papaya. Oats has whole grains, etc. Sidekicks are considered great foods too.
When I first started, I only counted super foods. I had this game, to try to eat as many per day as possible, each representative from each group only counting once. So, if I had a salad with grape tomatoes and then watermelon for a snack, that still only counted as 1 Super Food.
It was amazingly effective - I was so busy eating super foods (and so committed to eating for good health and changing how I ate forever) there just wasn't a lot of opportunities to eat non super foods.
Eventually, I started counting calories, just to get an idea what I was eating (I was actually coming in a little low most days, so had to adjust accordingly). Later, I also became more interested in tracking healthy fat and protein - to try to make sure I was eating enough of both.
Now that I'm maintaining, I don't do anything detailed anymore. I eat so many super foods every day, I don't have to count, it's permanent. I do rough calorie estimates to make sure I'm in the daily ballpark.
I didn't count anything yesterday - let's see how I did (super foods in bold).
Menu from yesterday:
B - package of raspberries (blueberries sidekick), Trader Joe's Greek yogurt with honey (about 200 calories)
L - Romaine (spinach sidekick), grape tomatoes , shredded carrots (pumpkin sidekick), purple cabbage (broccoli sidekick), red onion, a small piece of left over steak, cut thin, a little bit of low fat ceasar vinaigrette dressing, a few crunchy onion pieces (500 calories for all)
S - cherries (blueberries sidekick (150 calories)
S - tall non fat cinnamon dolci latte (90 calories)
S - string cheese (90 calories)
D - 3 egg omelet, spinach, grape tomatoes, a little fat free feta, red onion, 1/2 spicy hot sausage link, chopped up, topped with tomatilla sauce (500 for all)
S - small handful of cashews (walnut sidekick) - 200 calories
Tons of green tea throughout the day!
1730 calories and 8 super food groups! 1800 is my goal and 10 super foods, did pretty good. Normally I have chicken on my salad for lunch, which would have counted as the turkey group. I also eat oranges a lot for afternoon snacks, just can't resist cheap cherries in season.
Oh and I had a Hershey's Kiss when I picked up the cat food from the vet :)
I feel good that I have made healthy eating such an integral part of my life. It has been nearly 5 years since I changed my life, back in July 2004. Maintaining is pretty easy, I love the foods I eat, I enjoy the feeling of taking care of myself and doing good things for my body/health.
06-28-2009, 04:06 AM
Robin - being choosy about the calories is such fun, isn't it? It's like at a birthday or a Christmas my mother (yup, still gone one, even at my age) gives me £50. Now, it's not a fortune but it's a chunk of money bigger than I would normally spend on myself just for fun.. I get weeks of pleasure out of that £50 by not spending it but spending the time window shopping or surfing to see what I'll spend it on; I never fritter it away. It's the same with my calories these days, though I don't take quite as long to plan a meal! but I get a lot of pleasure out of making them go as far and as tastily as possible.
Glory - I didn't know the 14 superfoods book and I think I'll track it down: I'm always keen to mix things up a bit.
06-28-2009, 10:45 AM
This was VERY helpful you guys, and gives me some direction for meal planning and shopping. I really appreciate the detailed answers - I took lots of notes! Thank you thank you! I definitely plan to take a look at that superfoods book too.
It was interesting to read how many of you avoid those 100 calorie snack pack things and opt instead for food with volume. I like that. Seems like such the logical choice, but admittedly I never really knew what those voluminous foods were. Now I have some real direction here, and would WAY rather go the deliciously nutritious route rather than the nabisco cookie route.
You have enlightened and educated me. I think I will add fiber and protein as "areas to watch" as in making sure I'm getting enough, along with calorie counting. I do know that I'm less hungry when I have those things, so win win.
Have I told you guys today how much I appreciate you all? :-). Seriously. You're helping me learn to eat like a grown up!
06-28-2009, 12:12 PM
I just don't find those 100 calorie snack packs tasty or filling. It would take probably....3 to satisfy me. Plus, I'm a little carb sensitive - cookies trigger me to want more cookies.
On a previous diet, I ate a lot of the Smart Wells (the 100 calorie packs of the time) and I would frequently binge on them. I couldn't figure out why I didn't have the will power to eat a serving and stop, I really felt like a failure. I thought I had a problem with food, turns out I just had a problem with some foods. Certain foods (mainly cold cereal, cookies, crackers, chips, pretzels) make me want to stuff my face with more and leave me feeling "Empty" and wanting more more more for hours. So, I avoid those foods.
And yes, I know that 100 calorie packs are portion controlled to prevent binging, but I've never had any problem in my life going back to a package for more!
Plus - they are JUNK! There is no nutritional benefit at all for eating them. Not that every food has to have some kind of nutritional benefit, but my goal was to eat BETTER for me! I do have treats and things, but they are DELICIOUS! Not a dry sawdusty fake Oreo sliver.
Whole foods just satisfy me and don't make me want to eat and eat. If I eat an orange, I'm usually pretty happy when I'm done. I don't think, damn, I wish I had another orange.
Alana in Canada
06-28-2009, 02:20 PM
A great way to feed yourself well when you are learning about good nutrition is following a portion control plan.
I eat the following. It adds up to about 1600 calories a day.
2 servings of fruit. (60 calories/serving)
Vegetables 4 servings (25 calories/serving)
Whole grains 5 servings, 80 calories/serving
Dairy: 2 servings (100 calories/serving)
Protein 7 ounces
fat 5 servings, 45 calories a serving.
water 8 servings, 8 ounces per serving.
I made up a chart for each week and keep track by ticking off boxes.
You can find out what foods "count" in each category (cheese, for example is protein plus fat) by looking at diabetic exchange websites and hillbilly housewife. Eating this way is extremely flexible.
What I eat:
breakfast: veggie omelet (made with olive oil)
or fruit and cottage cheese
lunch: flax wrap with 1 Tbsp humous (fat) carrots, spinach and mushrooms or cucumber--lots of veggies and 1 to 2 ounces of either lean ham, roast turkey breast or leftover chicken.
snack: veggies (love sugar snap peas!)
Supper: Stir fry with tons of veggies and 2-3 ounces of chicken or shrimp on either brown rice or whole wheat noodles. Sometimes it's even a pork chop and rice and green beans, lol!
Before bed, I have a snack of whatever is left on my chart. The other day it was blueberries and yogurt. Yum.
06-28-2009, 04:16 PM
I count calories (1700 per day)
fat (under 30% daily total)
protein (over 100 grams daily)
and water (2-3 litres)
I make sure to get the most nutritional PUNCH out of my food that I can. So I eat lots of veggies TONS. Lots of fruit. Chicken breast, tuna, salmon, turkey, tilapa. Lots of whole grains breads, pasta's. Nuts, dairy (though I'm most abstaining now due to gall bladder) etc.
I LOVE the idea of volumetrics so I eat HUGE salads with a bit of dressing and protein. BIG bowls of berries. Lots of popcorn... that type of thing.