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Old 10-24-2010, 11:20 AM   #1  
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I am counting calories. My aim is 1500 per day and I am a beginner at exercising. I usually do lower carbs, good carbs but I am trying something different this time, something I'll be able to maintain no matter what. It will take some tweaking yet.


So, my question is... do you who count calories just worry about the total calories at the end of the day, regardless of what you eat?

For example, if you decide to eat a piece of cake or whatever even if it was higher in calories do you just count that in there and make sure you're within the range for that day or do you go over your total calories for the day OR do you cut back tomorrow in some way?

At the end of the day and at the end of the week if you eat something very sweet, high in carbs, etc though your total calories for the week are where they're supposed to be is it all ok? Do you still lose or do you get a whipping for that one bad choice in the week?

Sorry..I am just trying to figure things out. What's been your immediate and your longer term result from this?
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Old 10-24-2010, 11:49 AM   #2  
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Yup, if I have a bit of cake, I factor it in there and then. On the very, very, VERY rare occasions that I have a bit of unexpected cake, I knock out the meal I'd planned, so as to keep the calories right.

MOST of weightloss is about calories in/out, so one choice of something less than 'healthy' won't affect that ~ except that for a lot of us, something extra cake-carby produces water retention, so will show a scales increase, although provided it's within calories, it won't be a fat increase, just water.

"Just" is misleading though - sometimes seeing the scales go up, even if it's only a temporary fluid gain - can send us into 'blow it, I might as well go the whole hog and binge' kind of mindset.
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Old 10-24-2010, 11:58 AM   #3  
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I count my calories, but I also keep an eye on my fat, carb and protein totals as well. I try to keep my numbers within a certain range.
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Old 10-24-2010, 12:30 PM   #4  
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I used to think a calorie was just a calorie and that's all I focused on and lost plenty of weight that way. As I got smaller things got harder and I'm dicovering that the quality of food is key. I can eat more high quality whole clean foods and lose than I can processed lesser quality foods. It's all a learning process of what works and what it sustainable for you. Good luck!

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Old 10-24-2010, 12:32 PM   #5  
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I use an online calorie counter that gives me the percentages of where my calories are coming from in addition to totals.

If I indulge in something (like yesterdays child size plate of nachos at the mexican food place totaling almost my entire days allotment) I will adjust my plan, but I will not skip a meal to "save" calories unless I am so full I don't want/need to eat.

I see this as a matter of honesty and practice for maintenance. I will eat "off plan" occasionally, I will be honest to myself about what and how much I am putting in my body, I will accept the results with grace and understand why my weight went up (which, btw, it went down this morning, so no, one slip won't smack you in the face).

I think the importance of calorie counting lies in seeing what you are eating and how that affects weight fluctuations.

For me the immediate benefits were the I ate what and it has how many calories? No way! moments. It has made me more aware of the types and quantities of foods I am putting in my mouth.

Long term benefits have been 28 pounds of sustainable weight loss. I feel ready for maintenance (even though I have a long way to go) and I am not worried about food choices out in the "real world" like I would be if I was eating on a "diet plan".
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Old 10-24-2010, 12:38 PM   #6  
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I am just today starting calorie counting and I will be asking questions and asking for support. My Dr. said to go on South Beach Diet but I would rather count calories alot of things I like are not on South Beach and I am not a big meat eater. My name is Katie and I have to lose 170 pounds long way to go.
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Old 10-24-2010, 12:41 PM   #7  
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I haven't gotten too handy at factoring all the fat, carb, and proteins yet. I stick to my calorie range for the day (anywhere between 1200-1500, sometimes a little higher, but no higher than 1700. A 1700 day is extremely rare.). I try to throw in some fruits/veggies in there, whole grains, lots of fiber, protein. I don't have the ideal diet, I eat things like popchips, 97% fat free hot dogs, spaghetti daily. I work it all into my calories, and just focus on making sure I'm not hungry throughout the day, aside from when I should be. If I eat something with a lot of sodium I try to drink more water that day.
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Old 10-24-2010, 12:42 PM   #8  
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Good questions! Unfortunately we are all so different, have different lifestyles (activity or exercise) and so the correct number range will be exclusive to you and your body.

I record every bite, good or bad and have done so for a year. I watch my averages more than I worry about daily calories. I pay attention to how I am doing throughout a month and then I can see patterns and trends and if it helped me lose weight or not.

I definitely gain weight if my AVERAGE calories for a month are over 1400. This would change if I exercise regularly, but I do not at this time. One or two days of over my calorie limit may retain fluid for a couple of days but not cause true weight gain. Tracking helps me see these things. I would be so much more frustrated if I didn't have the numbers and trying to figure this all out! I love the reports my software creates, which you can see on my blog below.

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Old 10-24-2010, 01:20 PM   #9  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayLei View Post

If I indulge in something (like yesterdays child size plate of nachos at the mexican food place totaling almost my entire days allotment) I will adjust my plan, but I will not skip a meal to "save" calories unless I am so full I don't want/need to eat.
YES! I also find when I have a moment like that, I am not really hungry later and often times go to bed without anything else to eat because I feel so full and bloated from my earlier meal. However, if I'm hungry I will eat. It's generally a simple protein like a hard boiled egg or some cottage cheese.

Quote:
Originally Posted by abigi7 View Post
I am just today starting calorie counting and I will be asking questions and asking for support. My Dr. said to go on South Beach Diet but I would rather count calories alot of things I like are not on South Beach and I am not a big meat eater. My name is Katie and I have to lose 170 pounds long way to go.
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Old 10-24-2010, 02:50 PM   #10  
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Thank you all so much. All of you are so helpful.

I had a pb&j sandwich for lunch today. It's part of my counted calories and it works but it's not a good food choice. When I'm not struggling (BED) then I make good food choices. I didn't binge today but I decided to eat a pb&j sandwich or else maybe I would have ended up bingeing. So I ate it then took a nap to get all of that out of my mind and relieve tiredness/stress.

Anyway, I've got 575 calories left for the day. I am going to exercise, then have a snack and dinner in those calories. The pb&j was lunch unfortunately, not extra as such. But still, not a very good food choice. So this is kind of why I was wondering.

I am not used to eating anything within a set range of calories and it actually working. So I'm sort in a scared zone. I would dearly love to be able to eat a broader range of food in x number of calories for my sanity and peace of mind for long term. I have PCOS and insulin resistance and hovering right on the line for diabetes. So I need to eat lower carb, but good carb and get all of this balanced and still lose weight. A lot to ask for!!
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Old 10-24-2010, 03:23 PM   #11  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coad786 View Post
I had a pb&j sandwich for lunch today. It's part of my counted calories and it works but it's not a good food choice. When I'm not struggling (BED) then I make good food choices. I didn't binge today but I decided to eat a pb&j sandwich or else maybe I would have ended up bingeing. So I ate it then took a nap to get all of that out of my mind and relieve tiredness/stress.
--------------------------------------
So I need to eat lower carb, but good carb and get all of this balanced and still lose weight. A lot to ask for!!
You're getting the hang of it! Good for you for making that decision that would keep the binge at bay!

This is where the quality of your calories comes into play, make that PB&J open faced, on whole grain bread with natural peanut butter (and full on delicious jelly, I only eat home canned). You will have more energy as you eat better, replacing the naps with a short walk and maybe eventually some other activity you like (biking, banging a tennis ball against the garage door?) and that will mean you will sleep better at night.

Keep at it! We are right here with you!

Last edited by JayLei; 10-24-2010 at 03:23 PM.
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Old 10-25-2010, 06:41 PM   #12  
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I factor in everything for THAT day.....So for instance if I know we're going out to eat in the evening, I will have very light meals/snacks earlier in the day to "save" some calories.

If I had unexpected cake, I would probably eat light for the rest of the day....or some days I just saw screw it, and I let it be a splurge, like the chinese buffet yesterday LOL

I think you really learn how to eat BETTER just because you know you can eat MORE food that way ) But everyone's gotta have cake once in awhile
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Old 10-25-2010, 08:17 PM   #13  
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Yep that's about it...factoring in the calories of what you eat and drink. I am on calorie cycling. I range between 1200-1700 calories daily. It is really working well for me. One thing I have noticed if I have something special like that beloved choc cake it triggers something in me that makes me want to binge eat. So for me I try to keep to fruits, veggies, chicken, fish, etc. For those who can have their cake and walk away...more power to ya! I also watch my sodium intake and I try to keep an eye on fats and carbs. I just love the Welch's light grape juice. It has 50 calories in an 8 oz. glass and it taste wonderfully sweet yum.
A hot drink helps to curb your appetite. I love coffee, low fat- sugar free hot cocoa, tea. It helps with the afternoon, evening hunger pangs!
Peanut butter is a great way to get some protein and curb your appetite!
I'm trying to make my food choices something I can live with. Because I see now this is something I will have to do the rest of my life to keep my weight under control. I'm still going to have that cake though every once in a while And Mexican food!!


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Old 10-25-2010, 08:24 PM   #14  
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You're all so great and helpful!! I hope to pay it forward for someone one day! Thank you so much.
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