Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 09-08-2007, 01:02 PM   #1  
Candice
Thread Starter
 
sixpence1978's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: California
Posts: 20

S/C/G: 189/180/125

Height: almost 5'1"

Default Which is easier...points or calories?

From any of you ladies that have tried both...which do you find easier...counting points or counting calories? I love the idea of counting calories but I always end up petering out by the end of the week since I am always having to make "custom" items.
sixpence1978 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2007, 01:37 PM   #2  
banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Vancouver, BC Canada
Posts: 145

S/C/G: 176/155/135

Height: 5'7"

Default

I do calories, but so many WW recipes are low in calories, so I kind of use the point system as well. Their low calorie '0' point veggie soup is honestly my saving grace. It's low enough in calories that if I find myself craving a snack and don't have many calories left i'm able to have it. Also, I have found that alot of people think with the point system 'veggies are 0 points, so I can have as much as I want'! When we all know that even veggies have their limit with the point system. You can't have 10 cups of veggies and think that won't make a difference. So I stick with calorie counting and have found it works best for me. But WW has awesome soup or salad recipes that I find myself using everyday. I actually had a friend that would some days use their points by eating like a chocolate bar for breakfast and a bag of chips for lunch then veggies for dinner and they'd stay under the points, but man those were bad calories, bad fat. And she wondered why she wasn't losing? Pfft. All in all what it really comes down to is what works best for you.

I made a list of over 50 super low calorie soups/salads/smoothies and veggie plates that I'm able to have usually for 150 calories or less, this list comes in handing when i've found i'm pretty close to my daily calorie limit. I keep it on the fridge so I always know my choices!
Elegant Departure is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2007, 02:03 PM   #3  
Senior Member
 
kaplods's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Wausau, WI
Posts: 13,383

S/C/G: SW:394/310/180

Height: 5'6"

Default

Points and calories have very much the same strengths and weaknesses. A downside of both systems is that you have to either remember point or calorie values for a lot of general items, or carry reference materials with you.

If you have decent math skills, neither is a problem. I liked point counting better than calorie counting, because it is much easier for me to do "in my head" (after all counting to 25 to 35, is easier than counting to 1500). But with the point system, your calorie count can vary quite a degree. If you eat a high fat, low fiber diet you will be allowed far fewer calories (you will feel grumpy and deprived, but you will lose weight, probably faster than eating healthy). If you eat a very high fiber, low fat diet, you will get to eat a lot of food, you will feel less deprived, be eating healthier, but also probably eating more calories, and therefore possibly losing weight more slowly.

If you're anal about perfection or exactness, the point system may annoy the heck out of you. Although if you tend towards obsessing over whether a food item has 50 or 60 calories, the estimation factor of the point system can be liberating.
Since my husband was diagnosed diabetic and myself prediabetic, I've rediscovered another option in food counting, the American Diabetes association food exchange system and all of it's spawn (Richard Simmons' Deal-a-Meal and FoodMover systems, Joanna Lund's Healthy exchanges, The Weight Watchers Quick Start system (and all pre-1997 incarnations), the TOPS endorsed diet, the Christian based program First Place, the hillbillyhousewife website, the Duke Diet.......yadayadayada).

The TOPS website has food cards and "calorie cash" and exchange information I found helpful. The hillbilly housewife site was very informative too, especially the foodplan list

I like the idea that it's an easy way to ensure a reasonably balanced diet, and my husband's diabetic counselor told him it's ok to swap milk, bread, or 2 fruit exchanges once in a while. Or even for a meat exchange as long as he has at least 2 starch exchanges at each meal. People without blood sugar issues can be even more flexible.

Whichever you choose, consider it a trial run. If you don't like it, or get bored with it, try another approach and see if you like it better.
kaplods is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2007, 02:09 PM   #4  
Senior Member
 
lots2go's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Tulsa
Posts: 245

S/C/G: 206/189.2/135

Height: 5'4"

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by tlr21 View Post
I was wondering if I could get a copy of you list that you keep on the fridge. I have 3 kids and find it hard at times to think about what I can eat and what would fill me up! Thanks in advance!
TR
me too!
lots2go is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2007, 02:43 PM   #5  
want2bTrue
 
want2btrue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Midwest Part of the U.S.
Posts: 21

S/C/G: 178/164/125

Height: 5'3"

Default

I was a WW pointer, but I've converted to calorie counting! It seems like anything else is a frill, which can be fun if the frill fits your taste and thus helps you keep on track. However, I have finally come to the conclusion that every type of plan, including the point system, all boils down to the same thing: CALORIES IN! See, I did an experiment before I converted. Before converting, I took a number of days to just count calories and stay in range. That was scary because I was used to tracking my whole day on the point system. Then, I counted my points at the end of the day, and that includes having lots of free point foods, which, which calorie counting, you count EVERYTHING, even a ketchup packet.

Guess which won?

Calorie counting!! Staying in range, I added my points and to my surprise, I was in and UNDER my point range. I don't know why, but I just enjoy counting calories so much more. I enter all my calories in fitday.com like several friends who have lost weight, and I am HAPPY as a clam!!~!! I've also lost weight and though it hasn't been long, am lower in weight than I have been in two years. I'm excited!
want2btrue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2007, 02:48 PM   #6  
Aspiring Beach Bum
 
Mom2QJandT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Greenfield, IN
Posts: 537

Height: 5'8"

Default

I've done both, I do POINTS now because it's easier for me to keep the numbers straight in my head and I have a chart that tells me when I have to start eating less. I'm not the typical dieter though. I'm vain. It's all about how I look and I still eat a lot of junk, just in smaller quantities. I try to make some better choices, but with points I can still eat the stuff I want and I do well with that.
Mom2QJandT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2007, 04:47 PM   #7  
want2bTrue
 
want2btrue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Midwest Part of the U.S.
Posts: 21

S/C/G: 178/164/125

Height: 5'3"

Lightbulb

[QUOTE=kaplods;1845820]Points and calories have very much the same strengths and weaknesses.

I thought this was a brilliant observation: both points and calories have strengths and weaknesses. Having done both, I find them similar at the end of the day. Although I enjoy cc more, points are fun, too! And I think if you LIKE the method of tracking your food, you'll stick with it. And that's the trick to every method, I think: sticking with it! That's the hard part..which I'm working on every day
want2btrue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2007, 05:16 PM   #8  
Senior Member
 
kaplods's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Wausau, WI
Posts: 13,383

S/C/G: SW:394/310/180

Height: 5'6"

Default

I think I've "brilliantly" deducted after only a brief 36 years of on and off dieting (with many small and moderate successes and humongous failures), that I have to integrate my lifestyle changes into my "natural" lifestyle and personality. I am intelligent, witty, openminded, spontaneous, creative, and freespirited (otherwise known as flighty, occasionally arrogant, indecisive, rebelious and easily bored).

I have to work with my idiosyncracies rather than against them, and since I LOVE freedom and variety, and HATE frustration and boredom, I have to constantly change my program to keep myself focused and interested. So, I have absolutely no problem (well, now anyway) with switching programs every week, if I want to. For the longest time, I assumed (whether from naivity, stubborness, or stupidity) that I had to follow a program (a program of someone else's design, no less) religiously and without question or variation until I lost the weight (and not a moment longer, at least was my hope).

It's finally dawned on me that this is FOREVER, BABY, so I have to be able to live with, and even enjoy my choices. I'm learning to make small changes, consistently, and to keep trying new things to keep things fun and interesting. Jeez, I'm getting impatient because I've never lost weight so slowly before, but then again, I've never went so long without gaining weight before either, so I really think I'm on to something.

I don't think you have to choose between points, calorie counting, exchange counting, lower carb, South Beach, Weight Watchers, TOPS or anything else...... I think it's fine to experiment, and to even alternate, if that's what keeps you going. For me, that really seems to be part of it. Being willing to learn what you can't mess with (I really have to learn to avoid certain foods if I don't want to be ravenously hungry) and learning what you can and want to play with (for me, how I keep track of what I'm eating).

It irritates me, when people push the idea that there is one perfect way for absolutely everyone to lose weight successfully. I think if it were really that simple, we'd all have found it by now.
kaplods is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2007, 05:24 PM   #9  
Candice
Thread Starter
 
sixpence1978's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: California
Posts: 20

S/C/G: 189/180/125

Height: almost 5'1"

Default

Elegant Departure, we all need your list! It should be public knowledge I think

Thanks for all the replies. I guess my main problem with tracking in FitDay is that I do tend to be a little bit anal about the values. If, say, I put in that I ate 1 cup of green beans, then you click on the link that shows the ingredients for what you are entering, everything has way too much fat or especially salt. So then I end up just entering raw green beans and then entering whatever I mixed in with them. KWIM?

Anyways, I guess I just need to live with the art of guesstimating a little bit more.
sixpence1978 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2007, 04:38 AM   #10  
By God's Grace
 
Gale02's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 1,954

S/C/G: 293/ticker/175

Height: 5'6"

Default

I use the First Place program that kaplods mentioned earlier and count exchanges. It's very, very similar to points but I like it better since it's completely focused on balance. It's not "eat 1500 calories", the program allows (if you follow it correctly - which is really easy) for certain percentages of your calories to come from each food group: Meat (protein), Starch, Veggie, Fruit, Milk and Fat. There are some days when I am a little over on one and a little under on another, but for the most part I eat a really balanced diet. That's been important in my weight loss; I notice when I eat nothing but garbage, even when it comes in under my calories, my loss stalls.

I agree with everyone else here though, you have to find what works for you. What works for me or for Jane down the street isn't necessarily what's going to do it for you.
Gale02 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2007, 05:13 AM   #11  
I'm not nuts, I'm happy!
 
Kati's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Germany
Posts: 237

S/C/G: 241/220/160

Default

I would dearly love that list as well. I am teachign my daughters healthy eating now and my oldest is learning to make her own snacks, would love to have that list so can choose from it, and me too of course!
Kati is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2007, 05:23 AM   #12  
Ironman in Training
 
Idealmuse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Chicago
Posts: 1,780

S/C/G: 302/205/150

Height: 5'5

Default

I do calories now I find it more exact and easier to track, but I will say I think the times I was at WW it helped me see what percentage of my food something was... you know if something is 300 calories that doesn't sound bad but if your eating 1200 that's 1/4 of your days food. But say you had 20 points and something you ate was 5 points that seems more significant in a way... but I gleemed those benefits and went back to calories. Just easier. Everything is marked for you already.
Idealmuse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2007, 07:57 AM   #13  
Junior Member
 
curseofcurves's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 11

S/C/G: 158/141/115ish

Height: 5'2"

Default

I've always preferred counting calories over using the point system, mostly because I like knowing the exact calorie content of what I'm eating -- I don't really like the whole zero points thing either, since the food still contains calories. I usually keep track of my calories during the day in a notebook or on the computer if I'm at home, and I try to plan out my meals if I'm going out somewhere, so I've never had trouble keeping track of them.
curseofcurves is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2007, 05:35 PM   #14  
Senior Member
 
LisaMarie71's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 2,860

S/C/G: 285.2/285.2/185

Height: 5'9"

Default

I use points because I got used to it when I did WW years ago, and I rarely consult any reference materials. If I don't know the points for something, I estimate with the "1 point=roughly 50 calories" idea. If it has a lot of fat, I toss on another point or two, and if it has lots of fiber, I take one off. My system is VERY rough and all about estimation, but it has definitely worked for me. I'm not good with precision anyway, which is why I kind of do whatever I want and eat whatever I want within my point range. But hey -- it's helped me get rid of over 100 pounds, so I'm not changing any time soon. I think it depends on your personality. Some people need more structure, and some people (like me) just rebel when there's too much structure.
LisaMarie71 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2007, 07:44 PM   #15  
Senior Member
 
kaplods's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Wausau, WI
Posts: 13,383

S/C/G: SW:394/310/180

Height: 5'6"

Default

I think personality does play into it, to a certain degree. If I calorie count, I still have to round up to the nearest 25 to 50 lbs anyway, or I get all nutsy and obsessive about the calorie counts in things, and feel horribly if I exceed my calorie "goal" by even 25 to 50 calories. Which considering the fact that even calorie counting is based on estimation, my "true" calorie count could be off by 100 calories or more anyway, under or over. But you play whatever mind games you have to in this "business."

I think it also depends on how much weight you have to lose. If you have 200 lbs to lose like I do, it doesn't much matter which system you use, you're going to lose weight equally well on both programs. However, if you have only a few pounds to lose, you might have more success with a more precise counting method, so calorie counting may be a better choice.

Right now, I'm counting food exchanges. I like knowing that the program has healthy balance designed into it. I can't eat all of my calories or points in one food group, and call it good. I would guess it's probably somewhere in between points and calories for precision, especially when you're eating whole foods, as I'm trying to do. It gets alot more complicated when you eat packaged products, or homemade items that contain ingredients from mixed food groups. I've found some resources online, and a few books I want to order online to make it easier.
kaplods is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:07 PM.


We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.