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Old 01-09-2007, 09:36 AM   #1
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Question I'm sure you've heard this question before

In the past, I've always done Weight Watchers to take off some weight. Sometimes, I get sick of carrying around all of my point books - going out to dinner can be like a research project. So, I'm counting calories. I'm trying to stay around 1500-1600 per day as I am about 195 and would love to be about 155. I also exercise about 30 min. per day on treadmill. Now, for the question... does it matter for weight loss exactly what you spend your points on? Can I use my 1500 calories on whatever I want to lose weight or will I lose better or more if I spend much of it on fruits and veggies? I know that those are healthier for me, and I'm not talking about spending all of my calories at McDonalds. But, in your opinion can I use my calories however I want to? Thanks. Kris
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Old 01-09-2007, 09:41 AM   #2
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Of course you can use your calories however you want to, but keep good health in mind--it won't do you any good to get down to your goal weight if you're still all flabby and squishy (or have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or diabetes, etc.) instead of healthy and strong, and you'll get to healthy and strong via exercise and healthy foods your body can use as good fuel.
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Old 01-09-2007, 10:10 AM   #3
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It would definitely be best to spend your calories on healthy foods. I would say that it is ok once per week to have a splurge meal. Don't eat until you explode, just have something a litte bit bad.

You can eat so much more food if you eat healthy.
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Old 01-09-2007, 10:24 AM   #4
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Thanks for the quick responses. Jill- I checked out your fit day. It seems like you vary your calorie count quite a bit from day to day. Does this work well for you? Shelly- You've had success with calorie counting- how many calories do you eat a day? Could you give me an example of a daily menu? Thanks again. Kris
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Old 01-09-2007, 10:50 AM   #5
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Check out our daily planning thread in the support forum. Some of us list the foods (and calories) we plan on eating for that day to keep us on track. Entering my daily food into fitday in the morning has REALLY helped me avoid deviating too much from my plan.

I vary my calories a lot. Usually I eek out 3 "low" days (for me that's 1550 to 1750 calories); at least 2 days I end up around 1900 to 2000 calories, and maybe a few days around 1850. This has been working well for me. I would obviously lose way more if I ate less, but I just get too hungry and am unable to go low for more than 3 days at a time. See what works for YOU by trial and error. Log everything so you can see if what you've been doing has been working. If not, then you'll be able to adjust accordingly.
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Old 01-09-2007, 10:55 AM   #6
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Kris, Hi! I eat around 1500 calories per day (I used to do 1200 per day, but I exercise so much that I always felt like I was starving). I try to eat whole foods, especially high fiber, lean protein, whole grains and lots of fruits and veggies. I eat almost no 'junk', because it would wipe out all my calories for the day. I definitely prefer to eat higher volume, less calorie-dense foods. For example, if I ate a burger and fries I would use up most (if not all) of my calories for the day in one sitting. And I would still be hungry and just want more, more, more. Same with cake, cookies, etc. I am NEVER satisfied unless I eat so much I hurt of foods like that. Instead I am able to eat all day.

A sample day for me might be something like this:

Breakfast: apple, cottage cheese
Lunch: big salad, grilled chicken breast, red pepper & black bean soup
Snack: 3 clementines
Snack: yogurt, 1/2 cup kashi go lean crunch cereal
Dinner: roasted veggies (a HUGE bowl), grilled salmon
Snack: small whole wheat tortilla with 1 tablespoon peanut butter, tea

That is an example. Best wishes!

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Old 01-09-2007, 11:02 AM   #7
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Spending your daily calories on junk is not a good idea. I have never been a huge eater, yet I have always been overweight, and I think part of the reason for that is that although I was eating few calories, I was spending those calories on the wrong foods. You'll definatly lose weight faster if you spend your calories on healthier foods as well... As far as calorie count, what has worked for me is if I am really strict with all of my calories all week (1200), and then one day eat more calories to kind of confuse my body (1600), the weight will come off faster... Although like I said, it can be hard for me to get that many calories in because I am a small eater.
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Old 01-09-2007, 11:17 AM   #8
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Well I do have a treat meal once a week of going out to eat. One day a week I have red meat and potatoes and sometimes even white bread. The rewst of the time I TRY to do veggies, fruit, whole grains, dairy, lean meat like turkey and chicken and beans and brown rice. I make it fun and make spanish rice out of the brown rice and have whole wheat bean and cheese burritos, chicken tacos not fried, etc. I have even started making a huge batch of ground turkey with chili beans every week, taste great!

Just remember that not all calories are created equal! Like slim was saying you can get full and be satisfied with plenty of lowcal healthy foods where if you eat junk it is like a bottomless pit where you want more!!! Also some of those foods will go straight to added weight. I TRY to avoid white flour, white sugar, high fructose corn syrup and anything processed. It works best for me!
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Old 01-09-2007, 11:18 AM   #9
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It's funny you mention my Fitday, because I can tell you right now that I certainly don't intentionally vary my calories so much It just happens to be that the past 3 weekends in a row, I have been visiting family (which means lots of driving long trips and eating out and such), so my calories have been higher than usual. Then the past couple of days, I have been eating more junk because my throat hurts (cold is coming on!), and eating makes it feel a little better. I'm more prepared today, though, with natural applesauce, sugar-free Jell-o, all-natural fat-free yogurt, organic red pepper and tomato soup, etc...all easy on the throat and still yummy in the mouth

But anyway, intentional or not, I have been losing pretty steadily since about Thanksgiving. Varying your calories (or "zig-zagging" or "calorie cycling") is said to be a good way to keep your body from settling into a pattern of the same amount of calories every day. By varying your calories, your body won't lower your metabolism to adjust to a certain amount (in theory--not sure if this works 100% for everyone).
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Old 01-09-2007, 11:51 AM   #10
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jillybean - where did you get the organic red pepper and tomato soup? I am a vegetarian and that soup combination sounds wonderful. I would love to try it.
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Old 01-09-2007, 12:05 PM   #11
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I don't know if it's organic or not, but Trader Joes has a wonderful tomoato and red pepper soup.
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Old 01-09-2007, 01:02 PM   #12
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I think there is a place for ANY food in a diet, in moderation. But, the more junk I eat, the more junk I crave. It's like an addiction for me that becomes worse as I feed it. So, I try to eat healthy 90% of the time and not stress about the 10% of the time that I don't eat healthy.

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Old 01-09-2007, 01:51 PM   #13
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Allison nailed it--the red pepper tomato soup I have today is from Trader Joe's. However, I've also found it at Wegman's and Giant (regular grocery store chains around here), and I've also seen it at Whole Foods--The TJ's one is organic, and the ones I've gotten elsewhere are "all natural." No matter where I get them, though, they are in cardboard cartons, not cans, and they're typically in the aisle with other health foods and such, not with the rest of the soups.
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Old 01-09-2007, 02:23 PM   #14
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There are certain foods that will fill you more then others. For me that's a big, big plus. Like fiber rich foods. And low fat proteins. I've also been told that low fat proteins will not be converted into fat, so if you should overeat them chances are you will not gain weight from then. I believe that's the idea behind Atkins type diets. I count calories eating mostly the proteins, and tons and tons of veggies, and low carbs other then the healthy ones that come from veggies. I try to make every calorie "count", meaning it has nutritional value. I also find if I eat say pasta, that I have a hard time controling my portions so it's just not worth it for me to go there. If I want the occassional treat I will have it and not feel badly about it.

A typical menu for my day looks something like this

Breakfast @ about 9:00 - 1 cup high fiber cereal w 1/2 cup skim milk

Snack @ about 11:30 - Fat free, sugar free Danon 60 calorie yogurt

Lunch @ about 1:30 - Morning Star Farms Chicken Pattie and 2 -3 cups of cooked cauliflower

Snack @ about 4:00 - 60 calorie Jello sugar free pudding

Dinner @ about 6:30 - Chicken stir fry made with broccoli, red peppers, onion, mushrooms and zucchini in a soy, ginger, garlic sauce

If I'm hungry throughout the day I'll munch on a few pistachio nuts or some strawberries if I have them.

Jilly that soup sounds great!!! I wish I had a Trader Joe's near me. My mom does, I think it's time for a visit.

And Lindy I loved the idea of adding some cereal to my yogurt. Definitely gonna try that.
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Old 01-09-2007, 02:51 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockinrobin View Post
I wish I had a Trader Joe's near me. My mom does, I think it's time for a visit.
My Mom & Dad don't have a Trader Joe's and they've fallen in love with the soup. Every month or so, I'll go there and load up on a few items, mostly the soups, and ship it to them.
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