Calorie Counters - Why I love Counting Calories!




View Full Version : Why I love Counting Calories!


Kristi78
02-04-2010, 03:23 PM
Today for lunch I packed a nice salad for work. Unexpectedly my boss invited me to lunch at In N Out burger. I was thrown for a loop, but decided to go anyways. I've been so careful these first couple weeks with my new diet. I only ate 3/4 of the burger and about 1/2 of the fries. Immediately I looked up the nutritional information and recorded it (I was so nervous!). It ended up being about 650 calories total since I only ate part of it.

I love how calorie counting is flexible and allows for those unexpected times that pop up. It makes me feel that for the long term I can maintain my weight after the loss by watching calories, not by restricting certain foods as off limits.

Tell me, why do you prefer calorie counting over other diets?

Have a wonderful day!! :D


tiffany0809
02-04-2010, 04:05 PM
I love it for that exact reason! I don't have to cut anything out, just make room for it. Most of the time I try to make the most of my calories but sometimes I just need a burger or chocolate or whatever I'm craving that day.

Good for you on only eating half!! You clearly have more self control than I do. :)

PeanutsMom704
02-04-2010, 04:35 PM
I had a similar experience today, also related to a work lunch. We had ordered in so I did get to pick what I wanted and got a salad with some grilled salmon on it. But then when I opened the box, there were chips and a big cookie!! I passed the cookie onto a co-worker, but looked at the calorie info on the chips, and figured out that I could work them into my daily budget and enjoy. It helped that the dressing was so tasty, I was able to do the "dip the fork tines" thing and only use 1/4 of it!


eviemc
02-04-2010, 04:54 PM
Same here! We eat out and it is just a fact of life. I went to Taco Bell and had the Fresco Chicken Taco and the Fresco Steak Taco for a grand total of 300 calories!
I print out the menus to fast food places and restaurants so I am always prepared.
I also love the basic science of it.

mulder1921
02-04-2010, 07:03 PM
I also like it because its FREE!

beachbabe8406
02-04-2010, 08:41 PM
I had a similar experience yesterday. The group I am working with decided to go to Macaroni Grill for lunch. I thought there was no way I was going to be able to eat much of anything there. I looked things up before hand a picked a few dishes I could eat half of and stay within the calorie range that I wanted. When I got to the restaurant I was pleasantly surprised to find they have a new menu that shows the calorie counts... and there was a whole dish on there with less calories than the half dishes I had picked out! It was awesome!

jigglefree
02-04-2010, 10:33 PM
I love calorie counting because it's not restrictive. It allows for date nights, work lunches and romantic dinners. Just a lot of flexibility. It only requires planning.

L.J.
02-05-2010, 06:48 AM
I agree with Mulder and jigglefree. Never thought I'd like CC but I am so into now and lovin' it.... I journal and even that's fun :D
.....and everything and anything at your fingertips, just up to you to make the better choices, and still have a snack of choice.

dayoneagain
02-05-2010, 07:10 AM
I like calorie counting because there are clearly definable goals and I always feel good when I meet my calorie intake target. Also, those times when you do go wrong you can clearly see how much you have to make up for.

For a while I tried to guess and just eat well, but it doesn't work so well without those clear cut boundaries and targets strict calorie counting provides.

lovingsam
02-05-2010, 08:16 AM
I love calorie counting because I feel in control of what I am doing. I have boundaries, but inside of those boundaries I have some freedom too. If I want to eat out or have that little piece of chocolate, I can! I just have to account for it and stay within my calorie range. I think it helps resolve a lot of eating guilt for me too. I don't have to feel bad because of something I ate, I just have to make it work into my day calorie wise.

freedomreins
02-05-2010, 08:28 AM
Why do I love it? Because I had a loss this week of 0.6, which is a lot for me recently, and I ate garlic bread (one of my FAVOURITES) twice! YAHOO!

PeanutsMom704
02-05-2010, 11:04 AM
I love that nothing is "off plan" if I really want it and figure out how to fit it into my calorie budget.

But even more, I love the fact that because there is no forbidden food, I'm less tempted to cheat, so I don't even bother eating the foods I would have cheated with. I know they are there, if and when I want (or feel like I HAVE to have them) but knowing that makes it much easier to decide, nope, don't really want it.

moonkissed
02-05-2010, 04:29 PM
I love it for all the reasons listed here :) It being free is great, anyone can do it.

I like being in control. I am also a horrid picky eater lol. So it means I dont have to worry about finding stuff I will eat so much.

I also like it because it really gives you so much of a better understanding about what you are eating. Since starting calorie counting I learned so much about nutrition and would be hugely surprised about what calories some things do have!

Hades Handmaiden
02-05-2010, 04:57 PM
I love counting calories because I know that you don't combine 2 dinners as one dinner and then complain about not losing weight. Example: I make chicken wraps for dinner just like McDonald's does. I take either grilled (for me) or fried (for the kids) and wrap them up with some lettuce and cheese. They are healthy and you get 2 for 400 calories if done right. That's a dinner for me. Well, tonight my roommate's daughter and grandkids are coming over and she's making the fried ones AND mac & cheese for dinner which is a whopping 800 - 900 calories depending on the size of the mac serving. One serving is 400 calories, the wraps would be 500-600 (I haven't looked up the fried calories) and then add mac on top. UGH. For me that's just too much and I'll probably leave while they eat. I just can't fathom 1000 calories for dinner. But if you do eat that, don't complain that I am losing and you aren't (as my roommate).

mkyice
02-05-2010, 05:31 PM
I like counting calories because I can still eat whatever I want (just not necessarily as much as I want). It is easy to do once I got into the habit of doing it. The hardest part of calorie counting for me is figuring out calories in casserole type dishes(if I am not using a receipe that includes nutritional info). I usually end up doing the math for the whole pan and then dividing that number into servings.

discoloration
02-05-2010, 06:04 PM
I think by counting Kcal I am more aware of what I'm eating. I Didn't know how much I was eating until I did! It really puts things into perspective.

Thighs Be Gone
02-05-2010, 06:14 PM
I think I like it because it works and best of all, it's free. I like it because it is an unending process of educating myself to make the best decisions nutritionally. I like it because nothing is ruled out--I can make room for it. Although, I know I don't have many "play " calories if I plan on getting my nutrition in. I like it because it revolutionized (sp?) the way I prepare foods for myself and my family.

Kristi78
02-05-2010, 07:08 PM
Love all the responses! It's FREE, no gimmicks or food to buy and there is nothing off limits. I like these the most. It is about holding yourself accountable for the food choices you make. If I indulge now, my next meal will be light. Besides, when you finally hit goal the transition is smooth because you already learned how to eat healthy (compared to packaged food diets with lots of rules).

:dancer:

Thighs Be Gone
02-05-2010, 07:36 PM
Oh, I forgot a HUGE reason--it is lifelong and depends on no external sources! It only depends on YOU! :)

tania31
02-06-2010, 07:46 PM
Its free. Dont have to join a program *nothing wrong with that though just not for me*
It helps me make better choices. i look at the calorie content and ask myself if i want to spend my calories on a paticuler food item.
I eat healthier. I could eat very little food for my calorie limit or i could eat a bunch of healthy food for the same calorie value. I am the type that likes to feel "full"
I am always asking myself if i am getting the most "bang for my calorie buck"
I am extremly frugal and love to save money and am always looking for the best deal. controlling calories to me comes naturally since i budget anyways...

Jae165
02-06-2010, 08:55 PM
I love that nothing is "off plan" if I really want it and figure out how to fit it into my calorie budget.

But even more, I love the fact that because there is no forbidden food, I'm less tempted to cheat, so I don't even bother eating the foods I would have cheated with. I know they are there, if and when I want (or feel like I HAVE to have them) but knowing that makes it much easier to decide, nope, don't really want it.

EXACTLY !!!! :carrot::carrot::carrot:


And it teaches you how to eat for a lifetime. On "normal" items that you can get from any grocery store. No speciality things by mail.

LadyNASDAQ
02-07-2010, 10:11 AM
Kristi,
I'm going to calorie counting as of tomorrow. I have had the most horrible trouble staying on both Weight Watchers techniques. I stepped on the scale and finally lost 1 lb. lol. I'm a mess with that so here are my reasons why I'm switching back to calories after about 30 years away from it.

When I worked calorie diets I was more connected with the food. An egg has so many cals. A slice of bread, an oz. of meat, it goes on and on.
So why do calories? It's easier. Pretty soon all the restaurants will have their Nutrition Info on the menus or in a pamphlet. Most boxed foods and canned goods also have their NI's on the wrappers.
If I go out to dinner there are many web sites that have calories listed and more books have calories than they have fat and fiber. Weight Watchers is very concerned about fiber and well that may be good but Points do NOT equate to calories and I think I'm overeating on their Programs. Just not losing enough weight.
I think the only thing that will goof me up w/calories is keeping my activity level up enough to stay in moderate range so I bought a few Leslie Sansone dvd's and will fix that. I need a calculator for calories burned so that will keep my calories appropiate to my level of activity.
Now calories in foods aren't the same. If you lean harder on higher fiber foods like oatmeal vs. fruit loops for breakfast you will lose weight easier but if fruit loops are what you crave one morning a week or pancakes for ex., eat it. It can be calculated into your week just as easily as a candy bar you might want if you so desire it for a snack at the movies or a planned snack as you see fit that will work for you. I had a Weight Watchers Leader who had a small snickers bar every night the whole time she was losing weight to goal so nothing makes me surprised.Also, I like protein foods like salmon. Salmon is wonderful for your heart and coronary arteries so again that will be a plus.
I just think calorie counting is going to be the easiest for me. Get a good digital scale. Like I've said, my digital scale weighs and will even give you the calories for the food raw or cooked. It's by Biggest Loser and it is made by Taylor I believe and I purchased it from QVC. It's about $50 and oh so worth it. It's easy to use too.
For me, calorie counting will also allow me to switch gears. Some days higher on the good carbs like potatoes,winter squash,brown rice, occasionally pasta blends or even white pasta but I can work that all in. Some days I want a higher amount of meats and smaller servings of carbs.
I also like a lot of boxed foods out there and I know they're higher in sodium but let me say this, lifestyle dictates a lot for me. I have to swing my diet around 12 hour shifts that may be stacked back to back so eating a boxed meal or a breakfast for dinner and getting my quota of foods within my calories is essential and you can't compare that to falling off as you know. From experience I also lose weight from boxed foods like Smart Ones, Lean Cuisine and Healthy Choice but outside of those diet brands there are other options as well and to me as long as the meals are within the numbers and the day is balanced it's a wait and watch thing. The scale will tell me along with my body.

NorthernExposure
02-07-2010, 11:50 AM
Hi, I'm new here but thought I'd jump in!

I totally agree with all of the reasons listed for the calorie counting route. Years ago I did try this approach, but it was harder because there wasn't as much nutritional info available and/or you had to carry a little calorie book around with you everywhere you went. Now I have an app on my iphone (called "lose it") where I can record all my calories/exercise. How easy is that?

I know calorie counting isn't for everyone, but I like having a concrete way of knowing exactly what I'm putting into my body and not having to depend on "points", pre-packaged foods or restricting myself to a very limited variety of foods (i.e., South Beach.) Again, if these things work for others, that's great! But they're just not for me.

As others have mentioned, I also like the idea that giving into a temptation here or there doesn't automaticaly "blow" your diet. Just incorporate that cookie or handful of chips into calorie count and keep going along with your day! Much better than saying "Oh, well I blew it. Might as well pig out on pizza tonight." That was a big pitfall for me.

Karen925
02-07-2010, 12:35 PM
I totally agree with all of the reasons listed for the calorie counting route. Years ago I did try this approach, but it was harder because there wasn't as much nutritional info available and/or you had to carry a little calorie book around with you everywhere you went. Now I have an app on my iphone (called "lose it") where I can record all my calories/exercise. How easy is that?

I have found this to be true as well. I love the truth that calorie counting provides. Do I expect it to be accurate down to the last calorie, no, but the interesting thing is that it doesn't need to be. A good, honest effort is enough. Doing my best to be diligent makes up for the variable calorie counts.

Great thread.

L.J.
02-07-2010, 12:41 PM
I have found this to be true as well. I love the truth that calorie counting provides. Do I expect it to be accurate down to the last calorie, no, but the interesting thing is that it doesn't need to be. A good, honest effort is enough. Doing my best to be diligent makes up for the variable calorie counts.

Great thread.

LadyNASDAQ, Karen and NortherExposure....
Everything you all said....ditto!!

L.J.
02-07-2010, 12:45 PM
I love that nothing is "off plan" if I really want it and figure out how to fit it into my calorie budget.

But even more, I love the fact that because there is no forbidden food, I'm less tempted to cheat, so I don't even bother eating the foods I would have cheated with. I know they are there, if and when I want (or feel like I HAVE to have them) but knowing that makes it much easier to decide, nope, don't really want it.

Totally agree!!

seagirl
02-07-2010, 01:00 PM
I love that I can prepare all my own food (I love to cook) and know what I'm eating. I just put the ingredients into Sparkpeople and can adjust my meals to fit my day. I can also learn how my body reacts to different foods - like if I don't have around 900 calories for breakfast and lunch, then I'm famished when I get home and eat way way to much. But if I have 900 before dinner, then I can have a normal dinner.

Thelmissa
02-07-2010, 05:54 PM
I love it for that reason too, obviously I'm not alone! I had spaghetti with portabello (sp) mushrooms and 2 slices of garlic bread for dinner. I ate a filling amount, enjoyed every bit of that garlic bread, and I still have room for some sort of snack later.

Kristi78
02-07-2010, 07:41 PM
LadyNASDAQ- I COMPLETELY agree with you in regards to Weight Watchers. I had decent success with them in the past but I always looked to high fiber foods as ways to "maximize" my points. I also discovered Leslie's videos and find them perfect for me. I used to bust my behind at the gym and felt so guilty when I fell off the wagon. The Leslie videos are easier to keep up as a routine long term. Thanks for reminding me about the food scale! I really need to get one of those.

Northern Exposure- I use the "Lose It" application too and I love it!! Keeps me on track and I like the weekly reports too. Best thing ever.