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Calorie Counting

Old 10-24-23, 06:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Calsun
all wheat being heavily treated with glyphosates weeks prior to harvest
Glyphosate is a remarkaby safe broad spectrum weed killer that is used to kill weeds prior to planting. Using glyphosate makes no-till possible, reducing erosion, fuel use, and is much safer than the herbicides we used to use.It is never used on wheat prior to harvest. It kills the plant.

FWIW, if you want to see studies that don't come from activists, see https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5515989/ or maybe https://www.epa.gov/ingredients-used...cts/glyphosate
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Old 10-24-23, 08:23 AM
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Moderation note: We did some thread cleanup. Guys, this is a good thread. Please keep it about nutrition, calorie counting and personal experience. Drifting off topic and toward P&R and disrupting threads with off topic arguments just results in edits, thread closures and moving to P&R.
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Old 12-12-23, 08:21 AM
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important to note, success depends on other factors. for example not caring anymore, stopped my progress. currently searching for new motivation ;-(
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Old 12-13-23, 07:07 AM
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Apologies, i don't have time to read through the whole thread, so I'll explain what i do - both with the athletes i work with and for myself. However, first off just multiplying your weight (in pounds) x 12 isn't going to arrive at the correct amount of energy to consume - in my instance it's way too low - below my lowest energy intake when i'm on a weight loss plan.

Firstly, it's also important to understand that specific diet styles such as keto, or veganism, or whatever else as a way to lose fat mass really just work by restricting your energy in. All you need to do to *lose fat mass* is to consume less energy than you expend. This could be done by just eating chocolate bars (I'm not suggesting you do this though). Eating a varied diet however, is key to good health (and performance).

Having an understanding of the amount of food you eat in terms of energy intake is important. How detailed you want to be will depend on how much precision you can cope with and the amount of fat loss you need to achieve. For eg need to lose 20 kg (44lb) requires a whole lot less precision in calculating your energy intake than if you're at 6% body fat and need to get down to 4%. You can track your food in www.myfitnesspal.com (which is free to use).

Once you know how much you're eating on an average daily basis (e.g. 3000 Kcal/day) and you know what your weight is doing over a time frame (>7 days) and if you know how much energy you're expending (either from BMR calculators on the web, or a wearable watch or your power meter plus your BMR) then you can start to understand how your weight fluctuates. So, if your weight is stable then your energy intake has to be equal to your energy output. If you're gaining weight then your intake must be higher than output and conversely, if you're losing then it must be lower than your output.

considering fat loss, one pound of fat has 3500 Kcal, so, to lose 1 lb/week (which is generally thought of as a reasonable way to lose weight) then you need to create a deficit of 500Kcal/day if your weight is currently stable. This 500 Kcal can be from a reduction in food, or an increase in exercise or a combination of both.

Then it's crucial to understand that you want to maintain your muscle mass and so protein intake should be prioritised as most important in setting what foods to eat (really this is called setting your macronutrients (macros)). Your protein intake should be around 1.8 to 2.5 grams per kg of bodymass per day. So, if you weigh 75 kg (165 lb) you should be aiming for 135 to 188 g of protein per day. Note that this is the actual amount of protein within a food item, not the weight of the food item itself. Older athletes, (peri)menopausal, plant based, and those who are losing significant amounts should aim for the upper end of the scale. Using the Atwater Factor (4 Kcal/g protein, 4Kcal/g carbs, 7Kcal/g alcohol, and 9 Kcal/g fat) you can calculate your protein intake eg 140g of protein has 560 Kcal.

If you're body mass is stable while consuming (eg) 3000 Kcal, then to lose 1lb (~0.5kg)/week you need to reduce by 500 Kcal to 2500. In this example this would then leave you 1940 Kcal between your carb intake and fat intake. You're going to need a minimum of 15% fat in your diet, and carbs can be based around how much training you're doing (heavier training days require more carbs).

As an example with the above data you could have 300 grams of carbs (1200 Kcal) leaving you with 82 g of fat (740 Kcal) to arrive at 2500 Kcal for the day.

You should not diet for too long, or too severely as this can cause low energy availability which can lead to RED-S. (which can occur in both males and females).

Furthermore, it's important to understand that eating a varied diet which is high in plants can have positive effects on weight loss, performance, and general health (note although i'm a vegetarian, i am NOT advocating a vegetarian or plant based diet - i'm simply saying that significantly increasing the amount of plants in your diet can be very helpful). Evidence, tends to suggest that we should be eating around 30 to 35 different plants each week (fruits, veggies, grains, tea, herbs, coffees, etc). You can't eat (eg) 30 tomatoes and call it done, that would just count as 1 plant. Many of the phyto chemicals in plants help us to adapt to training stresses and help improve us and this works best when these chemicals are taken in their natural state (i.e., eating that plant) rather than taking a tablet (such as a multivitamin or mineral which may have a negative effect on adaptation).

the other year i made some changes to my diet, i ended up losing 3kg (~7lb) in the middle of the race season, with no negative effect on my performance, and no loss of power. This was done mainly by significantly increasing my protein intake, maintaining my carb intake, and reducing my fat intake. I tracked my food for about 6 months. Since then i rarely track, but do weigh out specific items of food to ensure i'm reaching my carb and protein requirements. I'm currently within 0.5kg of my race weight without trying.

There's other things to consider as well that vary from how much carbs to eat, and particular dietary styles (e.g. Mediterranean Diet, Okinawa, etc)
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Old 12-13-23, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Ric Stern
Apologies, i don't have time to read through the whole thread, so I'll explain what i do - both with the athletes i work with and for myself
love this. thank you for taking the time to share. any tips for motivation? or do you just deal w/ clients who already have the motivation?
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Old 12-13-23, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6
love this. thank you for taking the time to share. any tips for motivation? or do you just deal w/ clients who already have the motivation?
The people i work with vary from those who are uber motivated to those who are significantly less motivated. Coach/athlete check ins and chats/accountability help keep things on track, plus knowing that for most people they're going to have off days where they want to eat cr@p that isn't part of their macros...
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Old 12-16-23, 05:51 AM
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Iím not very good at being hungry, lol, so counting calories meticulously was key to establishing and maintaining a small deficit, just 2-300/day, and losing about 30lbs over the course of 2 years

A small deficit was also important as I was strength training and wanted to maintain energy levels and muscle mass.

It taught me a great deal and I was able to build solid, simple, meal plans that minimized hunger.

A cool thing about counting calories is that you become inclined to eat Whole Foods and simple meals with few ingredients sinceÖit makes it easier to count.

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Old 12-16-23, 06:04 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
Before you start dieting it is also a good idea to count your current calorie intake over a couple of weeks to set a baseline.
I love this idea. Get the starting data before you start making adjustments.
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Old 12-16-23, 06:33 AM
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I’m a proponent of calorie counting, as long as you’re honest with yourself.

I’ve struggled with weight my entire life trying all kinds of diets. Almost Three years ago( at 53 years old) I made a decision and commitment to my self, I was going to change my life. Thought long and hard and chose to count calories and utilized the MYFITNESSPAL app. As of this morning I weighed in at 186 lbs (6’1”) I’ve lost 99.5 pounds. My initial goal was 200, but after reevaluating where I needed to be 185 is the I should be for my height. Now trying for 180 to allow for a buffer.

I’m off my CPAP machine, no longer snore and no longer on HBP meds, in fact no medication at all. To me the choice was easy, the calorie is simple a unit of measurement of fuel that the body burns. And I was and had been consuming more calories than my body was burning.

also I remember hearing a national radio personality say “you can’t outrun a fork” and that kind of hit home for me.
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Old 12-16-23, 07:43 AM
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Everybody has different skills when it comes to matching what they eat to what they need to eat. Some people are naturally inclined to eat too many calories, others (often children) are inclined to eat too few. Some people are blessed with an appetite (also budget, lifestyle, etc.) that matches their caloric needs.

Calories can be counted fairly exactly and matched to an activity level - typically in an institutional environment - I'm thinking army training, prisons, professional athletes, etc.

Many reading this thread are likely simply using calorie counting as a psychological technique to reduce their caloric intake. There are of course many ways to achieve that both with and without counting calories.
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Old 12-16-23, 12:39 PM
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My observation is that many calorie counters focus too much on the number of calories and not enough on the quality and nutritional value of those calories. By simply eating better quality calories, the desire-need to eat more calories can be significantly diminished.
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Old 12-16-23, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by RH Clark
My observation is that many calorie counters focus too much on the number of calories and not enough on the quality and nutritional value of those calories. By simply eating better quality calories, the desire-need to eat more calories can be significantly diminished.
Is that an actual observation based on a significant group of people or your perceived one?

Whenever I count calories (usually when training for a big mountain event) I'm also looking carefully at my macros and quality of nutrition. That's one advantage of using modern apps for calorie counting i.e. they give you a lot of additional information on both macro and micro nutrients without investing in a huge amount of effort. Calorie intake and expenditure is just one of many useful parameters they provide.
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Old 12-16-23, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by RH Clark
My observation is that many calorie counters focus too much on the number of calories and not enough on the quality and nutritional value of those calories. By simply eating better quality calories, the desire-need to eat more calories can be significantly diminished.
Based on folks I know who are perpetually trying to lose weight, itís at least equally common for some to focus on quality whole foods, but fail because they donít count calories

They will rattle off all the great healthy foods they consumed, but have no clue if they are in a caloric deficit or surplus.
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Old 12-16-23, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by CyclingBK
Based on folks I know who are perpetually trying to lose weight, itís at least equally common for some to focus on quality whole foods, but fail because they donít count calories

They will rattle off all the great healthy foods they consumed, but have no clue if they are in a caloric deficit or surplus.
My mother-in-law does exactly that! Nuts are healthy, but eating them by the bucket load is not going to help with weight loss.
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Old 12-17-23, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
My mother-in-law does exactly that! Nuts are healthy, but eating them by the bucket load is not going to help with weight loss.
Keeping track of everything is the best path to weight loss. I don't count calories, but I do weigh every day and adjust my diet accordingly. If weight loss is the goal you have to basically eat on purpose. You need to know what you are eating and why.
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Old 12-17-23, 03:14 PM
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Once again, we had to do some cleanup due to members posting P&R content. P&R content is only allowed in the P&R forum. Your compliance is required. Last warning.
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Old 12-17-23, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by RH Clark
Not quite that simple. Flour may seem simple and traditionally healthy, but if you examine closely what pesticides and herbicides it was treated with and how much it was genetically engineered, you find that even such a simple thing may be cause for concern. I've cut all breads out of my diet for nearly 6 years. You will miss it at first, but it becomes revealing how these type foods are actually physically addictive. Once you break the addiction, you don't miss it. At least that has been my experience.

As for the resistant starch, I find potatoes that have been refrigerated a better source. You can also increase the resistant starch and lower the glycemic index of your regular bread by freezing it, and then toasting it.
Please elaborate!

I can eat more or less anything I wish occasionally. The key is moderation; if I overeat during one meal, I remember to compensate for it in the next one.

I admit to being addicted to my home-made sourdough bread (with a mix of whole wheat and sometimes rye flour with the regular flour).



Sourdough (35% whole wheat)

Itís difficult to say no to a slice of this bread.
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Old 12-17-23, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Alan K





Itís difficult to say no to a slice of this bread.
Looks delicious and just the right size for 2 servings...I could easily eat half of that loaf in one sitting.
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Old 12-17-23, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by RH Clark
My observation is that many calorie counters focus too much on the number of calories and not enough on the quality and nutritional value of those calories. By simply eating better quality calories, the desire-need to eat more calories can be significantly diminished.
while Iím not a nutritionist my personal experience from tracking daily for close to 3 years , is as I focus on calories, I found the lower calorie food, tends to have a much higher nutritional value. Itís not every day you eat 1800 calories of Doritos, lol I find I substitute food daily with Vegetables and fruits. This concern of lack of nutrition never crossed my mind or was an issue.
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Old 12-17-23, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild
Looks delicious and just the right size for 2 servings...I could easily eat half of that loaf in one sitting.
It was delicious but half of it in one meal will not serve you too well.
Each bread has 300gm flour and 100 gm of sourdough starter culture. Collectively, this amounts to about 1,200 calories.
My wife and I make about 6-8 servings from one bread. Of course, there are many other items in any given meal to keep it nutritionally balanced as well as tasty and interesting. Fresh vegetables are the one thing that are common in most of our meals.
I tend to start my meal with fresh vegetables (no salad dressing, only lemon or lime juice). It helps to partly fill our stomachs with items that are low calorie and even if they have some sugar and complex carbohydrates (such as carrots), they are with a large volume of undigestible fibers.
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Old 12-18-23, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Bogey Speedwell
while Iím not a nutritionist my personal experience from tracking daily for close to 3 years , is as I focus on calories, I found the lower calorie food, tends to have a much higher nutritional value. Itís not every day you eat 1800 calories of Doritos, lol I find I substitute food daily with Vegetables and fruits. This concern of lack of nutrition never crossed my mind or was an issue.
Agree, through counting calories we learn this well and can develop healthy meals that are big and satisfying, balanced with protein, fat, and carbs, and maximize satisfaction vs calories

A favorite,

Big 8oz cod fish loin with just lemon, pepper, and 1/4 tablespoon butter.

200 calories

Hefty 12oz baked potato with 1/2 tablespoon butter.

300 calories

Big mesclun salad, tablespoon of olive oil.

140 calories

That is a nice big feast at under 700 calories. Almost 100% whole foods and nice balance of macros
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Old 01-16-24, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by jerfer34
I count calories every day. For me, the norm is 1500 kilocalories per day.
I take it you are reducing your weight - is your progress satisfactory?
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Old 01-27-24, 06:29 PM
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I've counted calories on and off in the past. Every now and then I find one of the little spiral notebooks I used to jot this down, it was interesting reading it.

I'm older now and it's been harder to maintain my weight so I decided to do this again. I have a scale and notebook on my counter, I made a chart of my most eaten foods. It's actually a calories/gram factor for most of it, I weigh the item, and multiply it by the factor.

It's been really helpful, and not as much trouble as it sounds. I have made it kind of a fun thing, and something I can look at over time. I now also jot my exercise and activity, and also my weight, it's like a health journal.

There are times I guestimate the calories but for the most part I think it's pretty close. I consume a healthy diet, but it's not necessarily low calorie. For instance, the nuts, olive oil, and flaxseed I put in my salads adds up, so measuring is important.
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Old 01-28-24, 06:13 AM
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Originally Posted by margoC
I've counted calories on and off in the past. Every now and then I find one of the little spiral notebooks I used to jot this down, it was interesting reading it.

I'm older now and it's been harder to maintain my weight so I decided to do this again. I have a scale and notebook on my counter, I made a chart of my most eaten foods. It's actually a calories/gram factor for most of it, I weigh the item, and multiply it by the factor.

It's been really helpful, and not as much trouble as it sounds. I have made it kind of a fun thing, and something I can look at over time. I now also jot my exercise and activity, and also my weight, it's like a health journal.

There are times I guestimate the calories but for the most part I think it's pretty close. I consume a healthy diet, but it's not necessarily low calorie. For instance, the nuts, olive oil, and flaxseed I put in my salads adds up, so measuring is important.
Not to assume everyone has a smart phone, but MYFITNESSPAL has a free version that has many restaurants nutritional info loaded, many national food brand nutrition info loaded as well. It would help you guesstimate if you need to. Also if you have a Garmin connect, it will link calories burned, so my Zwift and RGPS are linked to Garmin connect, and since thatís connected to my MYFITNESSPAL, so every time I ride it counts as calories burned. Honestly it kinda fun.
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Old 03-05-24, 04:57 AM
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We relentlessly weigh and count everything in our house. Wife and I use the MyNetDiary app to do it. Every recipe has the raw ingredients logged and we weigh the cooked food to break down into calories / nutrients per g or oz.

We donít do it for weight loss so much as to keep track of macros and maintenance calories
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