Chicks in Control - To count calories or not to count?

04-14-2013, 02:15 PM
Hey everyone,

I was just wondering how many of you count calories and if you count fruits and veggies?

I just recently started counting calories again and doing portion control because I really need it, or else I always eat too much. And I don't like not knowing how much I've eaten in a day, because then I tell myself that it's OK to eat all sorts of stuff. But I feel that if I count vegetables towards my daily calorie intake, then I eat way too little and feel hungry and then I tend to binge.

What are your thoughts on all this? What do you do?

Thanks :)

04-14-2013, 02:18 PM
I count calories and if it has calories I count it , fruit, vegetable, whatever.

04-14-2013, 02:36 PM
I count calories (and carbs and sodium). Fruits and veggies vary a great deal on calorie count based on where they are on the glycemic index. Also, if I don't count it, then I tend to think of it as free food and eat too much. It's hard to do, but I've actually gained weight because I was eating too many of those little baby carrots as a free food!

04-14-2013, 02:39 PM
Hey betsy,

Yeah, I'm the same way. Like, I'll limit myself to 2 servings of fruit a day, and I'll usually count fruit, and I'll count vegetables if I know they have a high GI or have a lot of carbs (like sweet potatoes). But I feel stupid counting kale, or arugula or celery or mushrooms because they're so good for you and don't contain many calories. Or if I'm adding 1/4 of onion to a recipe, I feel weird counting that as well. But you're right to count it all. I probably should! It's just weird to think of super healthy foods as something to count towards your daily caloric intake.

Thank you!

04-14-2013, 02:47 PM
I count calories and I do not count vegetables. Well most vegetables.... things like carrots, celery, cucumbers - I dont count them. Sometime I might "guestimate" how much I ate and put them into the tracker on my phone, but I never bother weighing them like I do other things.

I do however count fruit since I love the stuff and could easily gain weight by fruit alone.

04-14-2013, 03:06 PM
I've counted calories for my whole weight loss and I'm more lenient with fruit and veg then some people. I have always counted fruit, but often estimate size for fruits I eat often rather then weigh it like I do meat and grains/starches. So I normal just say 100 for a banana for example, but if I'm going to eat blueberries I'd probably weigh them cause I don't eat them often enough to eyeball them.

Veg, though, I'm really lenient. I've only really started even sorta counting them recently and that's because I'm trying to really know my calorie balance as I get ready to maintain. Before the only time I counted most veg was when it was already included in a total calorie count, like in packaged food or at a restaurant. Now, I of course mean low cal veggies not starchy ones like sweet potatoes. Those I weigh and figure out exact calories for. When I first started I didn't count veg to encourage myself to eat them and even when I started eating a good amount (4 to 6 servings a day of low cal veg) it didn't slow me down so I stuck with it.

I think the important thing is to be aware and honest with yourself. I didn't have a problem with not count veggies because I still had a good deficit, but if my calories had gotten too high, either through treats or the number I was counting to being high, I would have stopped losing weight and would have needed to reevaluate my plan. So whatever you decide to do, be aware of what you are doing and eating and be ready to make changes if you stop losing or start losing slower then you want.

04-14-2013, 03:06 PM
me too. i count them roughly, like breakfast app 300, lunch 500, dinner 400 etc. i don't go to details and i count fruit but not veggies except potatoes and tomatoes.

04-14-2013, 03:11 PM
I count everything that goes into my mouth, with the exception of chewing gum. I figure I burn those 10 calories simply by chewing it. ;)

I like to watch my macros, so to be sure I'm eating a healthy balance I pay attention to protein, carbs and fats. I have high protein goals for myself, I actively try to incorporate lots of healthy fats into my diet because I am of childbearing age and I feel it is crucial to my health, and I have been doing this long enough that I know too many carbs and I am going to stall, no matter what my calorie deficit.

If you feel like you aren't eating enough by counting veggies, up your calorie goal by a couple hundred. Then you will still be able to see patterns and you won't feel hungry all the time. I don't like to be hungry! Who does? You can diet and count calories and not feel hungry all the time.

04-14-2013, 06:24 PM
Thanks for all of your answers guys! :) This has helped me a lot!

04-14-2013, 08:30 PM
I don't count calories really because it makes me go crazy and binge after a few days. I know counting calories is really the only way to be sure of what's going on, but as for me I just try to eat fruits & veggies whenever possible and eat only when I'm hungry. Of course, that sounds a lot easier than it is! But really, whatever works for you is good. Veggies have so few calories that I never really counted them back when I was counting calories... it was important for me to have one healthy thing I could eat as much of as I wanted so I didn't feel super restricted and starving all the time.

04-15-2013, 03:46 AM
I wish I had the discipline! Like you said, I end up eating a lot more then I mean to. I need to know how much I'm eating...but I don't think I'm going to count most veggies, maybe just the ones that have a high GI and starchy ones. Thanks for your input! :)

04-15-2013, 05:55 PM
I think it's a personal choice. I am trying out not counting right now because I get a little too obsessed with numbers. I guess I will see how it goes :)

04-15-2013, 06:12 PM
I wish you luck! I don't know how I feel about it. I was doing it for a while but I wasn't allocating my calories properly, so I'd eat a lot of veggies raw with like, nothing on them, and then eat a lot of sugar...which is not healthy haha so I'm counting, just to make sure I don't eat more then I'm supposed to, but also making sure I choose foods that are filling and nutrient dense.

04-15-2013, 06:17 PM
I count calories via MFP and keep a written journal. The MFP makes it easy to input but the written journal makes it real, if that makes any sense. I don't like writing down high calorie foods (plus they aren't on my plan!) so it would make me feel bad to have to acknowledge them. Sounds silly but it keeps me more honest than I ever thought it would!

I do count every single thing that I eat (even if it's 0 calorie items) to keep my logging accurate.

04-15-2013, 07:09 PM
I count my veggies and fruits--I count everything except Pam and supplements. Perhaps your calorie goal should be adjusted?

For example, if your goal is 1200 but you don't count veggies, but eat 200 calories of fruits and veggies a day, your goal is really 1400.

My net goal (I use MyFitnessPal) is 1260, but that generally meant 1400-1500 intake, with 200-250 calories of exercise. Right now, I am for no more than 1200, since my exercise is 0 and I'm completely sedentary for another month. And I'm still losing weight.

I think it's more important to come up with a number and plan you can live with than it is meet some recommended number. If it means you lose 0.8 lbs/week instead of 1, but you're successful at it, then you're a winner.

seize the day
06-03-2013, 02:22 PM
I count all of my calories (fruit and veg included) and have for years. Recently, however, I have shifted my focus from calories to carbs. I still have a basic calorie number I am aiming for (though it is higher than it used to be) and now I focus more on keeping my carbs low.

I used to allow myself one "cheat" food, normally something low cal, like pickles, jello, etc. but I find that it just motivates me to binge on that item (As in, I will eat an entire jar of pickles in one sitting, or I will eat two whole boxes of sugar free jello). So now I count everything to the best of my ability. I use the livestrong Myplate system to help with this, though sometimes I have to estimate.