100 lb. Club - How to count calories?!

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12-21-2010, 12:35 PM
this might seem like an odd question but how exactly do you count calories?! I understand it basically but do you count other things? Do you count everything you eat/ drink?
I have 90lbs to lose, i know it's not quite 100lb but hopefully i am ok to be around in this forum?!
I also have a question about exercise. I can't afford to join a gym and i really dont feel ready to get out running or anything so what is the best thing to do on an extremely tight budget. I have a few different dvds that i haven't had a go at and an exercise ball, weights, yoga mat and other toning stuff and i'm not really sure what to do with most of them lol. So please, any advice would be wonderful!
Thank you!

12-21-2010, 12:42 PM
I count calories on www.sparkpeople.com (sometimes you need to be intuitive with spark. People will accidently enter things as having 0 calories in the database, but if you know your food had 200 cals, do not count it as 0, just click around and find the one that seems most appropriate :) ) either way, once you get the hang of it, it's easy :D

You just input your food (I do all of it, seems best ;) ) and it counts your other nutrients. If you like it can set up a plan of how much of each you should eat/how many cals if you put in a goal weight and time, etc.

Also yes you are welcome :D

I have an xbox kinect and I use the fitness stuff on there and I LOVE IT! :D Others will have other ideas though. :)

12-21-2010, 12:44 PM
Hi Fab, welcome to the forum!

By far the simplest way to count calories is to use something like sparkpeople.com or fitday.com or dailyplate.com. I use DietPower but it's not free (about $49 some years ago); the others are free.

You type in the name of the food and the amount of it you're eating (or drinking, every single, last morsel), and the programme/system calculates not only how many calories you've eaten but how many fats/carbs/fibre/nutrients too. The nutrients bit is really important - it's easy to think, Oh, I'm eating healthily, if you eat a lot less than before; but if you're not getting enough vits and mins, you can feel very poorly.

I don't know about the others but with sparkpeople, when you put your height and weight, goal date and amount in, it tells you how many calories a day you should be eating.

Good luck!

Pacifica Bee
12-21-2010, 12:53 PM
I'm just going to answer your questions in the order you asked them :)

I use FitDay ( http://www.fitday.com/ ) to count my calories and it works really well. You can also create "custom foods" so I created "1 calorie";that way if I know I eat something that is 60 calories and I can't find it in the list, I just add 60 units of "1 calorie".

Yes, you need to count every single thing you eat. The whole point of counting calories is to 1) learn how many calories are REALLY in the foods you eat and 2) stay within a calorie budget that you decide is right for you. If you don't count every single thing you eat and drink, there is no point and you end up lying to yourself about your intake.

Of course you are welcome in this forum!

The easiest exercise for you to start with is just walking. If you get your heart rate up, and you are a little out of breath, that is all you need to begin. when you are ready to add more to your exercise regimen, you can add some light weight lifting for toning. There are TONS of exercise instructions on the internet, all free. All you need is space in your house and the will and you can begin a great exercise program at home. Try to Google "exercise routine for women at home" and I bet you get more hits then you know what to do with.

Good luck!

12-21-2010, 12:56 PM
I count everything, if it has a calorie I count it. If you do not care to use the online calorie counters there are many books you can buy and keep with you, I personally would not be without The Calorie King Fat and Carbohydrate Counter. Others may prefer to go online, it is all a matter of personal choice. Walking costs nothing, just be sure you have comfortable shoes. Welcome and good luck !

12-21-2010, 02:32 PM
I like using an exchange plan to count calories, because it reinforces balance. I tend to go on food "jags" otherwise. I've used exchange plans so long (starting in 1974), that I have most memorized. I just have to check off the boxes I make in my journal - though I usually write down what I've eaten also.

12-21-2010, 03:09 PM
I learned, if it's not water, it's food and it counts! Count out everything, learn to measure portion sizes, don't just eyeball something because what you think is 1 cup might actually be 1.2 cups, etc. Every bite counts.

As for exercise walking is free and a great way to lose weight. My coworkers and I go walking half an hour at lunch, not only is it a stress reliever but it gets the heart pumping :)

Nola Celeste
12-21-2010, 03:24 PM
I second beerab's suggestion of measuring your food; it's so easy to eat a serving and a half or two servings of something calorie-dense and go off track without realizing it! Plus, measuring regularly gets you familiar with portion sizes, something I know I've had some trouble with.

If you like calorie-counting and find it works well for you, you'll probably want to invest in a digital food scale. Weighing is both more precise and more accurate than measuring. It's also easier--no cleaning your measuring cups all the time! I use my scale many times daily.

12-21-2010, 04:12 PM
btw sparkpeople has lots of other stuff like free streaming exercise videos (with all different types, including balls/bands, etc)

and they also have a personal page and a blog you can use which I love for feedback and support. ( I blog every day to keep accountable and it helps me SEE what stuff is going on besides just what I'm eating, like how I"m feeling, etc.)

They also have support teams and mesage boards.

12-21-2010, 04:43 PM
Thank you all. this is great advice and very helpful. I joined sparkpeople and have had a look round. they have loads of stuff so I will have to definitely investigate further but looks like it's going to be very useful for me.
Jessica x

12-21-2010, 05:43 PM
Welcome aboard! We're glad to have you with us!!

I use an online site. www.calorieking.com Someone mentioned his ook, this is the website. If I dont find the calories on there, I look it up online by doing a google search. Right in the top line of my web browser where you'd put the web address I type in my question and I get all KINDS of results. Always look at few sites and come up with a reasonable average number.

Good luck!

12-22-2010, 04:25 PM
Thank you Vixsin i will make sure to double check my numbers.
I worry that i will end up just eating snacks etc and not putting them in but then i guess it will only be me cheating myself so got to stay strong and true to myself!

12-22-2010, 11:44 PM
hello & welcome aboard! I used fitday for a while, but even tho i'm very computer savvy the darn thing drove me bonkers! i bought a cheap little calorie book and it's practically falling apart now LOL and checked the odd thing online. Once you've been at it a while, you 'remember' most of them (i'm lucky, i don't need a TON of variety, so I'm not constantly checking new numbers) but yes everything food-wise and liquid-wise and candy-wise gets logged! All the little bites, the candy off someone's desk, it all counts! And every now and then I take a portion, and THEN weigh it to see if my eyes are getting too BIG again ;)

As for the exercise, I never did go to a gym, I have resistance bands at home and did a lot of you-tube videos there's a TON of them out there - and I liked that I found some that were for extremely obese unfit people when I started - i basically SAT DOWN and did the bands for 5 minutes the first day and thought I'd puke :( But it gets better, faster than you'd think!

Welcome to the club and good luck to you :)

12-22-2010, 11:52 PM
I like http://www.dailyburn.com I've used spark people before and thought it was way too complicated. Daily Burn is simple, you can look up foods and also create your own and you can put in your exercises/workouts and when you sign up, you put in your information and it will tell you your calorie range that you should stay in.

As for workouts, I like the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders workout dvd's, not the dance one but the other two, one is yoga and the other is a regular workout. I also have two Biggest Loser dvd's and some other yoga ones.