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Old 04-24-2012, 12:07 PM   #1  
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Default How do you guys do it?

How do you guys do you day to day calorie-counting? Do you plan all your day's meal in advance and then adjust it if needed or do you just add on up the points? Do you give yourself an approx per meal? I'm trying to get into a new routine of keeping a food diary and I want to know how you guys are keeping track. I know some of you are going online to keep track of everything but I don't have a smart phone to bring with me so it'll have to be in a notebook. I'll be coming online to check the nutritional information though when I don't have it.
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Old 04-24-2012, 12:10 PM   #2  
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I am not a mean planner. I find that it is too constricting for me and I know I would never stick to it.

I tend to just eat when I am hungry and add those points up then once I have reached my limit for the day, I know I cannot have anymore.
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Old 04-24-2012, 12:12 PM   #3  
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i preplan (ish) - i used to preplan the day before (it's really not that big a deal) but i've got my menu pretty much set now so i already know breakfast is going to be one of these five things, lunch will be one of those half-a-dozen things, etc.

plus, i've gotten pretty good with the portion counts so i can easily swap on the fly.
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Old 04-24-2012, 12:13 PM   #4  
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I keep track of everything in my head and round things to the nearest 50. I never write anything down.

I get the next day's lunch and snacks ready the night before, but that's pretty much the extent of my planning.
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Old 04-24-2012, 12:17 PM   #5  
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i keep track of everything, i keep a notebook in my purse, i dont have a smartphone either. i allow myself 1500 to 1800 calories a day, and i wont eat late meals.

i cant be too strict, if i do that i will never stick to my diet, but for example today i had an egg and some fruit for breakfast, lunch was a salad with chicken, peppers, and corn, and dinner is a bbq at my friends house. i ate very light earlier, so i know i can have some bbq!
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Old 04-24-2012, 12:19 PM   #6  
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I used to plan things out in advance and then eat what I had planned, but I wing it right now and it's working fine. I think this way works well since I'm familiar with the rough calories of common meals I make or foods I eat, and they're all relatively low-calorie -- makes for easy swapping out/wiggle room when things go differently.

Of course, I'm home-bound at the moment, so there's an inherent flexibility in my meals. When I worked, I definitely needed to at least roughly sketch the day. Either way, I also roughly plan out dinners for the week (for shopping purposes). I usually end up pretty "off track" - eat out instead on a bad pain day, or make the meals in a different order than I thought I would.

I don't adhere to a strict calorie limit, either. I have a target to aim for, but under/occasional over-shooting is fine by me. Calorie cycling works better, I've found. Anyway, it's not very strict at all and I could be losing faster, but doing it this way is incredibly easy.
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Old 04-24-2012, 03:53 PM   #7  
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I don't know if I could keep doing it if I didn't have an app to keep track of the calories. I have a rough plan every day for what I will eat and generally shoot for around 250 calories for breakfast and 250 for Lunch and then the rest goes towards snacks and dinner. If I know I'm getting close to my count for the day, I will enter in what I plan to eat for dinner and then make adjustments as needed to avoid going over.
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Old 04-24-2012, 05:05 PM   #8  
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I plan my meals for the day in my head (roughly), but it's always subject to revision as the day unfolds. I eyeball portions, estimate calories, and keep track in my head. I enjoy breakfast and lunch foods more than dinner foods, so my calorie allotment is divided equally between breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks (about 500 each).


Last edited by freelancemomma; 04-30-2012 at 10:37 PM.
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Old 04-24-2012, 08:23 PM   #9  
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I do it after the fact. I'm aiming anywhere from 1300-1600 calories per day (depending on if I exercise and how my weight loss has been doing). Then when it comes to meals, I just mentally divide my total calories into 1/3's, then try to eat that amount at that meal (I eat at my college's cafeteria). I've been calorie counting for a while, so I can guesstimate pretty close to what something will be. Once I get back to my dorm room, I log the food using an online food journal and *most* of the time I'm pretty close to what I guesstimated in my head. If not, I just have to cut back on the next meal.

If I know I'm not going to be around a computer for a while, I go ahead and jot it down on a napkin or in a notebook, so I won't forget anything once I put it into the computer.

I personally love calorie counting and food journalling--nothing is off limits, as long as you count it (I do try to eat my fruits and veggies though). And I've lost 30 lbs. so far, so something must be working.
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Old 04-24-2012, 08:26 PM   #10  
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I eat diet meals.....and when I eat something that is not then I have to check the calories....but since I eat diet meals, it is really easy to just add the calories up....
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Old 04-24-2012, 11:12 PM   #11  
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Dinner is my most unpredictable meal, so I start my "day's" calorie count with it (e.g., Tuesday night's dinner gets put into my smartphone app as Wednesday's "breakfast"). The other meals' claories are easier to regulate. After I input my dinner, I just think about what I might have the next day and input my planned breakfast & lunch. Sometimes, I diverge from what I planned, and that's no big deal. Even if the divergence is over my allotted calories, I just deduct that overage from another day (I calorie cycle as well, so I have some flexibility).
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Old 04-24-2012, 11:22 PM   #12  
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I have an account on lose it dot com . I can enter my data through their website data base or use my smart phone. Either way.
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Old 04-25-2012, 01:46 AM   #13  
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I track my calories on That site seems to keep me more motivated then most calorie counting sites. I'm a big gamer, so I'm going to take a wild guess and say it probably has something to do with the points and trophies you unlock.

I'm an intermittent faster.I don't plan my meals. I cook relatively healthy..rarely deep fry etc and I give myself a pretty big calorie window to fill. My absolute limit for the day is 1600, and I have a difficult time even reaching that number with the way I eat and cook. I also don't snack or drink my calories, other then some cream and a wee bit of sugar in my coffee.
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Old 04-25-2012, 09:10 AM   #14  
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Thanks for the replies guys! I'm still figuring out how I should do this in order to succeed.
cbressler, what diet meals do you mean?
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Old 04-25-2012, 10:18 AM   #15  
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I've been a calorie-counter from the get-go, and my strategy hasn't changed much since I started. I have a smart phone but don't use it for my calorie counting; I just keep track of my numbers in an excel spreadsheet on my home computer. I eat 1200-1500 cals/day, and lately try to stay as close to the 1200 end as possible.

I usually know what I'll be eating for breakfast, lunch and snacks the next day, and so sometimes I input those numbers ahead of time... but often I just wait until the following evening, as I have a rough idea of what they'll come out to. I generally try to keep my pre-dinner calories to 600 or less. Dinner usually runs around 300-400 calories, and I always input that info (and the food from earlier in the day) after my meal, and then I know how much wiggle room I have for snacks the rest of the evening.

On days when I know I'll be having dinner out, I plan ahead to a degree - basically, plan to eat lightly (<400 calories before dinner) so that I have some extra room for the higher-calorie restaurant meal.
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