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Does Calorie Counting work even with Unhealthy food

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Old 04-06-2011, 03:09 PM   #1
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Default Does Calorie Counting work even with Unhealthy food

Today I didn't feel like being here at school so I ate some bad things now I only have 473 calories left and its only 2:00pm. So if I only eat 473 more calories today will I still be on track? Or should I just give up on today?
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Old 04-06-2011, 03:28 PM   #2
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You can still lose weight eating junk food it just doesn't like to show up on the scale as quickly because of water retention. I remember a college science teacher did an experiment to see if you could eat practically nothing but junk food and still lose weight if you counted your calories and exercised and he lost a lot of weight. I believe it was the twinkie diet. Hold up...http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/11/08...sor/index.html there you go.

Stick to plan and no matter what happens don't think just because you mess up you should just go crazy for the rest of the day!
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Old 04-06-2011, 03:29 PM   #3
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Yes and no for me. I have had days where I have eaten chocolate for dinner, I was badly craving it and nothing else so I did just that. It didn't stall my weight loss. Things like alcohol and salty food, even if consumed within my limits will stall my loss (water retention I know)
I don't think as my weight loss progresses I will be able to get away with things like that though, even though I mostly agree that weight loss is about calories in being less than calories out, in practice I think it is more complicated.
I don't think as a one off it will have an effect on your weight loss, I definately don't think oyu should give up on today because that could definately have an effect
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Old 04-06-2011, 03:33 PM   #4
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In my world, you would still be on track. I try to make as healthy of choices as possible, but I still fit in junk in there once in a while. My weight loss has been steady and consistent, as long as I remain within my calorie budget.
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Old 04-06-2011, 03:49 PM   #5
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I think a calorie is a calorie--you burn all them off the same way (Yeah, I read about the guy that lost weight eating Twinkies, too). Since you've already eaten it count it. It's the nice thing about calorie counting nothing is completely "off limits" but I think one would feel better eating fresh healthy foods then filling up on processed junk food. They would also be more satisfying long-term (since junkfood is so calorie dense you're not getting much volume for the # of calories eaten).
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Old 04-06-2011, 03:49 PM   #6
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That's plenty of calories for a light snack and a decent dinner. Veggies have virtually no calories in them.

I don't recommend eating junk because it doesn't keep you satisfied and it's not healthy.

A bag of chips is what 500-600 calories and keeps you full 1-2 hours while a dinner with 4 oz of chicken, brown rice, and grilled vegetables is 300-400 calories and keeps you full for HOURS
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Old 04-06-2011, 04:13 PM   #7
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if you look at it solely from the perspective of weight loss, then yes. it's all abt energy balance ("The same amount of ENERGY IN [calories consumed] and ENERGY OUT [calories burned] over time = weight stays the same; More IN than OUT over time = weight gain; More OUT than IN over time = weight loss")--a calorie is a calorie.

when i diet, i use the weight watchers program (though i follow it on my own)--in high school i remember i would eat bread and butter for dinner* (the 2 slices for 1 point type) because it fit into my daily point allowance--still lost weight! mmmmmmmm... bread and butter...

nutritional value is a totally different story, but i know that's not what you're asking

*thankfully, this was by choice

Last edited by mel23 : 04-06-2011 at 05:45 PM. Reason: clarification
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Old 04-06-2011, 04:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j0lamo01 View Post
Today I didn't feel like being here at school so I ate some bad things now I only have 473 calories left and its only 2:00pm. So if I only eat 473 more calories today will I still be on track? Or should I just give up on today?
You ate some junk, but that's in the past. Keep moving forward and start right now eating on plan, the food you know your body responds best to.

And for perspective, I'm a shorty, and having 473 calories left for dinner is a pretty regular occurrence. I call that normal! I understand it can be a shock if you're used to having more, but I'd echo beerab and say: veggies, some lean protein, and a touch of good fat. On days when I'm low on calories for whatever reason, I take a small low carb tortilla (50 cals) and add turkey (60 cals), raw spinach (15) and maybe some hummus (50). A really filling option at 175 cals.
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Old 04-06-2011, 05:31 PM   #9
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I thought of that story about the professor too! Thanks everyone I would much rather eat healthy food because you can eat more of it In case anyone was wondering the bad foods I ate were blueberry bagel with strawberry cream cheese and a snickers bar :P
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Old 04-06-2011, 10:21 PM   #10
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Pfft, those weren't "bad" foods, just calorie-dense ones. You're still on your plan if you have close to 500 calories left for the day.

Even if you had gone over your budget, there's never a reason to just "give up" on the rest of the day. Every meal presents a new set of chances to make healthier choices. Sometimes it's okay to choose the bagel and cream cheese. Sometimes it's even okay to opt for the Snickers bar--if it's one bar and not every day. That's the key, really: being able to fit it all in to your regular life.

I should add that for some people, it's easier to eat none of something than one of something, so if you're someone who's sensitive to carbs and find that they trigger massive hunger and subsequent eat-attacks, it's probably wise to make the bagels and Snickers VERY rare or you'll deal with more cravings than you need to. But if you aren't carb-sensitive? Knock yourself out with the occasional sweet.

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Old 04-07-2011, 12:24 AM   #11
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Thank you Nola!
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Old 04-07-2011, 01:39 AM   #12
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For me, a calorie is a calorie is a calorie However, I truly try to keep my foods dense in nutrition and stay away from any "bad" foods.
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Old 04-07-2011, 09:14 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nola Celeste View Post
Even if you had gone over your budget, there's never a reason to just "give up" on the rest of the day. Every meal presents a new set of chances to make healthier choices. Sometimes it's okay to choose the bagel and cream cheese. Sometimes it's even okay to opt for the Snickers bar--if it's one bar and not every day. That's the key, really: being able to fit it all in to your regular life.
This. Let go of the idea that having one day which is not perfectly on plan in every day is a reason to "give up" or just go overboard.

This is the kind of thinking that has caused so many people (including myself, in the past) to abandon weight loss attempts, consider themselves failures, think they can never accomplish it. And, frankly, it's stupid. There is an analogy that has been making the rounds on the board lately - if you came out of your house one morning and found you had a flat tire, would you say "well, screw it, that's ruined" and slash the other three? Or would you do what you needed to do to fix the tire and get on with your day?

Your daily and even meal-to-meal eating is the same way.

Weight loss is not a day-to-day process, and you don't blow the whole thing by eating one food you'd prefer to avoid, or going over your calories for a day or two. Take the longer term view - get right back on your plan and head on to the next meal, the next day.

As to the way you've phrased your question - calorie counting "works" with unhealthy food, but most of us find it's more sustainable in the long term if we eat lots of healthy foods, because they keep us less hungry, keep the cravings at bay, and make our bodies feel better. However: as Nola Celeste says, you can work in planned treats now and again if you find that they don't set off cravings - if you can get right back into your groove of healthy eating after you enjoy them.
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Old 04-07-2011, 09:23 AM   #14
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If you "give up" for a particular day, you likely mean "eat whatever I want for rest of day and start again tomorrow". The trouble is that your body doesn't start over at 0 each day, it remembers the days you'd like to forget. So no, don't give up on a particular day, just get back on your plan with the very next bite.
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Old 04-07-2011, 09:52 AM   #15
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My plan is if I slip up and eat too much (?? what! lol) dont ever just give up on today. Or the weekend. Or "Ill just start over on Monday". Its a slippery slope for sure. Just keep on keeping on.
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