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Calorie Counting

Old 08-10-23, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6
my nephew, who is a personal trainer, suggested calorie counting, as a way to achieve a target weight. anyone else resort to this?

I've found it interesting to compare & contrast diff. items, for example a snickers bar vs a small turkey sandwich & protein bars vs "Kind" bars

Wifey laughs at me because to her it's obvious but for me just starting this, I'm realizing that a slightly larger breakfast is better than later resorting to a snickers bar to tide me over until lunch

shocking the calories in drive thru or other take-out food, even surprising are the differences in common, seemingly harmless sandwiches. for example I can make a turkey sandwich for lunch at home that has 330 calories instead of buying a premade chicken salad sandwich that has 780 calories

that 1 chicken salad sandwich messed me up for the whole day & night!

just started this maybe a week ago & I'm hoping in 6? months, maybe sooner to see some very good results

the formula my nephew suggested was, take your target weight, multiple it by 12 & that is your total daily calorie limit
Years ago I used myfitnesspal to track calories. I logged everything and consulted my app before making choices late in the day after a bike ride. In regards to dinner and if I was to have an adult beverage. Put simply it worked. Then the app sold out to Under Armor and later had a data breach. Counting works if you count everything and are honest with yourself.

I don't make my living as a trainer but your nephew's formula might be about right for maintenance but not for weightloss. To lose weight you need a deficit of calories, daily, weekly, and monthly. The amount of deficit depends on how much how fast you want to lose.

There are other methods that work. Some with lasting results some without.
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Old 08-10-23, 11:48 AM
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@Black wallnut

thank you
Nephew said it would "eventually" lead to weight loss if I was over my target weight. I have lost 3lbs so far. (so about 1lb pr week) I am finding that I'm not consuming all the calories up to my limit. so I may be tweaking my limit for more or faster weight loss
I was 230lbs when I started & my target is 196lbs. at this rate, it will take 34 weeks, which is perfectly fine w/ me. my calorie limit is 2,300. I'm 64 & 5'11" w/ a sedentary desk job but I do exercise regularly. trying to ramp that back up a smidge. when my Dad passed away last July, I spent this past year driving 400 miles round trip every weekend, then every other weekend, to check in on my Mother. trying to back off on that now that some other siblings are stepping up to the plate. so I had a 12 month severe change in lifestyle that exploded my fitness regime. I've got lots of things to work on, not just the calories. but I feel good because now I have some shred of something as a motivator

fwiw - today with breakfast & lunch I've only had 395 calories & I'm not hungry. afternoon snack, dinner & dessert probably won't get me to 2,300

just reminded myself I need to count the calories in my coffees, oops, my bad 30 x4 = 120!

so now I'm up to 515, haha

Last edited by rumrunn6; 08-10-23 at 12:00 PM.
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Old 08-10-23, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Clyde1820

Using Applebees as an example, by no means suggesting they're much different than other places, many of their meals are a cardiac surgeons wet dream (at least, those who revel in getting new patients). Burgers north of 1500 calories, some salads north of 2000 calories.
https://www.applebees.com/en/nutrition/info

Have a fairly healthful salad in an air-tight container in the refrigerator, right now. A handful of servings. With tuna, a handful of crushed nuts, a bit of avocado, a blend of spices and herbs, balsamic, mustard and a light drizzle of olive oil, one serving doesn't approach 300 calories. Much prefer DIY, as I can control the content, the amount, the presence of preservatives and other chemical-engineered miracles of modern "food."
yeah eating at restaurants is gonna be interesting. went to lunch w/ my mother last weekend & that killed my calories for the rest of the day

but I went to Taco Bell last week & made smarter choices based on calories. meaning get this, not that, etc. for example, I drank water instead of root beer

fwiw - last night I looked up olive oil - 1 tbsp = 120 calories
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Old 08-10-23, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6
... made smarter choices ... fwiw - last night I looked up olive oil - 1 tbsp = 120 calories
Kind of like making a sandwich, with mustard instead of mayonnaise. Knocks 50-100 calories right off the top, right there.

I make a decent salad dressing out of olive oil, mustard, balsamic vinegar, and various herbs and spices. A little dab'll do ya. Goes a long way. And unless a salad's got tons of avocado, nuts and cheese, it can remain fairly low-calorie. Even a decent extra-virgin olive oil tends to be a fairly decent fat, for you, albeit in small amounts. But, yeah, lose your mind with those various high-cal items, and it can easily double or triple the calorie count of an otherwise-healthy salad.
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Old 08-11-23, 07:02 AM
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Calorie counting will work but not all calories are equal as fuel or nutrition.
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Old 08-16-23, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6
@Black wallnut

thank you
Nephew said it would "eventually" lead to weight loss if I was over my target weight. I have lost 3lbs so far. (so about 1lb pr week) I am finding that I'm not consuming all the calories up to my limit. so I may be tweaking my limit for more or faster weight loss
I was 230lbs when I started & my target is 196lbs. at this rate, it will take 34 weeks, which is perfectly fine w/ me. my calorie limit is 2,300. I'm 64 & 5'11" w/ a sedentary desk job but I do exercise regularly. trying to ramp that back up a smidge. when my Dad passed away last July, I spent this past year driving 400 miles round trip every weekend, then every other weekend, to check in on my Mother. trying to back off on that now that some other siblings are stepping up to the plate. so I had a 12 month severe change in lifestyle that exploded my fitness regime. I've got lots of things to work on, not just the calories. but I feel good because now I have some shred of something as a motivator

fwiw - today with breakfast & lunch I've only had 395 calories & I'm not hungry. afternoon snack, dinner & dessert probably won't get me to 2,300

just reminded myself I need to count the calories in my coffees, oops, my bad 30 x4 = 120!

so now I'm up to 515, haha
I would caution you not to undereat during the day, though of course, we're all different. I've found if I under eat breakfast and lunch I'm voracious when I get home after work and it's really hard to keep Calories low because I want to eat everything. Also, if I am riding after work at, say, 5:30, if I haven't had anything since lunch (between 12 and 1), I really feel empty and it impacts my performance.

I'm about your age, height, and was about your weight, and my Calorie recommendation was 2100/day. That allowed me to get from 230 down to 205 over about 7 months. That, and riding a lot - like 8hrs/week.
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Old 08-17-23, 12:20 AM
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Nah, I don't worry about total calorie intake. I'm only concerned about intake of sugar and junk carbs, which I eat too much of. My weight is fine -- my optimal weight in top condition in competition would be 145 lbs, 150 is comfortable, and I weigh 160 now. But at the moment I have persistent belly pudge. That's probably insulin resistance. My twice annual lab work shows minor early warnings of type 2 diabetes, but not enough to worry my doctor.

On and off over the past several years I've cut intake of sugar and junk carbs, other than occasional snacks *during* a hard workout, not before or after. The tummy pudge vanishes.

So I don't count calories and I'm sure I exercise enough. But I should cut back on the sugar and junk carbs. I've already stopped buying gels because they're too expensive and I don't ride long enough and hard enough to need them. Hell, a banana, donut or Ring-Ding would do just as well if I'm desperate during a ride or run.

Other than that I eat mostly protein from meat, eggs, etc., a few veggies that don't cause indigestion, and potatoes -- white and sweet. Fairly recently I realized white potatoes have a higher than expected glycemic index, so I should time my ingestion to shortly before a ride, run or other workout.

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Old 08-17-23, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6
my nephew, who is a personal trainer, suggested calorie counting, as a way to achieve a target weight. anyone else resort to this?

I've found it interesting to compare & contrast diff. items, for example a snickers bar vs a small turkey sandwich & protein bars vs "Kind" bars

Wifey laughs at me because to her it's obvious but for me just starting this, I'm realizing that a slightly larger breakfast is better than later resorting to a snickers bar to tide me over until lunch

shocking the calories in drive thru or other take-out food, even surprising are the differences in common, seemingly harmless sandwiches. for example I can make a turkey sandwich for lunch at home that has 330 calories instead of buying a premade chicken salad sandwich that has 780 calories

that 1 chicken salad sandwich messed me up for the whole day & night!

just started this maybe a week ago & I'm hoping in 6? months, maybe sooner to see some very good results

the formula my nephew suggested was, take your target weight, multiple it by 12 & that is your total daily calorie limit
I've been using my Fitness Pal for a couple of years. It does open your eyes to the calories in what you are eating. Some people hate counting calories, but in a weird way, I somewhat enjoy it. Once you get in a routine, and eat a lot of the same foods routinely, tracking becomes fairly quick and easy. And if you get tired of it, just stop until you are ready to start again, no big deal.

At the end of the day, the scale, along with how you feel will tell you if you are eating too much, or too little.
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Old 08-17-23, 11:30 AM
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does it really help when you count it ?
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Old 08-17-23, 07:54 PM
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Calories in calories out is an oversimplification. It ignores hormonal response to food, metabolic rate*, and digestive efficiency, among other things. I've known several people who eat considerably more than me, yet can't gain weight. I have no issues gaining!

I have struggled with weight my entire adult life. Up and down, up and down. You know the routine. I've tried Fast 5, Body for Life, other intermittent fasting, Keto, Atkins, etc.

After 30 years of personal experimentation, here's what Ive been doing lately that seems to work (down ~60 lbs at the moment):
1. Lot's of good cardio. On an empty stomach. This is often some sort of interval training. I recently did a 100 mile RT S24O, riding 50 miles each way on an empty stomach. Yes, It takes some getting used to.
2. I only eat after about 5pm, which leaves me with a 2-3 hour eating window. I eat as much as I want during this window. Black coffee helps get me through the day without eating.
3. I eat low carb. Most of my carbs are from vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, lettuce, etc).
4. I eat dinner, and before snacking (on some nuts, cheese, etc) I eat 2 heaping tablespoons of chia seeds and follow that up with a 32oz protein shake. The chia seeds absorb liquid and turn into a gel, ultimately making me feel full. That naturally results in less post-dinner snacking.

* A word on metabolic rate: nutrition research confirms humans tend to adapt to some pre-determined homeostatic BMR. This research was done by looking at primitive tribal peoples who spent most of their days hunting and gathering. The researchers compared their BMR to relatively sedentary Americans, but found little to no difference. Their hypothesis was that after some time, we adapt to the heavier activity level and make internal adjustments so BMR falls back to the pre-determined rate. This is why people like myself, who have "the fat gene," find initial success when starting a new exercise regime, but then that success eventually tapers off. Just like muscles adapt to the same exercise day after day, so does BMR.
Edited to add a link for reference (this is not the research I read, but an interesting article on the topic):

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-exercise-paradox/

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Old 08-18-23, 07:05 AM
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I've never been able to lose weight calorie counting. I could drop a few pounds starving for a few weeks-months but gain it back relatively fast. Cutting out all processed foods and sugar and eating fewer natural carbs, did the trick for me. I lost a significant amount 5 years ago by getting and staying in ketosis. While in ketosis I lost an average of 10 lbs. a month. I cycled an average of 100 miles a week that year. It was mostly shorter rides. I rode 360 days that year.
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Old 08-18-23, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Clyde1820
Kind of like making a sandwich, with mustard instead of mayonnaise. Knocks 50-100 calories right off the top, right there.

I make a decent salad dressing out of olive oil, mustard, balsamic vinegar, and various herbs and spices. A little dab'll do ya. Goes a long way. And unless a salad's got tons of avocado, nuts and cheese, it can remain fairly low-calorie. Even a decent extra-virgin olive oil tends to be a fairly decent fat, for you, albeit in small amounts. But, yeah, lose your mind with those various high-cal items, and it can easily double or triple the calorie count of an otherwise-healthy salad.
I find balsamic vinegar sufficiently flavorful that I don't even bother with the olive oil for salad dressing.

I usually use olive oil for cooking though, as well as in hummus and various other preparations.

also, +1 on mustard. An explosion of flavor for very small caloric cost.

And to put those together, balsamic vinegar, mustard, fresh lemon juice, and herbs make a nice marinade far less caloric than what you might use from a store-bought bottle of whatever.
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Old 08-18-23, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by jerfer34
does it really help when you count it ?
for me it does. because I realize how much overeating I would normally do. without counting the calories I would never know that I reached my limit for the day. also, as I wrote above, when you compare one type of sandwich to another, one can see that one of them is 200 calories less, but just as satisfying. so that's a better choice
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Old 08-18-23, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan
I find balsamic vinegar sufficiently flavorful that I don't even bother with the olive oil for salad dressing.

I usually use olive oil for cooking though, as well as in hummus and various other preparations.

also, +1 on mustard. An explosion of flavor for very small caloric cost.

And to put those together, balsamic vinegar, mustard, fresh lemon juice, and herbs make a nice marinade far less caloric than what you might use from a store-bought bottle of whatever.
Great example of why thinking about food differently is a key to weight loss. I think most of my previous food problems other than overindulgence was from putting taste and convenience at top priority. When I started learning how food effected my body and started eating on purpose so to speak, is when I started losing weight. I now think we would eat with a specific purpose in mind and be creative about how to make that taste great and be convenient. One of my major strategies to maintain weight is to already have a meal planned for the day. I want to be able to plan it according to what I need at the time.
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Old 08-20-23, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by hopperja
Calories in calories out is an oversimplification. It ignores hormonal response to food, metabolic rate*, and digestive efficiency, among other things. I've known several people who eat considerably more than me, yet can't gain weight. I have no issues gaining!
If you track calories in and track your weight and adjust calorie intake accordingly then you are more likely to hit your weight target. Knowing your calorie intake with reasonable accuracy is one less guess in the equation. Itís no different to tracking your weight as the output variable. The only reason people donít count calories is because it takes a little more effort (although modern tech makes that fairly easy). As a bonus, calorie counting also gives you valuable information about your macro and micro nutrient mix.
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Old 08-21-23, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by jerfer34
does it really help when you count it ?
Absolutely. Hard to budget anything if you don't measure or count it.
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Old 08-21-23, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6
for me it does. because I realize how much overeating I would normally do. without counting the calories I would never know that I reached my limit for the day. also, as I wrote above, when you compare one type of sandwich to another, one can see that one of them is 200 calories less, but just as satisfying. so that's a better choice
THIS! Exactly. The process of logging meals is a great educational tool, and is the way you can get a much better handle on how your metabolism responds to various stresses, macros, etc.
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Old 08-21-23, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by RH Clark
Great example of why thinking about food differently is a key to weight loss.
For me, a big revelation has been doing DIY spice and herb blends. I find that I can "spice"-up a dish sufficiently with my own blends that it really needs very little in the way of a dressing or drizzle over it. Any decent Indian or Asian grocery ought to have a wide range of spices (dried corns, seeds, etc). Can easily grind a mixture on the fly, as needed. Can easily make a lower-calorie and better-tasting dressing, vinaigrette or pesto-like variant. Mush fresher, more potent. Began doing this ~20yrs ago, and it has transformed the dishes I make. But without the need for all of the butter, oil, store-bought dressings.

Another revelation: making the vegetables and fruits the centerpiece of dishes, meals, where "meats" are ancillary additions in some of them. More seeds, nuts, vegetable-based fats and proteins. Still get plenty of protein with all of the necessary amino acids, but the nutritive value goes way up. As a nice side benefit, the need for packaged products almost disappears ... good simply from the standpoint of avoiding preservatives and chemicals that Nature rarely/never thought of.

Smaller portions, smaller overall meal sizes. But with these more-nutritive choices. Amazing, what comes out of that. More easily done with the DIY spice/herb blends and doing away with most bottled/packaged sauces and other products. Certainly requires the time to do the prep and cooking. But much cooking of the ingredient materials can be done several days prior (ie, on the weekend) in prep for the week's meals, then a meal ends up mostly a combining and re-heating exercise rather than a "cooking from scratch on the fly" one.
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Old 08-21-23, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by genejockey
I've found if I under eat breakfast and lunch I'm voracious when I get home after work and it's really hard to keep Calories low because I want to eat everything. Also, if I am riding after work at, say, 5:30, if I haven't had anything since lunch (between 12 and 1), I really feel empty and it impacts my performance.
yup

well timed smart snacks are important
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Old 08-22-23, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6
yup

well timed smart snacks are important
For me the benefit of low carb over calorie counting is no hunger or weakness. I have no problem going 20 hours or more without a single calorie even when riding several hours at a moderate pace. Granted, it takes me 3-4 days to get back heavy into ketosis and the no hunger high energy benefit if I have been using carbs a while.
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Old 08-29-23, 04:16 AM
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was at the grocery checkout last night, getting a sub for dinner. the ppl in front of me had some issues at checkout & I wound up waiting longer than usual, in front of the candy rack!!!!!! eventually I grabbed 2 chocolate bars w/ nuts that I thought would be good to eat w/ some peanut butter spread on top. then I remembered how many calories that might add up to & put them back

whew, close call!
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Old 08-29-23, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6
was at the grocery checkout last night, getting a sub for dinner. the ppl in front of me had some issues at checkout & I wound up waiting longer than usual, in front of the candy rack!!!!!! eventually I grabbed 2 chocolate bars w/ nuts that I thought would be good to eat w/ some peanut butter spread on top. then I remembered how many calories that might add up to & put them back

whew, close call!
Yeah. Those check-out queues. They put Slim Jims, Snickers and the whole bag o' tricks there for a reason.

Kudos on the iron will.
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Old 08-31-23, 10:01 AM
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tid-bit of the day

mustard has waaaay less calories than mayonnaise

so I've switched my lunch sandwich from turkey or chicken, to ham

unfortunately ham has more calories than turkey ... ugh
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Old 08-31-23, 11:31 AM
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I use a nutritionist and have prescribed meals. I eat the same thing every day. He adjusts meals and snacks every couple of weeks based upon blood analysis results, body composition and performance. Calories and food composition (carbs, protein and fat) are based upon genetics, blood composition and activity level. So far, it is working great.
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Old 09-07-23, 07:59 AM
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lost another lb, 6, so far. so I guess I'm about 1lb pr week. I guess I should be encouraged. gotta reduce those days I go over my calorie limit ...! ;-(
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