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Calorie Counting ???

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Old 06-26-2010, 11:54 PM   #1
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Default Calorie Counting ???

I have read so many threads where some of you talk about calorie counting. This may seem like a dumb question...but do you just count calories; or are you also looking at the fat grams, carbs, protein, etc? The reason I ask is that some things like (chips, pretzels, bread, etc) can sometimes have relatively low calories but have tons of fat and carbs. I am currently at a plateau for the last 2 weeks, which I know isn't terribly long but I am trying to look at some other options to switch it up and get the scale moving again. In addition to my elliptical, water aerobics, strength traning and walking, I started running intervals into my 3 mile walk today just to see if it will get things moving again. I typically stay within 1300-1700 calories a day with low carb and highly nutritious foods (fruits, veggies, chicken, fish,etc) but I am wondering if calorie counting might be another option for me to consider?
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Old 06-27-2010, 12:57 AM   #2
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well, a calorie is not a calorie. LOL
I read something ages ago so forgive me if I'm a bit off, but it's something like
about 96% of the calories you get from fat are available for use
about 85% of carbs are available and
about 75% of calories in protein is available for use

Basically it takes more energy (calories) for your body to process and store protein, than it does carbs or fat.

PLus, if you're "lucky" like me, you may be sensitive to carbs , so that a calorie level of (as an example) 1400 on high protein, lower carbs might get me consistent loss, whereas 1400 of higher carbs might be a stall/maintain

So in short, even though I am not officially a low-carber , I do look at carbs content (especially sugars and fiber)moreso than protein and fat. If something is higher in sugars or starch, it will be less satisfying, less filling, and I will want a greater quantity and feel hungrier sooner than if I had more fats and proteins.
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Old 06-27-2010, 01:00 AM   #3
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Are you currently counting calories? You gave a range that you're eating but when you say you might try calorie counting as an alternative to what you're doing now, that has me a bit confused.
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Old 06-27-2010, 01:07 AM   #4
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I have a general idea each day of what my calories are, since I do not vary my food items a ton so I can stay on track. I was more wondering if calorie counting is simply that, counting just calories or are there other factors involved in it (like carbs, fat, etc). I hope I made sense.
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Old 06-27-2010, 02:21 AM   #5
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Calorie counting is as simple as it sounds. You keep track of your calories. But I do think that most people watch other things as well.

For health reason we need to be concerned about nutrient intake. Eating junk food is not good for our bodies so we should limit their intact. Some people seem to be sensitive to carbs so they limit those more. If you are calorie counting then you are going to be limiting fat intact since fatty foods are higher in calories. It is important to have protein to help maintain and build muscle. It has also been proven to be more filling.

I count my calories and am most concerned about keeping them within a range, but I don't count my fat / carb/ protein consumption. I just try to make good well rounded choices in what I eat. Lean proteins, lots of vegetables and fruits, whole wheat carbs, low fat (and making sure it is unsaturated when I do use it), low sugar.
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Old 06-27-2010, 07:02 AM   #6
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If you use a tool like FitDay, it gives you the breakdown on carbs, fats, proteins as well as calories, if you want to look at that. No extra figuring required.

Counting calories can be useful in that it may tell you where your estimates are going off one way or the other. Tracking the major nutrients can be helpful to make sure you're getting enough protein and not overdoing the fats or carbs.

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Old 06-27-2010, 07:09 AM   #7
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I track my calories on Fitday.com. It makes a little pie chart for you showing your balance of carbs, protein and fat each day. I found that I was still eating a ton of carbs, even though I thought I had really increased my protein. I wasn't planning on focusing on that balance, but since I tend to go so carb-heavy, I've found that getting enough protein is something I have to work on every day.

Tracking online isn't for everyone, but for me, I like all the data. And when you want to switch something up or you're trying to figure out what works for you and what doesn't, you have lots of information to work with!
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