Food Talk And Fabulous Finds - Counting Calories

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08-10-2004, 04:25 PM
Hi everyone. I am counting calories and am hoping to lose at a healthy rate of 1-2 pds/week. I have finally realized that there is no "quick fix". And let me tell you, it took me a long time to accept that fact. Well I'm eating about 1500-1700 calories/day, and I was wondering if I can truly eat anything I want. I am staying in my calorie range but am going crazy with lots of toaster pastries and ding dongs, and things like that. I know its not the healthiest way, but I'm trying to focus on just controlling calories for the time being. Will I still lose like this if I stay in that calorie range? Any opinions are appreciated.


P.S. I'm guessing that I'll get sick of eating this way eventually and start choosing healthier choices.

08-10-2004, 04:32 PM
i donno if eating toaster pastries and all those junk food will help.. how bout you try eating just ONE of those things. like for instance, you could eat a toaster pastry in the morning and eat healthily the rest of the day. the next day you can eat a healthy breakfast a healthy lunch and a healthy dinner and have a ding dong as a snack. maybe this helped? good luck :D

08-10-2004, 04:45 PM
Besides having no nutritional value, eating things like ding dongs everyday might sabotage your calorie restriction efforts in the long run... I know how you feel, because I used to eat 6 yodels in one sitting. When I started counting calories and became committed to weight loss, I decided I just wouldn't buy them or eat them any more. I think I've had maybe 2 yodels in the past year :) Out of sight, out of mind.

Junk food tends to be "calorie dense" as well--for example, eat one Snickers Bar and you've consumed 250 calories in 5 bites. A banana, on the other hand, is not calorie dense--100 calories and it takes 8-10 bites to finish. Eating junk food every day might psychologically make you feel like you're not getting enough food.

However, a treat every rare once in a while is to be expected. After all, you shouldn't have to give up everthing! Hope that helps a little,

08-10-2004, 04:49 PM
I've been counting calories for about 4 months, and I have wondered about the same thing. I actually don't eat much regular junk food (with no kids in the house, it's easy just to not buy it), but I eat light ice cream or a healthy choice or skinny cow frozen dessert basically every day. And I do snack--hundred calorie packs of oreos, pria bars (which are only 110 calories, but they have a ton of sugar), and even a peppermint pattie or raisinets when I can't withstand the draw of the office candy jar.

The best I can figure out is, you can lose on a reduced calorie diet by just cutting the number of calories you're eating, but you've got to be careful. For me, when I have too much sugar and not enough good stuff, I have a tendency to keep having cravings that I can't satisfy. I'm much more easily satisfied when I eat nutritious foods, and that makes me likelier to stay on the wagon, so to speak. You should be sure to take a daily vitamin if you're not eating a varied diet of whole foods, too. The solution for me is just what xJoanne suggested: to eat mostly healthy snacks, but to splurge on one tiny sweet snack in the afternoon (just a treat to keep me goin' till five o'clock), and to always, always save enough calories for dessert.

FYI: To make sure you've reduced your calories correctly (so that you don't lose too quickly or too slowly, take your current weight and multiply it by 12. That's the number of calories it takes per day to maintain your current weight. Then, each pound is 3500 calories, so for each pound per week you'd like to lose, subtract 500 calories per day.

08-10-2004, 05:24 PM
I lost my weight counting calories and my opinion is that all calories are definitely NOT created equal. ;)

Because I was (and still am) eating a limited number of calories, I want to be sure that every last one of them is as nutrient dense as possible. There are two reasons for this: first, for overall health and well-being, I want the fuel for my body to be as high quality as possible (I lift weights and would bonk if I tried to lift on junk food). Second, I believe that eliminating sugar and high glycemic carbs (refined carbs) helped with my fat loss -- I was able to lose 132 pounds of fat and gain ten pounds of muscle in a little less than a year.

To this day, I rarely can justify spending any calories on food with limited or no nutritional value, including the vast array of processed diet junk foods (WOW chips, FF hot dogs, Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches etc). If I do have a treat or free meal, like dinner out (once every month or two), the scale immediately goes up the next day (and I hate that!). Plus sugar hits me like a sleeping pill now -- zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz ..... :lol:

I've never felt better or had more energy in my life eating this way -- so I feel like I've gotten back much more than I've given up. :D :D :D

08-10-2004, 05:32 PM
i agree with some of the above... i am a firm believer that you can eat everything and still lose weight.

lets not get crazy though - my friends and i used to discuss whether you could lose weight on a pint of ben and jerrys (1200-1500 cals) a day. well.. i don't know the answer to that, but i do know that you surely wouldn't be getting the proper nutrition.

so, i say just make the best choices most of the time, and if you want something that isn't the "best" choice, then enjoy it in moderation. of course, that is IF you can enjoy in moderation. some people have trigger foods that lead to binging. for me, i don't keep ice cream in my house. not because i'll eat the whole thing, but because i will DEFINITELY have more than a serving (half cup).

anyway, i've lost 7 pounds in about 4 weeks (slow and steady) now following this "plan." nothing is off limits, but i keep proper nutrition my main focus. i know that a lot of the food that i eat would be considered "cheating" for others, but i'm very happy and not at all deprived.

just some thoughts...

oops and exercise is a huge part of that equation.. duh

08-10-2004, 05:45 PM
Thank you for all of your responses, I appreciate it alot. Marigold, I weigh 150 now, so multiplying that by 12 would put me at 1800 calories/day to maintain. Does this mean I am eating too many calories?? I'm trying to stay between 1500-1700. I'm 5'6.5" and 18 years old. Eating 1300 calories seems impossible to me now... Maybe I should try to lower my calories gradually?

08-10-2004, 06:34 PM
Noticed that Megster posted on this thread and I have to add my two cents as well!

For me...and I suspect for quite a few of us here at 3FC...sugar isn't a *food* it's more like a narcotic. I do much better staying away from sugar (with the exception of fresh fruit) altogether, or limited as much as possible. Those commercials that you see for Snickers bars, touting them as an energy snack - that you'll eat one and be satisfied - doesn't work for me. If I eat ONE, I want another one, and another, until I get sick...then I'll drink a glass of milk, wait a few minutes, and eat another one. (In my fat days, I could easily go through an entire BAG of "Fun Size" Snickers bars in a couple of hours or less). Kind of like someone who's addicted to cigarettes or booze - they can't just have *one* ciggie or *one* drink, one leads to another...and another...and another...for me, eating sugar leads to cravings for more sugar. And it's just because a candy bar or a pint of B&J's or what have you is so calorie dense that I can eat 2-3 Snickers or a pint of Chunky Monkey in one sitting and still feel unsatisfied, whereas if I eat a salad with grilled chicken breast and veggies with some Light Champagne dressing (total amounting to around 350-400 calories for a BIG honkin' salad) I'll barely be able to finish THAT, and I'll be quite happy and satisfied!

So...I don't keep crap in the house. No ice cream, no Skinny Cows, no cookies (either regular or 'diet'), no candy, etc. Neither one of us needs it, and I've found over the years that a bought bag of cookies is generally an eaten bag - and eaten by ME for the most part.

08-11-2004, 03:09 PM
I've been OP for just over a month now and have been counting cals and fat grams and have already noticed a pretty good loss. When it comes to anything sweet, I can pretty well eat myself into an oblivion... but since I know this, I have steered clear of all my old favorites. Where I used to consume pounds of sugar on a daily basis, I now munch on sweet and refreshing fruit... melons, berries, nectarines, grapes... when a hardcore craving comes on. And having been without processed sugar for five weeks, I can't even begin to express how good I feel!

A lot of people can eat junk food in moderation... that isn't me. If you can get by with a "treat" every now and then, do so. But try and consume more nutrient-rich foods. You will notice your energy level soar.

I recall hearing somewhere that you won't always remember how that piece of pie or chocolate bar tasted... but you'll always recall how sweet it was to be at a place where you were happy with yourself. :)

Good luck on your weight-loss journey! :)


08-11-2004, 04:17 PM
When you eat nutritious food, it takes less to keep you feeling full. You can always fill up on veggies if you are truly hungry. Junk food makes your body a receptacle for garbage and it won't promote good health in the long run.

08-11-2004, 10:26 PM
I am so impressed with the advice and weight loss. I'm hoping to lose by counting calories and exercising. - MO


08-12-2004, 10:17 AM
thanks for such a great informative thread. I am going to start counting calories and exercise to lose my extra 30 pounds. I have decide all these different plans all come down to one thing calories.

08-12-2004, 03:42 PM
I have to agree with xJoanne... It is okay to eat those types of foods, but do not go crazy with them, that really will cause problems down the road. Foods that are meant for treats or snacks should be viewed as such... It is good that you have realized that you need to cut calories though, I would also recommend exercise!!! Good Luck....

08-12-2004, 10:00 PM
Hi everyone, I just thought I would post a quick update on the "couting cals but nothing else" regime I've been doing. Its only been a week, but my Mom says she can tell that I'm losing weight (And she doesn't lie, she'll tell me if I haven't). I have also been doing some exercise videos. I have been eating like crap, but its working for me for the time being and I know that sooner or later I will start eating healthier foods. Yesterday I had a big bowl of asparagus. Baby steps!

08-13-2004, 12:11 AM
I for one can say that if I eat 1500-1600 processed cwap calories and the same 1500 -1600 healthy, clean, unprocessed calories I feel 10000% better, less tired, more energy, I my skin glows... I think there is a B I G difference. Today for example I ate gummy treats and tostitos... I havn't feltthis listless in eons... Tomorrow is a new day thank goodness for that...
Just HAD to put my 2 centamos on this subject, since I lived it today...
Nite all :yawn:

08-13-2004, 02:36 AM
I believe it's entirely possible to lose lots of weight eating really crappy food (have done so), but as stated above, it eventually compromises your calorie counting efforts if you do it too often (IMO) ... if your body isn't getting enough nutrition, you're going to crave more and more food and it'll be all but impossible to control calories ... so ideally, the junk food should be eaten in limited amounts in a calorie controlled diet, then you'll have room for the stuff that'll do you some good! :) IMO!

08-13-2004, 08:06 AM
Hello everyone! I agree with the fact that calories and fats and good foods make a difference. I started out on the South Beach diet and now do a little of all info. gathered and I feel better and have kept my weight stable. I still need to lose 15lbs to be where I'd like to be. I sometimes get into the cookies if I bake or chips if their in the house. But I know that when I cut out white sugars , flours etc.... I didn't crave them and couldn't believe the energy I had. I have to get going again and be serious about losing so today is another day and its time. I am going to try the calorie counting for a wk or 2 and see how I do but will stick to healthy eating as much as possible. I still think south beach works for me and I try to eat lean meats etc. but I do like my fruits. Good luck everyone and thanks for all the good info. on this site.

08-13-2004, 08:43 AM
UnCafeCvooPlay, I don't think you should go below 1500 calories. That equation of multiplying by 12 is very general and does not take into account your age or activity level, both of which make a difference. You're 18, so your resting metabolic rate is higher than someone like me who is 36. I recommend a book called DIETING FOR DUMMIES. In it the author gives some good, common sense advice on dieting, with a focus on counting calories. She gives you an equation for figuring out how many calories you need. I used this book to lose 40 lbs. When I started I was 180, and I believe I was allowed to eat a little over 1600 calories per day to lose 1 lb. a week. I ended up trying to stick with 1500 per day, and it worked! This was a revelation to me since on past diets I'd tried to stick to 1200 per day and felt as if I was starving. However, at 1500 per day, I felt satisfied. So, my advice is to get that book and do the calculation. However, even with the calculation, I wouldn't go below 1500 if I were you, even if it meant losing only 1/2 lb. a week. At your age you need the nutrition, which brings me to your original questions . . .

Like others have stated, I believe you can lose weight just counting calories, but you won't get proper nutrition and you won't be making a permanent change in your eating habits. My advice is to eat healthy most of the time (80%) and treat yourself some of the time (20%).

Good luck!

08-13-2004, 09:23 AM
I have a little different opinion about low calories. I hang between 1200 and 1300 cals per day. I use and check to make sure I'm averaging that over time (weeks). However, I take a multivitamin, calcium and vitamin B and I'm very conscious of my food choices. I've learned healthy substitutions. Fruit for sweets, crisps for bread ... that protein fills you better than processed carbs.
I have squeezed 1 1/2 donuts into my 1200 cals but regretted it. I was hungry and sluggish.
Vmelo is right. Research. You'll find that while a calorie is a calorie is a calorie, good food just works better. This is the fuel you need to run your body. What good is it if you're lovely and slender but don't have the energy to go to the dance?

08-13-2004, 02:50 PM
Yes, it may be possible, but it cannot be healthy. I will reiterate the point that while snack foods are okay to consume, they should NOT be the entire basis of your diet. This is when people start blaming the foods, and they cannot figure out why their energy is waning, etc. There is nothing wrong with snacks and candy if they are eating sparingly, as they are designed to be eaten.