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Old 09-06-2009, 06:14 AM   #1
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Hi everyone,

I'm totally a newbie to the site, but not to dieting. I am currently on the Biggest Loser diet which is all about counting calories, portion control, and exercise.

I am having trouble with the calorie counting part. According to the book and news articles I have found if your over 300lbs they recommend you start dieting at 2100 calories a day. But I cannot make it. I don't know what's wrong with my planning.

I know calorie counting is all about making plans and menus and doing a food journal. I'm definitely eating the right kinds of foods, but I'm falling short on my calorie intake by about 400-500 everyday. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Also to help steer some of your suggestions I am 25 years old, currently weigh in at 353lbs. I've lived in South Korea for the past 6 months and have 10 more months to go before I come home to the states. I enjoy reading the board because everyone has such amazing ideas, but then rarely can I adjust them for me to use because there is a lack of healthy american food that can be found here in South Korea. Not to mention I live on an island off of the mainland.

Anyways, any help would be completely appreciated. Here is my sample menu for a typical day for me right now:

B: Fruit Smoothie (241 calories)
S: 1 cup cherry tomatoes (50)
1 Dr. You bar (100)
L: Chicken breast salad with cucumbers, green peppers, tomatoes, and mushrooms (470)
S: 1 slice of whole wheat bread (75)
1 tsp of reduced fat peanut butter
1 apple (80)
D: Grilled turkey and swiss sandwich (345)
1 cup cherry tomatoes (50)
Celery w/ light cream cheese

Calorie intake: Roughly 1500


Any help would be great! Also any tips from other's who work in the school environment would be great. I've been trying to do the 6 meals a day, and its a challenge but so far so good.
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Old 09-06-2009, 07:44 AM   #2
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IMO I would say you are doing GREAT and its a good thing you are eating less than the 2100 calories. If you really wanted to boost up your calories throw in a mid afternoon snack of some kind a banana or a cereal bar. You could also "spice up" your chicken with some cheese or some kind of dressing like BBQ or lite ranch.
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Old 09-06-2009, 08:49 AM   #3
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Actually, I agree with all the other info you've been reading. At your weight, you don't want to starve yourself! However, if you are feeling satisfied eating these foods, it could be okay. One concern for people who eat too little is that they feel okay restricting for a while, but end up binging if it really is too little food for them. Recovering from a binge can be a bear sometimes!

What about some local foods? Do you like any of it? You might not know the exact calorie counts of everything, but there's no reason you have to exclude it. I do a fair bit of guessing when I eat out and there are some resources for calorie counts of non-American foods.
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Old 09-06-2009, 10:05 AM   #4
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First of all you're doing great!

Instead of adding more food to your diet switch up some of the ingredients. Don't use low-fat, non-fat, skim, "light" stuff, go back to the original. By the way be very careful of those low fat things - they're usually full of sugars, much more so than the full fat versions.

If I'm too low on calories and am not really hungry I will immediately reach for peanuts or cashews. Just one ounce is like 180 calories!
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Old 09-09-2009, 04:47 AM   #5
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Any more information would be appreciated if anyone has anything to add. Here is the menu I have been closely following with regards to Breakfast, Snacks, and Lunches. Dinners have been variabled: steamed veggies one night, duk galbi (korean dish) of chicken, cabbage, and spicy seasoning, black bean salad tonight.

Breakfast:
1 1/2 cups whole wheat cereal
1 cup skim milk
1 banana
1 cup orange juice
Snack #1- Dr. You protein bar, 1/2 cup cucumber slices
Lunch:
Turkey and swiss sandwich on wheat with 1 Tbsp of mustard
Yogurt
1 cup pineapples slices (straight from the original pineapple, not canned)
1/2 cup cucumber slices
Snack #2- Dr. You Fruit and Nut bar, 1/2 cup pineapple slices

My fruit and vegetable choices vary weekly.
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Old 09-09-2009, 07:45 AM   #6
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add some avocado to the sandwich or salad, add at least 1 Tblsp. of oil to the salad, switch to whole milk or 2%, and eat full fat cheese instead of "light."
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Old 09-09-2009, 07:33 PM   #7
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Spread some laughing cow cheese on those cucumbers, it's awesome. Add some greek yogurt to breakfast for the protein. Hummus is another great option with your veggies, it's really tasty, has good fats, and is good for protein.
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Old 09-12-2009, 09:49 PM   #8
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Shout out to all of you from South Korea this morning. I am slightly depressed this morning because I jumped on the scale after my official first week of calorie counting/exercise increase and I didn't lose anything. My scale didn't budge at all. I feel totally discouraged already but I'm definitely not giving up. I already posted my menu plans on here and everyone said they look great. I swear thats all I have been eating. I have also been getting 8-10 glasses of water in a day, plus my vitamins, fish oils, and garlic pills. I'm thinking maybe I just need to kick up the exercise another notch.

Does anyone out there have any insight to offer? Also, what do you think my calorie intake should be per day. Every site I have looked at says something different. I'm 5'10, 353lbs, and I want to lose 150lbs. My ideal goal time for this is 1 1/2 years.
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Old 09-12-2009, 10:00 PM   #9
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My advice would be to join fitday or sparkpeople, both free sites, to keep track of what you eat and drink.

I started out at 330 pounds. For me, I believed less was best when it came to calories but I was wrong. You need to be sure you are eating enough to fuel your body.

No one can tell you a certain amount of calories you need to eat each day to lose weight. That is something you have to learn through trial and error. Or you can try using one of those online calculators for a guesstimate or starting point, work it for a couple weeks then tweak as necessary. This is one here that others have recommended before, maybe you can check it out - http://www.freedieting.com/tools/calorie_calculator.htm

Good luck with your goals. You can do this

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Old 09-12-2009, 10:18 PM   #10
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Michelle,
Thanks for the kind words. I am actually using both of those sites and a little obsessively about it now too. According to sparks people I should be getting in between 1800-2100 calories a day. They also break down carbs, fat, protein, etc. and the only one I'm not meeting everyday is the required fat content. Go figure!! Haha.
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Old 09-12-2009, 10:36 PM   #11
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im with everyone else, if you dont want to add another meal, just add some stuff to the things you're already eating. someone suggested switching to 2% milk to add calories. you could also switch to regular peanut butter, add some cheese to your salad, etc.

just add a few things here and there to boost your calorie intake. at your weight, you dont want to start too low and end up in a plateau with nowhere to go.

you're doing great though!
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Old 09-12-2009, 10:37 PM   #12
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snack on some nuts- macadamias, almonds, cashews, walnuts. quick, easy, cheap and yummy way to fill up your calories.
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Old 09-12-2009, 10:40 PM   #13
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also dont feel too discouraged by your weight this week. sometimes it takes several weeks of tweaking before you figure out what works for you. at your starting weight, with the calorie intake you're describing i can only assume that you're eating too little and your body is kicking into low metabolism. you're certainly not eating too much. stick with it!
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Old 09-13-2009, 12:16 AM   #14
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Really, the best way to figure out the calories for you is trial and error. My advice would be to start with 2000 calories/day, track for a couple of weeks -- at least 2 -- and see how you do! If you're losing some, keep it there! A good pace is an average of no more than 1% of your current body weight. If you don't lose at all in that time, drop 100 calories or so a day and track that for a while.

Any site you go to will only be an estimate.

Good luck!
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Old 09-13-2009, 09:31 AM   #15
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You're very welcome. Just hang in there. We are here cheering you on to victory
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