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Tracking Calories

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Old 01-24-2013, 10:19 AM   #1
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Default Tracking Calories

(I also posted this under Calorie Counters.)

Honestly, I dont think I have ever heard of tracking calories on a weekly basis instead of a daily basis. is this something new? How are those doing that do this and what advantage does it have over tracking daily calories?

Also, when you track points instead of calories you have those flex points for extras that you might consume.
A) Does anyone allot "extra" calories on the day/week for that when tracking calories? Right now I am averaging 1800 calories (tracking through MFP) and from what I have read 1800 is good for my weight. However little extras come up sometime so Im curious how you track those?
B) Do you omit something you already have planned to eat so you can have the extras instead?
C) Do you just add the extra calories and do better the next day?
D) Or do you eat less than expected then use the extra calories for these things?

Sorry for all the questions but I am trying so hard to finally do this at this point in my life. Thanks for all the support!!
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:21 AM   #2
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I'm answering under calorie counters.
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:24 AM   #3
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I posted under New To Calorie Counting/Struggling topic.
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:28 AM   #4
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I think this is similar to the WW concept of counting daily points but having a weekly flex count. The idea being that if 1800 calories/day is what you need to consume to get to your goal, consume roughly 1700/day and then have 700 of "extra" calories to splurge with over the course of the week. We don't gain and lose weight in one day - it's a consistent plus or minus thing and what matters is what we do over the long run. But, personally I find that the WW or weekly calorie count concept is VERY triggering for binges. It allows me to eat more than I feel like I should have and then "make up" for it over the next day by eating very lightly which usually will trigger a real binge and then subsequent extremely light days. Not good. If you don't have this problem, then from a pure theoretical, "Will I still lose weight keeping weekly calories vs daily calories" perspective - yes, you will still lose weight.
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:30 PM   #5
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For me if I started each week say with 1800 calories x 7 days giving me 12,600 for a week.....knowing me I would probably go hog wild with eating. So I just dont think this method would work for me. The daily tally seems good.

As far as the extra calories (like flex), I can see that.....knocking off 100 a day to use at leisure but then I would also be afraid if I saved them all up until say Saturday then eat the days plus the extra 700, I would be afraid at this point it would cause me to get off track and possibly not get back on.

So I guess I will just stick to the daily calories. Thanks for input as i was curious how others felt on this.
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:49 PM   #6
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I've never understood this type of system. My body deals with what I put in it today; it's not like it won't hold onto an extra pound due to overeating today because I intend to eat less later this week to make up for it. The net effect for me would be that I would constantly be depriving myself later in the week to lose what I packed on earlier, and that's not a good longterm plan.

It's possible that many people are able to use this type of system in a more responsible manner, but I'm not one of them. It's kind of why I got fat; promising myself to be responsible later and indulging myself right now.
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Old 01-24-2013, 08:58 PM   #7
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I do a three day average. I try to keep that average between 1200 and 2000 calories, mostly staying around 1500.

If I have a high calorie day planned, I will go lower the day before and after.
If I have an unplanned high calorie day, I try to make it the next two days average it out (I don't eat below 1200 to make that happen, I just do the best I can).

I won't lose weight if I continuously average 2000 calories per day, so I try to limit those.

A weekly (or monthly) system would work too, it's just more planning than I care to do.
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:12 PM   #8
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I do a weekly average of 1450 a day but sometimes go a couple hundred above or below.
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:22 PM   #9
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While I don't count calories I do eat far fewer calories during the week than I do over the weekend.

Calories matter - when you eat them doesn't.
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:58 AM   #10
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For me personally, i think that not counitng is what has caused the weight gain simply because "we" dont want to believe we eat as much as we do or "we" dont want to believe that brownie say is really 500 calories instead of 100.

I have been doing calorie counting faithfully for the past week since I came back to this site after several years and even though it has been only a week, it has really opened my eyes as to how high in calories foods really are when we are totally honest and chart what we really eat.
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:13 AM   #11
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I think it's reasonable to try to stay more conscious and focused when you are starting out, and for that reason, I think a daily limit makes sense for a lot of people.

But I will also say that the "naturally" slim people I know to tend to take a bigger view - so if they know they are going out to a nice restaurant on Saturday, they purposefully eat lighter for a couple of days beforehand to make up for it. So you might see them just at that restaurant, enjoying themselves and thinking enviously how nice it must be to be able to eat like that and not be fat. But the reality is that their calories for the week are more balanced, even if they are high for that one day, and they are able to maintain their weight by doing that.

It's kind of the same as people with young kids get told - don't worry too much about what your child eats on a single day. Look at what they've had over the course of a week, and when you look at it that way, most kids do have a decently balanced diet, even if there are those individual days here and there where all they eat are goldfish crackers and american cheese.
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:14 AM   #12
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I used to do this...a weekly budget.

I'd STARVE myself at the beginning of the week so I could have a good surplus at the weekend for food and drink. I don't think I ever splurged at the beginning of an accounting period. But it wasn't good for me. Because I'm a saver by nature I ate far too few calories on a daily basis. On the other hand - a rigid calorie limit day by day doesn't suit my nature.

I definitely did lose weight doing this, but as you can see by my weight now... I didn't keep it off :-) And it made me crazy.
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Old 01-25-2013, 06:34 PM   #13
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Since I began losing weight by calorie counting (June 2011), I've had a weekly rather than a daily calorie limit. I credit doing that as one key to my success in losing 45-50 lbs. and maintaining that loss for more than a year now. I realized that the reason I yo-yoed so many times in the past is that I like some spontaneity in my eating, and a daily calorie allotment is too limiting. Suppose my husband wants to go out to dinner on the spur of the moment? By having a weekly total, I can still do that without going over my allotment; I just cut back another day during the week. I still keep daily track of my calories (in an app in my smart phone), but my weekly total is what ultimately counts.

In case you're interested, another strategy that keeps me on track is starting my "day's" calorie count with my most unpredictable meal---which is supper for me. So, my "day's" calories start with supper. If I overindulge at that meal, it's much easier for me to plan for that by cutting back on breakfast and lunch. Besides, to me, there are many more enticing lower calorie options for breakfast & lunch than there are for supper (IMO). Also, because I'm usually busy during the day with work, it's easier for me to eat a lighter breakfast & lunch than it is to eat a light supper.

Hope that helps!
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Old 01-25-2013, 07:24 PM   #14
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What occurs to me is that a weekly tally would help do away with the "well I've screwed up today, might as well binge and start over tomorrow" binge.
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:53 PM   #15
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I calorie cycle and focus on the weekly average. This works well for me.
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