Nutrition and Labeling - Tired of calorie counting.




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MacAndEase
10-16-2011, 08:07 PM
I don't know how people do it. Calorie counting. I just can't do it, it's too much effort for me. To loose weight do i HAVE to calorie count. Basically i just read the nutrition facts or us common sense to tell if it's good for me or not.
What i usually eat on a daily basis.
Breakfast- Banana, PB with fig preserves on one slice of whole wheat toast, and a v8 (low sodium of coarse), fallowed with 20 oz of water.
Snack- Cheese stick, 16 oz of water.
Lunch- Trail mix unsalted. 16 oz of water.
Snack 2- Carrot sticks. 16 oz of water.
Dinner- Red lentil soup. 20 oz of water.
Snack 3- Yogurt, or chocolate cheerios. 16 oz of water.
I slowly want to eat healthier, Then move on to exercising.


TheLindsy
10-16-2011, 08:17 PM
I don't know if you have access to this. But I use an application on my iPhone. I scan the food I'm going to eat, or type it in to look it up. Then I add it to my food intake log. Its easy. It does all the work, all I have to do is scan the barcode!

I was the same way. I thought it was a stupid time consuming task. But its really the only way. You HAVE to count calories.

If you have a smart phone, download " MyFitnessPal". It will make life SO much easier!
Good luck!

bargoo
10-16-2011, 08:22 PM
I much prefer counting calories to wearing XLarge clothing again.


milmin2043
10-16-2011, 09:36 PM
Calorie counting is hard, being fat is hard, not fitting in your clothes is hard. Pick your hard.

josey
10-16-2011, 10:55 PM
First of all, you didn't mention the calories with your food but I think you don't eat enough!!! It is not balanced and you might also drink too much water.
Calorie counting can be quite quick and easy if you sign up with MyFitnessPal or some online community. They have hugh databases that are easy to search and you can create meals and copy food to the following day. I usually eat the same for breakfast so it is a two-click thing to log it for the new day. No biggie. If you have an iPhone or so, it is even quicker since they have barcode readers for them.

MacAndEase
10-18-2011, 07:50 PM
First of all, you didn't mention the calories with your food but I think you don't eat enough!!! It is not balanced and you might also drink too much water.
Calorie counting can be quite quick and easy if you sign up with MyFitnessPal or some online community. They have hugh databases that are easy to search and you can create meals and copy food to the following day. I usually eat the same for breakfast so it is a two-click thing to log it for the new day. No biggie. If you have an iPhone or so, it is even quicker since they have barcode readers for them.

You're right, I have been trying to calorie count recently. I just don't know how much i should eat, and burn.
That's the thing i'm really confused.
:I

ahyessophie
10-18-2011, 08:01 PM
I posted something similar a couple of months ago and got a similar response to my post from other 3FCers.

Calorie counting is not the only way to lose weight. It works for some, it won't work for others. You have to do what will work for you and your lifestyle. If it isn't something you can keep up with for a long time, don't set yourself up for failure - find something that suits you.

Don't let anyone tell you that their system is the only system. I think it's unfair for other posters to say that what they're doing to lose weight is the best and only way to do it and if you can't do it then you're sunk.

:hug: I hope you find something that works for you. As long as you are happy and healthy, that's what counts.

crimsons
10-18-2011, 08:26 PM
I like to use an app called "Lose It," which is free. I think they have calorie calculators and a giant database of food. It's actually kind of fun to use. You might also like Weight Watchers, but it's not free.

WannaBeLoserAgain
10-18-2011, 08:46 PM
First of all, you didn't mention the calories with your food but I think you don't eat enough!!! It is not balanced and you might also drink too much water.
Calorie counting can be quite quick and easy if you sign up with MyFitnessPal or some online community. They have hugh databases that are easy to search and you can create meals and copy food to the following day. I usually eat the same for breakfast so it is a two-click thing to log it for the new day. No biggie. If you have an iPhone or so, it is even quicker since they have barcode readers for them.

I have counted calories in the past the old fashion way. I love this program on-line. If you have a SmartPhone it is even nicer! You can access everything on-line on this program. I am a gadget person and I love entering my foods. It will also keep track of your exercise and it will tell you what nutritional values you have eaten.

Check it out!

DezziePS
10-18-2011, 09:48 PM
While I agree that people have different success on different programs, the terrible truth is that burning 3500 calories = 1 lb of weight loss. I think it is possible to estimate calories to a great degree, and some people have a lot of success with that, but to get it to work, I think you generally need to measure out portions for a while so you can see what they really look like. While it doesn't look like you're eating "that much" food, if you're eating a cup of trail mix for lunch, which would not be very filling, that could easily be A LOT of calories and fat with dried fruit and nuts. You are eating healthy foods, to be sure, but eating too many calories of ANYTHING will cause you to gain weight.

That said, are you losing weight on what you're eating now? if you are, then it's working for you. If you're not, maybe you should re-evaluate.

Tejas
10-18-2011, 10:35 PM
People are notoriously bad at estimating their calories, normally underestimating by 100's of calories. This has been well-documented.

I don't think your daily intake is balanced and you probably are not eating enough.

I recommend that you go to the Mayo Clinic website and going through their diet section. They are trustworthy and have some good advice. You can also determine what you caloric needs are.

kaplods
10-18-2011, 11:13 PM
I think we get frustrated and "tired of" calorie counting/dieting because we're taught to do so. It's a pattern we follow, because we see it repeated again and again all around us. All the time, we see and hear people complaining about the monotony of their dieting struggles - of calorie counting, of measuring, counting, watching, thinking about food and exercise - of going to WW and other weight loss support group meetings or to the gym... We hear people complaining and then see them give up. So when we get "tired" we give up too, because it's just how dieting is done.

Calorie counting isn't inherently frustrating, monotonous and aggravating - it's all those things because we've been taught to feel that way about it.

Now there are a lot of things people complain about, but do anyway (like getting up and going to work every day, like balancing the checkbook and paying bills).

And there are things we don't complain about and just do (like brushing our teeth and bathing)

And there are things we complain about until we give up (like dieting, sometimes saving money for the future...)


We're taught to see calorie counting as monotonous and boring, rather than something that just can fit into a normal day - like brushing your teeth, combing your hair, making a grocery list... It doesn't have to be torture. It's just taking notes a few times a day.


I use an exchange plan, which some people consider harder than calorie counting because you have to keep track of more things (starch, fruit, fat, protein, dairy, and veggie exchanges - and their values).

But I use a checklist style food journal page that I print off (there are tons of them online. I've gotten them from tops.org and the frugalabundance.com websites and others).

If I have a large apple, a glass of milk, and two hard boiled eggs - that's 2 fruit, 1 dairy, and 2 protein.

I don't even have to write it down (but I usually do).


Once you're used to counting (whether you're counting fat grams, calories, WWpoints, or exchanges) it takes at most 5 minutes per meal. Is it really that horrendous a job that you can't take 15 to 20 minutes out of your day to do it?

I'd rather count calories than use a curling iron - but a lot of people do that every day without blinking an eye. I'd rather count calories than clean the toilet every day (which is why I count calories every day, but only clean my toilet once a week). I know people who do clean their toilet every day.


Calorie/exchange counting, food journaling and exercising were all things that I used to think "I can't do this forever," and because I thought that, I couldn't. I'd get so sick and tired of all the trappings of weight loss, that I'd give up.... because that's what most people did. I was just following the crowd without realizing why or how.

Now that I make a concentrated effort to look at every change I make as one I intend to do forever without seeing it as a hinderence. When I tell myself "my food journal is just like my checkbook, my grocery list, my teeth brushing, washing my face.... it's a normal routine task, not an unbearable drudgery."

But if you look at it as an unbearable drudgery it will feel that way.

Esofia
10-19-2011, 08:50 AM
You don't need to count calories. But you do need to eat at a calorie deficit, and you need to track what you're eating in some way. So what I think you need to do now is think further about why you're currently feeling frustrated with the whole business. Is it the hassle of logging calories? Using dieting software such as MyFitnessPal can help, or alternatively doing something like an exchange plan as Kaplods suggested, or the Weight Watchers points system. Do you feel hungry on what you're eating? Talk to people here about how to change what you eat so that it's more satisfying. Do you feel that what you are eating is bland or boring? Same solution.

The important thing is that you are evidently making a strong effort to do this, and you've already succeeding in losing 10lb. You're doing very well. Floundering a bit is perfectly normal, and learning more about how to diet successfully usually does the trick. Folks here can help you work out the right number of calories for you as well.

josey
10-19-2011, 11:34 AM
Nobody said weight loss is fun and play! Weight loss is hard work. We are just lucky that we have great tools online now whereas my mom's generation had paper, pen and a book listing calories. I think about that and go back to myfitnesspal account (and app) and quickly scan a barcode. Technology is great.
Considering that I do count WW points and/or calories since January I got to say it is not really hard to do. Way easier than I thought in the first few weeks. You get used to it. It's second nature now like brushing teeth.
You will get into a routine, know your typical foods and notice there is a lot of repetition which will make it very quick when you get the hang of it.
And I guess it comes down to the question: How badly do you want to lose weight? If you are serious about it you will be gladly spend 10 minutes or so looking up and journaling calories every day.

josey
10-19-2011, 11:36 AM
You're right, I have been trying to calorie count recently. I just don't know how much i should eat, and burn.
That's the thing i'm really confused.
:I

Oh and about the how many calories to eat and burn: There are tons of homepages out there with calculators and guides. Google will help you.
I am on myfitnesspal and it is all built into the homepage. They will asked you a bunch of questions to set up your calorie limit, then you tell them what you want to do (lose, maintain etc) and they will reduce it for you. They also have a database with exercises that you can add to your journal which gives you more calories to spend.

free1
10-19-2011, 11:49 AM
Calorie counting is hard, being fat is hard, not fitting in your clothes is hard. Pick your hard.

MILMIN...I love this!!!! It's been in my head since last night.

Munchy
10-19-2011, 02:04 PM
You may want to look at meal planning in order to make sure you're getting an appropriate number of calories (and you can find an appropriate amount by Google (http://www.google.com/#hl=en&sugexp=kjrmc&cp=28&gs_id=2s&xhr=t&q=how+many+calories+do+I+need+to+lose+weight&pf=p&sclient=psy-ab&source=hp&pbx=1&oq=how+many+calories+do+I+need+&aq=0&aqi=g4&aql=f&gs_sm=&gs_upl=&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.,cf.osb&fp=bd638b897581bb57&biw=1016&bih=563)).

I can tell you, though, that you're missing vegetables! The way I meal plan is I decide what I'm eating for the entire next day: breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, snack and make sure that it looks balanced in terms of nutrients, and that it all adds up to the right amount of calories.

Some great websites that have already calculated the nutritional information for you and have really delicious meals are www.skinnytaste.com, www.eatbetteramerica.com, www.cookinglight.com and www.eatingwell.com.

Once you figure out what a typical day looks like, you will find that it's easier to calculate your calories.

kat618
10-19-2011, 10:24 PM
I agree it is so not fun! But there are no quick fixes, too bad it took me 42 years to figure that out...LOL. Like almost everyone else I have been on every diet you can think of. Weight Watchers for most people works great, for me not so much. Too many options, too many ways to bend the points. I would find myself almost not eating all day just to save up for brownies and milk every night. I did not change my mind, how to make it a lifestyle change

For me counting calories means no way around it, if you are not losing or gaining you can in black and white see why. I tried counting calories for months on paper, my own spreadsheet etc, but what really worked for me was myfitnesspal. I tend to eat the same foods over and over several times a week so once you get a week or two's worth of food saved it is so easy to just mark those foods again. I know think of it as how much bang can I get for my buck....in other words what healthy vegetables and fruits can I eat and still have calories left to eat what I enjoy.

madmadz
10-28-2011, 07:17 PM
I agree counting calories is hard! But if I dont keep track of all my calories I start slipping very quickly and eating way more calories than I should.

kidjng
10-30-2011, 09:47 PM
I tried calorie counting a few years ago with a bit of success. Sadly the 15 lbs I had lost crept back on plus another 15. I am not a meticulous, type A person and knew that it might not work for me again.

I started Weight Watchers in the spring and for some reason I have found that counting points is so much more liberating than worrying about how many calories are in carrots and cucumbers. That's just me. I've learned so much throughout the process and I can see sticking with it for the long term and I'm pretty sure I have the tools now to know immediately what to do if I see myself getting off track. Something to consider if you are willing to invest some money for a month or two to see if it works for you.

Nibbles
11-01-2011, 01:25 AM
Well, you don't have to count the calories on some diet plans, but you're still eating less calories one way or another if you want it to work. I tried Atkins when I was a teenager. It was easy, on the one hand, because there was no need to count calories. But I think I lost weight on that one mostly because I got so sick of eating meat and mayo and cottage cheese pancakes that I just didn't want to eat anything at all. I did ADF (alternate day fasting) for several weeks a few months ago, and it really worked well for me in terms of simplicity. I didn't get hungry on the days when I didn't eat, and I wasn't prone to gorging on the days when I did (it obviously wouldn't work if one was). But I had horrible stomachaches late at night on the days I did eat so I had to stop.

Ultimately, it's calories in versus calories out and you just have to find the way to do it that works for you. My sister (who is fit as can be) hates to count calories, so instead she eats as much as she wants and exercises like a fiend to make up for it.

Until I find something that works better, I'm clinging to my calculator.

Adrianna11
11-03-2011, 06:08 AM
Donít be too obsess of counting calories. It will drive u nuts. Previous months, had been obsess with counting calories.

While counting calories may benefit u so that u will not over eat but u should not over do it. u will end up being frus and pig out. Just like what i did.

Estimate roughly and it doesnít have to be exact, sometimes common sense can help like grilled chicken will definitely be better than fried chicken. Choose healthy meals and eat smaller portion. when u r hungry, stuff urself with fresh veg or some fruits. but be careful as some fruits contain high amount of sugar

indiblue
11-03-2011, 06:15 AM
Estimate roughly and it doesn’t have to be exact, sometimes common sense can help like grilled chicken will definitely be better than fried chicken. Choose healthy meals and eat smaller portion. when u r hungry, stuff urself with fresh veg or some fruits. but be careful as some fruits contain high amount of sugar

If I followed this advice I would be overweight!

Calorie counting does have to be exact for many people. The closer you get to goal weight the less room you have for estimating. Underestimating a handful of calories here or a few grams there leads to stalls and gains when people think they are doing really well.

Making sensible decisions (grilled chicken vs fried chicken) and eating healthy meals are a great way to start a dieting process, and is good advice for a new calorie counter. But when the difference between maintaining and losing is 100 calories a day (a few oz of cheese or grams of peanut butter), estimating is the best way to bring your weight loss process to a screeching halt!

Calorie counting meticulously only drives you nuts if you let it. For me it's a critical part of maintaining a healthy weight, and therefore worth it.

josey
11-04-2011, 06:30 PM
Donít be too obsess of counting calories. It will drive u nuts. Previous months, had been obsess with counting calories.

While counting calories may benefit u so that u will not over eat but u should not over do it. u will end up being frus and pig out. Just like what i did.

Estimate roughly and it doesnít have to be exact, sometimes common sense can help like grilled chicken will definitely be better than fried chicken. Choose healthy meals and eat smaller portion. when u r hungry, stuff urself with fresh veg or some fruits. but be careful as some fruits contain high amount of sugar

I disagree. Nowadays nobody has a feel for portion sizes anymore. And I mostly blame restaurants and fast food joints (supersize anything!). The portions they serve are HUGE, especially here in North America.

Being overweight/obese doesn't only mean bad food choices. I was eating very healthy and balanced before but I was eating way too much.
While I had no big adjustments to what I eat, I had to reduce my portions a ton!

Calorie counting down to every single bit I eat is the only way I can learn how much I can eat and lose weight. Even after almost a year I am still overestimating calories and portions. Without tracking I would be exactly where I started or even worse.

I think it will take years to really learn how to eyeball it. If I ever get there. Calorie counting online or on a smartphone is no big deal. If I have to do it until the end of my life, so be it. No biggie!

It is way more important to occasionally enjoy food that is not necessarily considered healthy. I still eat chocolate, cake, fries, etc. but I watch closely how much I eat and how often. It can totally fit into a diet. I actually think it is very important to eat stuff you love because it will make you stick to the plan. If I cut out foods that I love, I wouldn't be able to lose weight. I would give up. So I enjoy my favorites now and then but I make it work within my calorie limit.

This is real life, no game, no diet. It is re-learning how to eat without gaining weight. To me that also includes going out and partying, having fun like everybody else. I am doing what everybody else is doing (business lunches, dinner parties, BBQs, etc.) and still lose weight. You never hear from me: "I can't because I am on a diet". I just manage, whether it means that I cut back on the next meal or day or workout more!

JOLINA
11-04-2011, 10:57 PM
There are all sorts of diets out there. And all of them will work if you stick to their rules.

But the only way I can lose weight is to count my calories.

It is a real drag to keep count of every little thing I eat, and it is a very slow process, but it is the only way I am going to shed the fat.

Maybe you need a different approach to dieting.

:hug:

I would agree with you that your diet is the best for every dieter,
but then we would both be wrong.

MacAndEase
11-08-2011, 04:16 PM
Thanks everyone who posted. I found a neat little diet for me Mediterranean is right for me.
:)

lin43
11-08-2011, 09:44 PM
I agree with many of the other posts. For me, calorie counting is the best bet because I am a poor estimator, and I'm the type of person who needs external boundaries. So, when I have tried to just "watch what I eat" to lose weight, I have never lost weight because I just don't have any direction: Should I allow myself a small treat every night? What about every other night? Or just once a week? I don't want to eat just "healthy" foods, but how often should I allow myself the junk?
I can't seem to answer those questions adequately enough for me to lose weight. I end up feeling too deprived (because I don't allow enough indulgences), or I don't lose weight (because I allow myself too many indulgences).

Calorie counting is a good external tool I can use. I like healthy foods, but I also like indulgences (a chocolate croissant for breakfast, a couple of organic ginger snaps w/ my evening espresso, some half-and-half in my coffee, etc.), and calorie counting allows me to have those indulgences in moderation. It defines what "moderation" is for me by the numbers. I know if I eat too many indulgences, that will detract from the amount I can eat in my meals, and I end up hungry.

I also recommend a smartphon app. It has made calorie counting SO much easier than it was in the past.

gladsome
11-14-2011, 08:24 PM
This is an amazing thread. I love it.

Kaploids you really nailed it. What a great explanation - no wait; that was really one awesome essay!

It's true, no matter how we do it, be it calories, food exchanges,
Weight Watchers points or Calorie Points (which I learned about on this forum!)...lowering calories works.

Once I changed my attitude about counting calories (right now I'm counting calorie points), everything fell into place. Then I started rebelling against weighing and measuring (bad attitude resurfacing)...until I ran into these two books I'd like to share with you. I found them on amazon, and I think OA puts them out; I'm not sure though. They are called "The Cups and Scales Everything Weighed and Measured Cookbook". This one really gave me an attitude adjustment about weighing and measuring food. The other one is called "Cups and Scales: Measuring Food and Emotions." They made me realize that this is something I'll have to do the rest of my life to gain control over my eating. And I actually look forward to getting out my food scale and measuring cups now; that's how good those books are.

I hope this thread continues. It keeps saying what we need to hear.

InsideMe
11-25-2011, 02:39 PM
Originally Posted by milmin2043
Calorie counting is hard, being fat is hard, not fitting in your clothes is hard. Pick your hard.


MILMIN...I love this!!!! It's been in my head since last night.

I love it too! GREAT SAYING!!!!

So yeah pick your hard. I started out calorie counting and portion control to get a good handle on what I could or could not eat. Once you get going you will get the hang of it. I no longer journal what I eat every day or write it down, it's become habit that I can look at the label and note it in my head. At some point you need to know exactly what you are consuming and what you are putting into your body cause it will effect you either good or bad. To lose weight you really have to be aware exactly how much you are eating. It doesn't have to be forever, you will get the hang of it eventually to know what you can eat. If I'm unsure about something I look at the calories, protein and carbs info and think twice before putting it in my mouth, considering first what I already had in the day. Another trick I use is planning my meal every morning. I go into the kitchen and put out exactly what I'm going to eat. This helps when I go into work, I pack everything, I stay on plan and I don't have to count throughout the day, I do it in the morning in my head.

You can certainly look into other plans, however I have found that with calorie counting I can still have the things I LOVE in moderation, like strawberry jam! It's learning how to eat like a healthy person. We need some sort of direction or we can get lost very easily. Good luck!

SmooVeshea
01-06-2012, 01:42 AM
Calorie counting is hard, being fat is hard, not fitting in your clothes is hard. Pick your hard.

this quote is amazing! i love it :)

KatieLuna
01-07-2012, 01:34 PM
Calorie counting can help you to give a general idea about your average daily intake. It can help you notice any pitfalls, high calorie snacks. It could also tell you if you're consuming too few calories, which could ultimately lead to a binge. I used to have MyFitnessPal. It's a good app. You just type in the foods and it calculates the calories.

I don't find counting calories difficult. It's easy for me. I hate mathematics but it's just a numbers game. Good luck! :)

stan255
01-08-2012, 03:10 PM
I use calorie calculator pro for that