General Diet Plans and Questions - Caolorie Intake

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Too Sexy for This Body II
02-20-2001, 08:28 AM
When counting calories, are you breaking it down by carbs, fats and proteins or does it matter so long as its within a certain calorie range? I've been using the to record my food diary.

02-20-2001, 08:39 AM
What I do is count calories only. I don't break it down any further. At the end of the day a calorie is a calorie. As long as I keep my calories between 1500-2000 and exercise I've been continuing to lose weight. Oh, I also make sure I get plenty of fiber by eating green leafy veggies and bran cereal. I'm also interested in seeing what the others do.


"relax, it ain't as bad as it seems"

02-20-2001, 08:57 AM
I pretty much do the same as Kimmie -- try to get a lot of veggies, fruit (at least 5 servings per day is recommended) and fiber in there. Roughage is important so you feel full on fewer calories - plus good for the old digestive system... :)

As long as you're eating nutritiously, the protein/carbs/fat should take care of themselves, at least IMHO.


02-20-2001, 09:25 AM
I just count calories too. I eat lots of fruit and vegetables but I don't count anything else except calories.


02-20-2001, 03:59 PM
I'm not counting calories or carbs or fat grams but am making sure that I eat lots of veggies and fruits and limiting things that I know to have fat in them. For instance how I cook the veggies (steaming and with no added marg). So far I know that I have not exceded 1800 calories in any given day. I don't think I could eat that much by following this plan.

02-20-2001, 07:41 PM
justaveggie, That's great! But I believe Too Sexy for This Body II was interested how the people choosing the counting calorie method goes about it. I'm glad you're into being a vegan but the reason I count calories is that all foods can be available to me including tons of meat which TO ME :) is completely healthy! lol And I love pouring on the oil, my favorite being olive. But I'm happy what your doing is working for you, and I wish you continued success. Isn't choice wonderful?


"relax, it ain't as bad as it seems"

[This message has been edited by kimmieone (edited 02-20-2001).]

Mini Mony
02-20-2001, 10:09 PM

I started out by simply counting calories. For me it was a matter of learning proper portion size.

Only after I've gotten very comfortable eating 1500 calories a day am I ready to make additional changes in my diet. But these changes are important to me for other health considerations...not necessarily to loss weight. For instance I've just started to count fiber.

Your calorie count (along with exercise) is the most important aspect of weight loss - in my opinion.

valentines day goal - 164....yes!
st. patricks day goal - 161

Progress not Perfection

Too Sexy for This Body II
02-21-2001, 08:19 AM
Thanks for all the responses. There are just so many different opinions out there. Low fat, low carbs, count calories, just count fat grams. Too much confusion. If I eat between 1500 and 1700 per day, I'm bound to be below what I was eating before. Anything less than what I was eating before has got to be an improvement, kwim?

02-21-2001, 09:47 AM
I happen to dissagree with the previous posters. I count calories, fat, carbs, and protien. Actually, does it for me, so it is simple.
"The body needs nutrients: protein that's broken down into amino acids and used to build muscle tissue, as well as carbohydrates that are used to fuel the process. Vitamins and minerals are necessary for thousands of metabolic reactions to take place in the body. If you don't have those nutrients, you won't build a very solid structure. You won't get the best results."
Basically, if you train with weights, like me, and you are not feeding yourself enough protien, then you are not going to fuel your muscle growth. Muscle HAVE to have protein to grow and rebuild. Your body also needs carbs, and yes, fat.
You should eat 5-6 small meals a day, each consisting of 1 portion of protein and 1 portion of carbs. A portion is the size of your clenched fist. So if you have a portion of pasta (carbs), add a portion of protein by eating chicken or some other protein source. To make it easier for me, I use Precision Protien by EAS. In the morning when I have a bowl of cereal (grapenuts flakes-24gCarbs) I have a scoop of precision protein. You just add a scoop of the powder to water or skim milk. I use a hand mixer to mix it, and it tastes like chocolate milk.
Also, a serving of either protien or carbs is usually anywhere from 15- 25 grams.
By the end of the day when looking at my totals on, (,) I always see that my carbs and protein grams are almost the same, usually around 100-150 or so grams of each. I keep my fat at or below 20g, which mostly consists of UNsaturated fat (like all-natural peanut butter). And I try to keep my calories around 1200, even though this number will vary for each individual and their bodyweight.
It sounds difficult, but it really isn't. Trust me, I hate difficult. I know most people will not do it, but those who do will get better, longlasting results. It only took me a week or so to get the hang of it, and it is now second nature to me. This is a lifestyle change, so forming good habits now will ensure liftime success!
If anyone has more questions on any of the above, feel free to email me at

02-21-2001, 11:02 AM
I have a hard time thinking that protein, while important, is something we need QUITE SO much as some are led to believe.

John Robbins' "Diet For a New America" has a diagram showing a spectrum of calculations from authorities as far as our daily needs of protein, ranging from a low estimate of two and a half percent of our total daily calories up to a high estimate of over eight percent. The figures at the high end include built-in safety margins, and are not minimum allowances, but rather "recommended allowances".

This informative and ground-breaking book goes on to quote Dr. David Reuben as speaking for many informed scientists when he was asked who it is who needs the extra 30% allowance of protein. He answered:

"The people who sell meat, fish, cheese, eggs, chicken, and all the other high prestige and expensive sources of protein. Raising the amount of protein you eat by 30% raises their income by 30%. It also increases the amount of protein in the sewers and septic tanks of your neighborhood 30% as you merrily urinate away everything that you can't use that very day. It also deprives the starving children of the world the protein that would save their lives. Incidentally, it makes you pay 30% of your already bloated food bill for protein that you will never use. If you are an average American family, it will cost you about $40 a month to unnecessarily pump up your protein intake. That puts another $36 billion a year into the pockets of the protein producers."

"Nature, it seems, would agree totally. Human mother's milk provides just 5% of its calories from protein. Nature seems to be telling us that little babies, whose bodies are growing the fastest they will ever grow in their life, and whose protein needs are therefore at a maximum, are best served by the very modest level of 5% protein."

Even Arnold Schwarzenegger writes in his book, "Arnold's Body Building for Men" as follows:

"Kids nowadays...tend to go overboard when they discover body building and eat diets consisting of 50 to 70% protein - something I believe to be totally unnecessary...(In) my formula for basic good eating: eat about one gram of protein for every two pounds of body weight."

John Robbins notes that you could easily meet this quota without eating meat, eggs, or dairy products - if you only ate broccoli, you would still get more than 4 times the above suggested requirement!

Something especially important to the many women who post to this board is the evidence that excess dietary protein is a major cause of osteoporosis - as stated before, your body doesn't store protein - it gets rid of it. But...your body, in its effort to rid itself of excess protein, takes calcium from your bones. The incidence of osteoporosis correlates directly with protein intake. The countries with the most common occurrences of osteoporosis are the ones with the greatest consumption of dietary protein -- the US, UK, Finland, and Sweden.

In the 80's, Cornell University did what is still known as the largest and most comprehensive nutrition study ever done -- the 10-year China Project. This monumental study looked at the diets of thousands of rural and urban Chinese, and came up to some interesting conclusions:

"About four dozen different disease categories were available for investigation, including both the chronic degenerative diseases (e.g., cancers, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes) and the communicable, infectious diseases (e.g., tuberculosis, pneumonia, gastrointestinal).
When their geographic distributions were sought, it was found that the degenerative diseases tended to cluster in the more urbanized, industrialized counties while the communicable diseases were primarily found in the more agricultural counties.

The 'dietary and lifestyle' factors chiefly associated with the 'degenerative disease' counties included metabolic and dietary factors which characterize diets richer in animal products and higher in total fat.

These findings suggested that only small additions of animal based foods to an otherwise all plant based diet could elevate blood cholesterol (both total and LDL), thence to elevate the risk for the chronic degenerative diseases.

Average protein intake was only about 65% of the average intake in the US. But, more significantly, only about 10% of the protein was provided by animal based foods, whereas in the US, it is about 70%. Thus, on an energy intake basis, animal protein intake is about 10-fold higher in the US, thus causing major differences in many nutrient intakes.

Probably one of the most significant findings is the positive association of animal protein with blood cholesterol (both total and LDL) and the inverse association with plant protein.

Also, an increasing intake of plant protein is associated with ever increasing body stature (height) reached during adulthood. Thus, a good quality plant based diet can lead to 'big' people."

Whew! Long post! This is for Just A Veg and anyone else interested in learning more about how we eat affects both our health and the health of our planet - if you haven't already read it, pick up John Robbins "Diet for A New America" (should be at your library). I am sure you will find it a compelling read...

Here's the link for the China Project website:

Sorry to go on so long... just had to put in my two cents (as usual!).


02-22-2001, 01:54 AM
I don't have any problem with what anyone chooses to do. As long as it works for them. I weight train at least three days a week, and I walk at least one hours a day. I eat a varity of everything. It works for me. I'm happy when anything someone chooses works for them.

So as I take a big bite of my steak I'm eating right now, sip on my 80th oz of water and wonder why I want to eat my salad last :D...I know I'm doing whats right for ME. Oh yeah, I eat tons of fish, and poultry also and I've already expressed my veggies, and fiber intake is remarkably high.

I don't buy into meat being bad for me considering it's been a staple of the human diet before we ever realized how to harvest wheat. However whatever method everyone chooses I toast you with my water bottle :) And respect anyone who sticks with any plan.


"relax, it ain't as bad as it seems"

[This message has been edited by kimmieone (edited 02-21-2001).]

02-22-2001, 02:31 AM
Hi Kimmie -- I can get a bit over the top at times - sorry 'bout that.

"Everything in moderation, including moderation." I'm trying to remember where I heard's been a loong time since I've eaten red meat - gotta watch it since I have a lot of inherited risk factors - heart disease on my dad's side (all six of his brothers, as well as Dad, have been on the operating table at some point...just don't let them show you their scars - ICK! - tip: never go to a family reunion filled with doctors and chemists, unless you want to lose weight LOL) and breast/ovarian cancer on Mom's side. I kind of got away from the general point I was trying to make -- as long as the majority of your calories are coming from healthy food rather than sugar and junk, you are bound to get the nutrients you need...ESPECIALLY protein - and that a lot of diet/fitness articles/books/etc. since the mid-90's (most notably Atkins, but he wasn't the first) really tend to overrate exactly how much protein is required in our diets. Basically, as far as weight loss is concerned, calories are ALL that count (besides exercise of course!). Points/food exchanges etc are just different ways of counting calories which may be simpler for many people. Personally I prefer the old fashioned way!


02-22-2001, 02:42 AM
Mrs. Jim -- you always have the most amazing information at your fingertips. That's incredible that human milk is only 5%protein. Thanks for the info!

I try to stay around 1500 calories a day. I also use fitday and my breakdown is 55% carbs, 30% protein, and 15% fat. I don't plan it that way -- that's just the way it works out. The only supplement I take is a daily flaxseed oil capsule. The oil is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids.


02-22-2001, 03:02 AM
Mrsjim, ahhh see now you understand where I'm coming from ;). lol nope, I think I'll avoid partying with a bunch of doctors thank you very much lol. I understand what you mean about people who preach going overboard on certain food items.

Moderation is just what I'm getting at, and the freedom to have anything. Even a piece of real key lime pie when I want one. When I reach my goal I'm moving more toward the European style of eating (french paradox).

Quality, Moderation and Community. What's more pleasing than sharing a fine meal, a glass of wine and time with family and friends? I honestly believe that for me this is a common sense approach. Therefore I will never, and I mean never give up one food group, not protein, not carbohydrate and not fat. I have no history of heart problems in my family and these characters's always seem to slip into their hundreds without many problems. In fact my grandma is in her 90's and still raising way too much **** :D.

Restriction of selections leads to feeling deprivation within me.

Mrsjim, I find your post very insiteful and intelligently written and I've come to look forward to reading them. :)

02-22-2001, 10:24 PM
Kimmie - thanks!

From what I've read my opinion is that the "French Paradox" is simply that the French (and Europeans in general) eat smaller portions and ENJOY their meals throughly. No 'on the run' eating for them; no "Super Big Gulps". One of my favorite co-workers, who is stationed in our London office, brought us some British candy bars. Interesting to note that they are significantly smaller than the US versions! When he goes to McDonalds, he just gets a REGULAR (happy meal-size) hamburger and fries. Not that he eats there all the time, mind you -- it's just a treat.

In America, we are so accustomed to "All you can eat" buffets and huge portions. I never go to Fresh Choice, Sweet Tomatoes or any buffet-style place anymore because I can always convince myself that 'it's all healthy' and eat eat eat to get my money's worth (including the so-good-for-me frozen yogurt, many soups etc).

I'll be going to London in a couple of months on business...I'm interested in seeing the portion sizes for myself. They also eat later than we do generally from what I'm told!


02-23-2001, 03:57 AM
You're welcome.

Yes, in most European countries dinner is taken aroun 10 pm. In South America also. Very interesting when they always telling us in the US don't eat after six :) or we'll get fat.

Yes, the French Paradox is about smaller portions and the lifestyle. Really enjoying the food they eat, the quality of it, the way it smells, whom the meal is shared with.

It's funny how many come over here and are shocked by how much we eat on a normal basis. We are the junk food and big portion capital of the world. Another point is that they don't hate any food they don't believe there are good for you foods and bad for you foods. The only thing bad is eating too much of anything in my opinion.


[This message has been edited by kimmieone (edited 02-22-2001).]

02-27-2001, 06:01 AM
Thanks for the calculator at fitday. I too do BFL but I am having a hard time with it. Needing to limit the calories and was looking for a calculator. I hope this is the one I needed!! I sooooo need to get motivated!!!

Polly Esther
02-27-2001, 09:26 AM
Just a quick note - will break down your fat/protein/carb and count calories for you. You should have a diet roughly of 30 % fat, 30% protein, 40% carb.