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How long did it take for you to get used to counting calories?

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Old 05-28-2014, 06:52 PM   #1
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Default How long did it take for you to get used to counting calories?

I know a lot of people say it is difficult/time consuming in the beginning, but how long on average does it take to get the hang of it.
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Old 05-28-2014, 07:06 PM   #2
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Honestly it took me about 2 days to get used to it.I'm weird though and I actually like working out the calories
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Old 05-28-2014, 08:12 PM   #3
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Once you get the list of foods you normally eat worked out and some simple formulas for how much you should be eating, it's easy. I track everything...calories, protein, fat and carbs. But creating that initial list was a real pain in the ar$e.

I use an excel spreadsheet. Here's mine for today:

Fat Calories Protein Carbs
Breakfast
oats 3 150 4 27
Flaxseed milk 2 19 0 1
dried apricot 0 32 0 9
honey 0 21 0 6
Coffee 3 25 0 1
Polar Kippers 12 162 14 0
Coffee 3 25 0 1
Ekone original oysters 5 165 17 11

Lunch
quails eggs 3 42 4 0
Smoked Halibut 5 249 36 0
Wild planet shrimp 2 80 16 0
Wild Planet White anchovies in water 6.75 135 18 0
Crown Prince smoked oysters with chili 8 150 11 8
Honey 0 64 0 17
Tomato 0 11 1 2
Mushroom 0 2 0 0
Red onion 0 8 0 2
Kidney beans 0 18 1 3
Kimchi 0 100 10 10

Total 52 1457 132 98
Weight 167.4
Protein/weight ratio 0.79
Targets based on weight Low High
Calories 2344 2678
Fat based on 20-30% caloric intake 32 49
20% less calories to cut 1875
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Old 05-28-2014, 08:39 PM   #4
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My key was eating simply to start. An example is breakfast is normally 2 waffles with peanut butter if I'm on the go or oatmeal with milk and light brown sugar if I have time in the morning. Finding a good app helps too. Once I got down the basics of the calories of the foods I liked to eat I just keep building from there. Sometimes too I would preplan the next day if I was eating out or something special was going on just so I wouldn't worry about it. Hope this helps.
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Old 05-28-2014, 08:42 PM   #5
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I think this depends on a lot of things - how knowledgeable you are about food/nutrition, how frequently you eat similar foods/meals, how comfortable you are at using whatever website/ap/etc. you are using to track, etc.

It took me a couple months or so to really find my calorie counting groove BUT I eat very diversely and make everything from scratch, so there were definitely some complicating factors. I've been calorie counting now for a year and a half, and at the weekend, I can plan and log for the whole week in an hour or less. I can pretty intuitively put together meals that hit my target numbers and then I just have to calculate them in my food log.
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Old 05-28-2014, 08:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Novus View Post
I think this depends on a lot of things - how knowledgeable you are about food/nutrition, how frequently you eat similar foods/meals, how comfortable you are at using whatever website/ap/etc. you are using to track, etc.

It took me a couple months or so to really find my calorie counting groove BUT I eat very diversely and make everything from scratch, so there were definitely some complicating factors. I've been calorie counting now for a year and a half, and at the weekend, I can plan and log for the whole week in an hour or less. I can pretty intuitively put together meals that hit my target numbers and then I just have to calculate them in my food log.
This is a lot like me too. AND.... I will add that it also depends on how visual you are to see if you are seeing what you "think" you are seeing. Like, is 1 cup really 1 cup.

I think because I've been cooking (from scratch) for ages, I had a pretty good idea about quantities and what they look like in size. I almost NEVER measure - I guesstimate. Once in awhile on high calorie foods I'll actually measure to make sure I'm accurate with my estimations and I'm usually spot on. I can't think of one time I was off.

So, with a good app (I use mynetdiary.com), good visualization skills and good knowledge about foods, you can estimate pretty easily, so calorie counting is a snap. It barely takes me any time at all to put them in the app and see how it adds up. I would say I spend about 3 minutes a day on calorie counting.
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Old 05-28-2014, 09:14 PM   #7
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I did like Ian and set up an Excel spreadsheet. I have on it a meal calculator, recipe calculator, links to calorie counting and exercise calculator websites,exercise tracking sheet, food journal, charts of my progress, etc.

It took a good chunk of a Sat. to get it up and running, but I didn't mind because I like doing that sort of thing. Most of us are probably going to eat the same 2 weeks worth of meals 90 percent of the time. Once I logged most of my favorites, meal planning became a few minutes of running the numbers, then copy and pasting the results to my journal nightly.

I don't calculate my calories as the day progresses. I count my calories the night before. So long as I stick to the plan or keep the swaps to a minimum, it's really pretty easy.
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Old 05-28-2014, 09:22 PM   #8
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I havent really had any problems I'm on day 60 of myfitnesspal. I weigh most of my food and put it in and have kept up never felt annoyed about it or anything. I think having it on my phone right there where I can just click on it as I'm cooking helps though.
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Old 05-28-2014, 10:45 PM   #9
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It took me a few weeks to get into it, where it wouldn't take me a long time to write it down. After a few weeks of eating similar things, it becomes a lot easier to track it. I prefer to do it by hand and use a book that I found on Amazon. Personally, the apps frustrated me and I still don't have a smart phone (gasp) so I find it more convenient to carry the book around with me.

I have been using one now since January and I still measure out most everything I eat. It has just become habit it doesn't seem like a nuisance to me, I actually enjoy it
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Old 05-29-2014, 10:37 AM   #10
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I'm just getting back into it now, and I have no problem with actual tracking (as in the act of writing things down) - I kind of like that.

I'm still in that phase of learning the calorie counts for the things I typically eat, etc. I'm not all that fond of that phase, but I'm starting to create a sort of personalized calorie guide for myself.

Not surprisingly, I'm struggling the most with figuring out how to count complicated foods, or things when I eat out occasionally. Or even when I eat at someone else's house and don't really KNOW everything that went in there.

I think the hardest thing for me to get used to is accepting that sometimes I'm just going to have to wing it and know that that isn't going to totally undo everything.
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Old 06-25-2014, 09:13 PM   #11
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Ive been counting for about 6 months and have just started getting really good. I got a food scale and created recipes in my tracking software to make everything easier. Its really just getting into a routine
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Old 06-29-2014, 07:12 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by summertime03 View Post
Ive been counting for about 6 months and have just started getting really good. I got a food scale and created recipes in my tracking software to make everything easier. Its really just getting into a routine


I have been thinking about getting a food scale! This may sound like a stupid question but how do you know what amounts of foods your supposted to eat?
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Old 06-29-2014, 07:18 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinamariefitforme View Post
I have been thinking about getting a food scale! This may sound like a stupid question but how do you know what amounts of foods your supposted to eat?
I start with what I want to eat. So I'll throw 2 pieces of bread on there, then figure out the cals for that many ounces. With cheese, I'll slice what I think I want to eat, weigh it, then check the cals. Do I want to spend that much on cheese? (Like a budget in the store, you have a limited amount of money, do you want to spend it all on that one thing?) If I do, I'll eat it, If I want less, I'll take a smaller portion.

If I'm making a recipe, I weight the ingredients as they are listed, then calculate the calories in the whole thing.

How do you figure out what to eat now?
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Old 06-30-2014, 10:18 AM   #14
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MFP has really gotten me to look at labels every time I eat something. And helping to understand portion sizes so that's helpful.

Parents are still paying for groceries though so as soon as I move out, I'm gonna hafta be more cautious of what I NEED to buy, what I WANT to buy, and what would save me money (such as fresh vs frozen foods). These things I have obvious not gotten the hang of yet.
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Old 07-01-2014, 02:36 AM   #15
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This is a really great question because I asked myself the same thing when I started counting. I think it's just depends on the individual. It took me about 3 days to get acclimated and the use of myfitnesspal has definitely helped.

Good luck
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