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New to calorie counting...will it be enough?

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Old 08-13-2013, 01:34 AM   #1
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Default The Game Plan...will it be enough?

So I'm still pretty new here, and I'm thinking counting calories would be
the best diet route to go for me personally. I am a college freshmen so I am restricted to a meal program that doesn't always have the healthiest options. But I still intend to keep my calorie count healthy but low enough to promote continued weight loss. Even if my options aren't always the best, I figure smaller meals combined with better options, exercise, and choosing certain days to be totally healthy should be good enough right? I also intend to eat fruit/veggies only for snacks as well as with each meal when possible. Also drinking more water.

What is a good calorie amount though? How do you tell how many calories are in something when school food has no labels? How do you keep track of it all? These are some of the questions I'd like answered if possible.

I'm 5'8 and 214 lbs at the moment, my first goal is to be around 155ish come 2014. With my age and plan I think this is reasonable and doable right? But what would a good calorie intake be? Or how do I figure this stuff out?

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Old 08-13-2013, 04:31 AM   #2
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I really enjoy counting calories as a method for weight loss, mostly because I can still eat the things I like (just not the portions I used to eat). It sounds like it will be a good choice for you, as well, since you'll be using a meal plan for a lot of your food.

If you have access to a dietician, you may want to look into seeing them for an evaluation and diet plan (some schools offer one on campus). I didn't have access to one, so I did what I could do, and that's check online. I Google'd "how many calories should I be eating?" and looked for calorie calculators (I think I used this one). This gives you a general estimate, but it shouldn't be considered gospel.

After using that website for my starting point, I downloaded Myfitnesspal on my ipod (there are other calorie counter apps out there, I just chose this one because I have friends that use it too), and started logging what I was eating. Check your school website to see if they have nutrition facts for any of the foods, or see if there is someone you can email for it. Most calorie counting apps do have a database with foods in it, so you can try to use your best judgement...it may not be perfect, but it's better than nothing.

Having a calorie range and logging what you eat is going to be a good starting point for you! After doing this, I went a little bit further and ordered a Fitbit One, which is a pedometer that tracks my movement. As I continue to wear it, I can see the days where I am more sedentary than others, and may adjust my calories (I have mine set at 1200 calories cause I'm a shortie, but on my really sedentary days I find I can go a little lower and still be just as satisfied...if I'm hungry I will eat, but I won't eat just because the app tells me to). I will note that most calorie counting plans say never to go below 1200 calories because there is a valid concern of not getting the proper nutrients, and should only be done with a doctor's recommendation and supervision.

Fruits will have a higher caloric value than non-starchy veggies! Some people don't count fruit or vegetables (similar to weight watchers), but I found I was eating too much fruit and veggies and I wasn't in a deficit, so I started counting those. It was a bummer that a banana is approximately 100 calories, but that 100 calories is just as satisfying as many of those pre-packaged snacks you can find in the stores.

There is a little less than 5 months until 2014, and you want to lose just under 60lbs for that first goal. Is it doable? Sure! For me, personally, I find it to be a bit on the higher end of plausibility (it's taken me just over 3 months to lose 20lbs on mostly dietary changes with a little added exercise), but with hard work and perseverance, you can do it! I would probably break up the goal into smaller increments, though, so that it's more rewarding. There is usually a thread on the support forum every month that has motivation to lose 10lbs from the start of the month to the start of the next month, and that might be a great place to help keep yourself motivated!

Sorry for the long-winded post lol!! Trying to stay distracted I hope this helps!
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Old 08-13-2013, 08:21 PM   #3
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I'm in school as well and my dining hall does have access to calorie counts, so yours might have too. I havent eaten much in the dining hall so I dont have suggestions. good luck!
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Old 08-13-2013, 09:09 PM   #4
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This may help, a simple way to find calories is divide the kilojoules by 4.184 or to make it simple just divide by 4

I calorie count I am having what I want and am sticking to 1200 calories and I'm not hungry, I get a rough idea when I shop by using this method looking at packets.

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Old 08-13-2013, 09:18 PM   #5
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If your food comes from Sodexo (or even if it doesnt), you can probably find nutrition info for the meals offered, which could take a lot of guesswork out of it. Just be sure to pay attention to portion sizes.
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Old 08-17-2013, 10:28 PM   #6
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Sounds like I should be good to go then. My plan is to set aside a few days each week to be as healthy as possible. Meaning lean meats, protein shakes, fruits, and veggies as my only options. Other days it will mostly be just counting calories while throwing in at least one fruit and/or veggie option each meal. Only thing that will remain consistent daily would be my 16 oz protein shake. Thanks for the replies.
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Old 08-19-2013, 07:35 AM   #7
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Try to stick with more veggies than fruits. Fruits have a lot of calories because of the sugar content. Even though it is natural sugar, it is still sugar and you should limit yourself. Just a tip!

Counting calories will work. My suggestion would be to start at 1500 cals a day and see how much you lose in a week. If its not enough, try 1400 the next week. You need to find what works best for your body. However, try to not eat under 1200 cals a day. Your body needs this much to function because you are constantly burning cals. You are even burning while you are sleeping. If you eat too little, you will find that you aren't losing weight because your body begins to store everything you eat because it won't know when it will get more fuel. So it's all about finding the happy medium. I agree with previous poster. See if your school offers a dietician. Being a freshman in college I know you will be busy and stressed, so it couldn't hurt to have someone to go to for help and accountability.
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