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Old 03-18-2014, 11:50 PM   #1  
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Question Where 2 Start???

Im new to calorie counting. I went to the doctor's today and She put me on a 1200 calorie diet and with that diet I have been told Im gonna have to start counting calories so Im just wondering how to I go about doing that? Thanks for anyone who answers back.
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Old 03-19-2014, 12:18 AM   #2  
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I understand, first though let me give you a hug for signing up! Your on your way to physical fitness and well being! When you need to count calories, you could go to calorie counter or my fitness pal. I like the calorie counter better. It keeps track of how much calories your eating from each food, and if you exercise, they give you more leadway to eat more! How cool is that? And they show you how much weight you can lose and by how much if your looking for something like that. Like if you eat only 1000 calories a day, you could lose 1 pound a week, but it's just an example. Make a cheat day twice a week to indulge on your favorite treats a little. But don't go overboard! Try walking for at least 20 minutes a day, or 30 which would be better. Avoid sugary junkfood, pastas, bread, and oils! Those things are bad for your body. You need to clean out your body for now before you even think about eating a piece of candy. Eat lots of vegetables also, they fill you up, salad, you can add grilled chicken, slivered almonds, cheese, whatever you want, as long as it's not too much. And drink plenty pf water. Do all this for at least two weeks, and i promise, you will lose at least five pounds. If you have any questions for me, please just ask.
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Old 03-19-2014, 12:43 AM   #3  
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For calorie counting I find it easiest to record calories at My Fitness Pal since it has a really good database of foods already in it.

For the bigger picture, did you ask your doctor for a diet? Did you want a 1200 calorie diet? That seems really low when you have a lot to lose. Is this a doctor who specializes in weight loss? If not, well, not every doctor knows that much about weight loss management.

I personally do count calories, but I also attend Weight Watchers. I know that is what works best for me. But, calorie counting doesn't work for everyone. Also, some people do better with group support and accountability (which is why I do WW).

I am just concerned from your post that maybe you were just given a diet without someone being thoughtful about what is right for you.
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Old 03-19-2014, 06:30 AM   #4  
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Big hug to you from me also!
I agree that it is kind of odd to just be told 1200 calories and that's it. I agree that is low also to start with. I can't tell you an exact number but I would at least ease into 1200.

I love My Fitness Pal. It has so many foods in there and it is easy to add what you eat. Even if you eat way too much and go over, still enter what you ate because you will soon discover that going over doesn't mean you have blown your diet. When I started back in July the first three days I first was eating just my normal junk food and I posted that just to get used using MFP. Then I started cutting back and within a week I was around 1400 and eventually lowered to 1200.

This website has helped keep me motivated also. Besides all the amazing people that share their diet successes and frustrations, there is also a great recipe section that lists calories. I found a few that I use over and over.

One thing I had to come to grips with is, it is okay to be hungry. In the past I was a big snacker because I thought "I can't let myself get hungry!!!" Now I realize it is okay to be hungry, not to the point of shaking or passing out of course, but the feeling of hunger is allowed!

Good luck and keep us posted!
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Old 03-19-2014, 10:19 AM   #5  
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I agree with everyone else - 1200 seems like it's a little too low to begin with. I'd probably start with 1600 or so first just to see how it feels (and see if it makes a difference), then go from there, lowering if necessary.

To start, I would compile a few recipes that equal around the same number of calories. That way you can have one for breakfast, one for lunch, and one for dinner. It is especially helpful to make meal and split it into the correct number of portions so that you don't have to cook every single day. Think of your calories as a daily budget. You have $1200 to spend every day and after that's gone, your "bank" is empty.

300 calorie breakfast: LINK

300=400 calorie lunch/dinner: LINK and LINK

That leaves you about 200 calories for a snack or two.

Planning ahead is key for me so that I don't blow my entire calorie budget in one or two meals, leaving me hungry for the rest of the day. I do this by writing before my day even starts.
TOTAL: 1200

In general:
-Non-starchy vegetables are very low in calories, so you'd want to incorporate more of those into your meals to make them larger and more satisfying
-Drinks can "cost" you calories, so you'd want to stick with water, tea, coffee, unless you want to cut back on more of your food in lieu of the drinks
-Pay close attention to serving sizes. Use a kitchen scale for dense and calorie high foods like mayo, butter, oil, peanut butter, and salad dressing, but try to measure other foods according to serving sizes like (1/2 cup of rice, 2oz of dry pasta, 1oz of cheese)
-Try to opt for lighter versions of condiments like sour cream, milk, cheese, salad dressing, mayo, bread, etc. If you're not sure about specific items, there are so many recommendations we can make on specific brands.

Good luck! is a really good place to start browsing for recipes!
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Old 03-19-2014, 11:42 AM   #6  
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Hello Tera. Cute puppy in your pic. You've been given great advice but I wanted to add my $.02. Get a digital scale to weigh your portions. You don't have to even pay a lot for it. I too count my calories. The scale helped me see how much more food I was or was not eating. If you weigh cooked food you don't measure water. Hang in there. Its hard at first but does get easier over time. There is a quote floating on the internet. "Dieting is hard...being over weigh is hard...pick your hard." Good luck.

Last edited by miniapplecocoa; 03-19-2014 at 11:43 AM.
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Old 03-19-2014, 02:02 PM   #7  
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Hi! Big hugs. Kudos to you for seeing your Dr. I haven't done so yet but am thinking about making an appt for a physical. I have been counting calories for 1 month as of today. I am slightly obsessed with it, but that's my personality. I am normally around 1200 calories, and lots of the wonderful women on here have suggested I eat a little more. Sometimes I get closer to 1400 but not often. Be true to yourself. Document what you eat. One tool that I have found to significiantly help me is a fitbit flex. I love it. I track my food, and it tracks how many calories I burn, my steps, mileage, water intake and my sleep. I of course enter the food I eat (and save it to my personal food library so its easy to find). I enter my water. The fit bit does the rest. I wear it 24/7 and if syncs to my phone so I can check throughout the day constantly where I am (did I say I was obsessed yet?). I haven't explored dining out unless its my weekly free meal. One meal per week, normally Friday or Saturday night, I have a free meal. I don't worry about how many calories it has, and I don't feel bad. I continue the rest of my week though on my plan. I don't have a ton of experience under my belt, but if you wanna chat I'm here. You can do this. Good luck!! XOXO

Last edited by CooCooCaChoo; 03-19-2014 at 02:04 PM.
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Old 03-19-2014, 06:39 PM   #8  
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Good luck Terra...Last year, my medical doctor gave me pills..2 surgery..3.counting calories of very low of 1,000...I told her my way with calories..but struggling. I am with you on this. I have to see my doctor in Sept and I am going to get serious...If you need a buddy, am here for ya..PM if you wish..Weight loss is tough.

Wish you mucho luck ...Will looking forward of your success in the making.
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Old 03-19-2014, 07:02 PM   #9  
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According to calculator net. you can eat 2800 calories and not gain weight. If i were you, i would start by eating 2000 or something moderate like that and not something drastic like 1200.

You are sure to be hungry in no time on 1200.

Keep a food diary. Work on improving the foods you are eating so that you can eat more with fewer calories and higher nutrition.

Using my fitness pal, it shows you what your proteins, carbs and fats should be. As well as fibre. Ignore the sugars one.

Just don't' eat any rubbish. the less rubbish you eat, the more bulking foods you can eat like fruit vegies and legumes.

Keep your protein up.

I've come round to the idea of calorie cycling and there are calculators that work that for you. But, if you choose that option you probably have to spend a lot of time every day working out your calories whereas if you go for the same calories each day, you can rely more on the food diary and count calories less often. That said the apps sound quite good. Though don't ignore the macro nutrients protein carbs and fats.

Work with a dietician if you are struggling to work out a healthy eating plan.
Quit foods that you can't stop once starting e.g. desserts, and takeaways, chips. If you let them go out of your life, eating healthy foods becomes easier and more satisfying much more quickly.

You don't need to cook elaborate meals. But then you don't need to stick with skinless chicken breast and steamed broccoli either.

Don't be afraid of fat but make vegetables the centre of your diet.
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Old 03-19-2014, 10:25 PM   #10  
Turning Into A New Woman
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Thanks everyone for your posts, I have learned alot already
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Old 03-25-2014, 02:15 AM   #11  
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My Fitness Pal!! They have an extensive database and you can download it right to your phone as an app..... And read nutrition labels, read calories at restaurants that offer the info... Weigh your food, measure, measure, measure! You would be surprised how tiny one tablespoon of dressing or peanut butter is. After awhile, it's second nature and you can start to eyeball things to a degree. Track everything including fruit! I have been a calorie counter for at 20 years lol.
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Old 03-26-2014, 12:16 AM   #12  
Turning Into A New Woman
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Wow thats a long time to be a calorie counter but thats cool
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