Calorie Counters - Is counting calories a drag..?




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tinamariefitforme
04-14-2014, 11:08 PM
I know I should limit my calorie intake but I feel like it takes forever to figure out all the calories each meal..


Brandis
04-14-2014, 11:30 PM
I have done calorie counting many times. After awhile you get accustomed to knowing how many calories are in your regular meals. I think the most important thing that calorie counting ever taught me was to be mindful of what you put in your mouth. I have enough disordered eating traits, however, to conveniently shut that feature off when I want to gorge. If you are totally committed to the plan you select, it becomes a lot easier to do what you have to do. I like to weigh foods as often as I can just to keep my eyes honest with my fisherman's(fisherwoman's) estimating tools. I am very good at explaining calories down unless I see how much mass is actually present on the scale. Can't deny that! There are other ways of eating that don't revolve around counting calories. You just have to find something that will be a permanent change. I am just focusing (this time) on small portions of "natural" foods. By natural I mean as close to the living thing it came from as possible. Whole foods. Avoiding wheat, refined sugars and an overabundance of carbs. For me, it is easier to control my binges when I eat that way. Wheat and sugar are my preferred drugs. If I eat as planned, it is simple for me to average about 1500 or 1600 calories because I am full. It cuts the cravings. I never get full when I eat bread, pasta and all of the sugar I can stand. Long story. Sorry about that, but the moral is that you just have to evaluate the way you really think you can maintain forever. It is forever, after all. So if you don't think calorie counting is for you, then switch it up. What works for one, may not work for all. The good news is you can do whatever you want, and change if it's not working. Just do something, and don't stop! Success is right around the corner.

berryblondeboys
04-14-2014, 11:32 PM
With modern phone apps, it's soooooo easy. Not like in the days of old when you had to do it with pen and paper.


SeeMyFeet
04-14-2014, 11:40 PM
only when you've counted up to your limit and you're still hungry ;)

Seriously, it's not so bad. I try to keep to 100 or 200 calorie meals and snacks....lots of salads!

Pattience
04-15-2014, 12:09 AM
There are other ways to work out an appropriate amount of calories to eat. Check out the book the CSIRO total wellbeing diet. It has a very easy formula to eat a balanced diet for weightloss. Its easy but needs some fleshing out so i can't do it for you.

i'm not suggesting you necessarily follow the diet but as i said its a very easy system and it will save you the boredom. There are also plenty of sample menus in the book to show you what so much food looks like. And its a good book on the whole iwht excellent nutrition info and other useful things. So i recommend it if you don't want to count calories but want to have some way of monitoring the calories you are eating.

Koshka
04-15-2014, 02:23 AM
I do count calories and use My Fitness Pal. Basically once you've recorded a food it goes in your recent foods so if you eat it again it is really easy to enter it and takes little time. Also if you have a smartphone there is an app to scan barcodes.

carter
04-15-2014, 07:56 AM
I second what Koshka said; if you use My Fitness Pal (which is available on a mobile device if you have one, or on the web if you don't), it gets easier to enter your calories over time, as the things you eat most commonly are already stored and close to the top of the list for you to find.

It is true that tracking your calories is a drag. If there were any way to lose weight that did not involve some investment of time and effort, we would all of us be as thin and trim as we wanted, and this forum would not exist.

In the end, calorie counting may not be the optimal approach for you. I recommend that you try it for a month or two before you give up on it, just as I would recommend you try any other (reasonable) approach for a month or two before deciding whether it is manageable for you.

But whatever approach you take to weight loss will involve some time and effort, at first as you get used to it and start to develop new behaviors, and later too, as you fight slowdowns, resentments, and mounting temptations. Losing weight can be a drag.

But you know what? Being overweight is also a real drag.

If you are having trouble with particular aspects of calorie counting, like estimating calories in the things you cook yourself or things you eat in restaurants, ask questions. Lots of us have thought about this stuff a lot and can help you with our ideas and techniques.

onagain1
04-15-2014, 09:38 AM
I track my calories using an Excel spreadsheet. I've tried the phone apps, and they just don't work for me. One thing that helped me in the beginning was to round the numbers. For example, if something was 238 calories, I would round it up to 250. This would help me during the day to have an idea of what I'd eaten. Then I'd put it in the spreadsheet when I got home to see what I had left for dinner. Most of the time I would plan my day ahead of time so I would know exactly what I could eat that day.

tinamariefitforme
04-15-2014, 03:54 PM
I second what Koshka said; if you use My Fitness Pal (which is available on a mobile device if you have one, or on the web if you don't), it gets easier to enter your calories over time, as the things you eat most commonly are already stored and close to the top of the list for you to find.

It is true that tracking your calories is a drag. If there were any way to lose weight that did not involve some investment of time and effort, we would all of us be as thin and trim as we wanted, and this forum would not exist.

In the end, calorie counting may not be the optimal approach for you. I recommend that you try it for a month or two before you give up on it, just as I would recommend you try any other (reasonable) approach for a month or two before deciding whether it is manageable for you.

But whatever approach you take to weight loss will involve some time and effort, at first as you get used to it and start to develop new behaviors, and later too, as you fight slowdowns, resentments, and mounting temptations. Losing weight can be a drag.

But you know what? Being overweight is also a real drag.

If you are having trouble with particular aspects of calorie counting, like estimating calories in the things you cook yourself or things you eat in restaurants, ask questions. Lots of us have thought about this stuff a lot and can help you with our ideas and techniques.


Thanks for all the inputs. For today I am trying it out. Do you calorie count seasoning too though I wonder.

Moving Forward
04-15-2014, 04:12 PM
I lost my weight with calorie counting, using the MyFitnessPal app as others have already mentioned. I felt the effort involved, especially once my most frequently eaten foods were entered, was pretty minimal. I never counted seasonings. However, I did count high calorie sauces and salad dressings. I never worried about condiments like ketchup or mustard, but did count mayonaise.

Koshka
04-17-2014, 12:07 AM
Basically what Moving Forward Said. I didn't count the garlic powder I used yesterday for example. But I did count the reduced fat mayo.

Novus
04-18-2014, 08:02 AM
What I do is set aside some time on the weekend to plan meals for the week and plug all the numbers into sparkpeople.com I find that to be much easier than keeping track on a daily basis plus it's easier to stay on plan when I know exactly what I'm "allowed" to eat for the day. It's not totally set in stone, though. Sometimes I'll eat the Thursday meals on Tuesday, for example.

Also, preplanning is crucial for me because I sometimes just don't have a clue how many calories are actually in a meal. I create a meal that I think is ok, check it out on sparkpeople, and discover that I am just so wrong. This can go both ways - too many calories or too few. Once I discover one of those "wrong" meals, I either ditch the idea or try to combine it with another meal so everything for the day evens out.

lin43
04-18-2014, 08:52 PM
With modern phone apps, it's soooooo easy. Not like in the days of old when you had to do it with pen and paper.

ITA! I've been counting calories for 2 1/2 years & it is still easy to track because of my smatphove app

Streudel
04-20-2014, 11:23 PM
I track my calories using an Excel spreadsheet. I've tried the phone apps, and they just don't work for me. One thing that helped me in the beginning was to round the numbers. For example, if something was 238 calories, I would round it up to 250. This would help me during the day to have an idea of what I'd eaten. Then I'd put it in the spreadsheet when I got home to see what I had left for dinner. Most of the time I would plan my day ahead of time so I would know exactly what I could eat that day.

Same here. I have a dumbphone, so I just set myself up with Excel spreadsheets for tracking my calories and to function as a recipe calculator. I know it sounds ridiculous, but I actually like making spreadsheets.

But you know what? Being overweight is also a real drag.

Oh heck yeah it is Carter. I should tattoo that quote on my forehead as a reminder for the next time I want to quit calorie counting. Cause you know what else is a real drag? Regaining the 70 lbs. you busted your hump to lose ( plus ten more for added insult to injury ) because you just didn't feel like watching what you ate anymore.

Munchy
04-21-2014, 10:11 AM
What I do is set aside some time on the weekend to plan meals for the week and plug all the numbers into sparkpeople.com I find that to be much easier than keeping track on a daily basis plus it's easier to stay on plan when I know exactly what I'm "allowed" to eat for the day. It's not totally set in stone, though. Sometimes I'll eat the Thursday meals on Tuesday, for example.

Also, preplanning is crucial for me because I sometimes just don't have a clue how many calories are actually in a meal. I create a meal that I think is ok, check it out on sparkpeople, and discover that I am just so wrong. This can go both ways - too many calories or too few. Once I discover one of those "wrong" meals, I either ditch the idea or try to combine it with another meal so everything for the day evens out.

I do the exact same thing. With planning, I don't have a problem figuring out how many calories are in something - I just have to follow my plan.

When I first started and while I'm tracking (like now) I keep a general idea of what I'm going to have, and sometimes even prepare a lot ahead of time.

For example, everyday I drink hot tea with lemon and agave. This past weekend I made quiche cupcakes (http://www.slenderkitchen.com/quiche-cupcakes/) so that I can have 2 everyday for a 100 calorie breakfast for 6 days.

My morning snack is one serving of fruit, my lunch is around 200 calories (lately usually either a salad with 2oz chicken, seeds, and light dressing OR a salad with cheese, nuts, craisins and light dressing OR quinoa chipotle meatballs (http://www.slenderkitchen.com/quinoa-chipotle-meatballs/) that I cooked and froze into portions OR stuffed peppers (http://www.slenderkitchen.com/chorizo-stuffed-poblano-peppers/) also cooked and frozen individually.

My afternoon snack is typically cherry tomatoes and baby carrots dipped in light ranch or hummus.

My dinner varies from 300-500 calories. I may have a night snack for around 100-150 calories.

I just try to keep my calories consistent in that breakfast is the same range, lunch is the same range, dinner, etc. After a while, you start to get a general idea of how many calories are in your foods and what to swap or remove in order to cut calories and not feel deprived.

Nunu27
04-22-2014, 08:40 AM
i started last week with bing health and fitness app! while its good for showing calories lost through exercise, i find a lot of the food is american based and seen as im in ireland..its not very helpful! but it has me more alert to what i put it my mouth ha i tend to say "500 calories!!" im not eating that in one go! :)

chunkyguacamole
04-22-2014, 05:37 PM
Always gotta count that Mayo haha! The stuff adds up :)!

I try to over estimate my calories so I end up eating less then I planned! Well that's the plan anyway :)!