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Calorie Counting

Old 08-02-23, 12:52 PM
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Calorie Counting

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
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Old 08-02-23, 03:25 PM
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I did the "easy calorie count" through WW (formerly Weight Watchers) for some 15 months, and I have to say it was quite successful. It's also a hassle to log and count everything, along with some training (like your homemade sandwich example) which was easier. So the concept can work.

Of course when I declared success and stopped logging and counting, so did my svelteness.
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Old 08-02-23, 05:19 PM
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I tracked my Calories for almost 2 years. It was eye opening. But you have be certain you account for every little thing. Those tiny Snickers Bars and Hershey Kisses add up quick. As does that small bag of potato chips from the vending machine that was mostly air.

Livestrong had a good tracker that had a database of all the brand name foods you could buy at the time. But it was before Lance came out and told the truth, that I stopped going there, so I don't know what it's like today. There was another diet site that had a similar Calorie/meal tracker but I can't think of the name.
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Old 08-02-23, 06:30 PM
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I don't keep track of calories and never been overweight.
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Old 08-02-23, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild
I don't keep track of calories and never been overweight.
Ditto -- I just eat when hungry and don't do take out.
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Old 08-02-23, 10:16 PM
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My wife devises our meal plan and she has like 400 recipes she rotates through. Calorie counting is not happening. I just use the scale. Too heavy, eat less. It's not that hard. Though I do understand the nicety of calorie counting and that it works very well. Just not for us. In general, good breakfast, decent lunch, small dinner, no snacks or at least calorie free liquid snacks. Eat half your burn on the bike, though that requires power and a device to measure kJ.
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Old 08-03-23, 07:06 AM
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told Wifey she needs to wait until I lose some weight, before parking like this again. I got in but it was a struggle

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Old 08-03-23, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01
But you have be certain you account for every little thing
lol yup. here's a cpl fun little tidbits I just learned

shot of vodka 97
jelly munchin 60
cherry 5
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Old 08-03-23, 08:05 AM
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I’ve been a user of the LoseIt app on my iPhone for years and I initially dropped from 190lbs to 160lbs, and I’ve been “hovering” in the 160’s for several years, now. When my weight approaches 170lbs, I “get serious” about the calorie count until I get down to where I prefer to be.

The app also makes it easy to find nutritional information (sodium, sugar, macronutrients, etc.) on lots of different foods (especially restaurant food, which can have massive calories!). It’s really rare that I can’t find a food in their database.
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Old 08-03-23, 01:08 PM
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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 lost 160 lbs, reversed my diabetes, improved my BP, cholesterol, and virtually every other metric through logging my meals. As you note, simply forcing yourself to study what, when, and how much you are eating, and the associated macros and ingredients introduces an awareness to your consumption that is key to losing weight and being healthier.

11 years later, i still use My Fitness Pal to log and monitor my calories and macros, and it is a hugely useful tool for both training and general health.

There's no golden bullet for getting healthy, but if you don't really understand what you're eating (and burning), you don't even have the basic information to choose a strategy and move forward.

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Old 08-03-23, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild
I don't keep track of calories and never been overweight.
Good for you. Cheers to your continued health. I wish my own metabolism/body/behaviors were adequate to maintain a healthy wait with little to no effort.
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Old 08-03-23, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6

the formula my nephew suggested was, take your target weight, multiple it by 12 & that is your total daily calorie limit
Use an App like MyFitnessPal to track your calories and set targets and use a simple fitness tracker to account for your activity level. It makes it easier to count and keep on track. I've done calorie counting like this to prepare for mountain events where I wanted to hit a specific weight and it worked much better than just guessing. You will also find that once you get into a routine with your calorie counted intake it isn't necessary to count calories every single week. You can just do spot checks every month - say counting calories for a week and adjusting as necessary.

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.
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Old 08-03-23, 02:18 PM
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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.
Absolutely this!!
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Old 08-03-23, 05:04 PM
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I used calorie counting to lose about 30 lbs a couple years ago. For me the key thing was to be absolutely rigorous about counting everything, because as others have observed, there's an astonishing number of calories in some things - 1/2 cup of peanuts? 340 calories, or about 1/6 of a days calories. Lunch from any fast food place? Nearly a whole day's calories - and don't think getting a salad instead is a lot better! Over time, I found I'd remember about how many calories were in a lot of different things.

One thing that really helped was keeping up with it all day. I was kind of obsessive about it! But that meant that if I was hungry late at night, I'd know how many calories I had left for that day, and I'd snack accordingly. Another thing that helped was not thinking I had to "eat back" all the calories I burned riding on any given day.

I've kept the weight off the last 2 years pretty well, maybe regained 5 lbs that I could stand to lose again. A lot of that is improved habits, left over from counting calories. That, and riding 8-10 hours/week.
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Old 08-03-23, 06:57 PM
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I was overweight and I can gain weight at the drop of a hat. Back injury, lazy, poor eating and I flat out got fat.

Whole foods, low carbs, 2 meals per day with a 16 hour fast. Control the hormones, the insulin spikes/response… I can eat whatever I want calories wise for those two meals and not gain.

Dropped 140#’s over 4 years.
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Old 08-04-23, 12:46 PM
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I've never done formal calorie counting, but with time I have educated myself about the caloric content of the different foods that I eat. Reading the labels of various processed foods can be very eye opening, and my knowledge of these keeps me from resorting to eating too much of that sort of stuff. tortilla chips, for example.

(**And I think you all already know, the large "Calories" value on most processed food labels is usually based on a ridiculously small "serving size".**)

Calorie counting is harder if you eat in restaurants with any frequency. There are periods of time when I do a lot of business travel, and don't have complete control over where I will be eating or what will be available. Certain cuisines (especially chinese) can be shockingly caloric. Also, there are lunches on work days.... these days I usually bring my lunch to work, and so control what I'm eating, but there is usually about 1 day/week where that doesn't work, and I go to one of the local salad places (Sweetgreen, Crisp&Green) that has healthy options and they also tell you their calorie counts.)

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Old 08-05-23, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6
told Wifey she needs to wait until I lose some weight, before parking like this again. I got in but it was a struggle
You need to get her a car with those surround cameras that give a view from "above" when turned on. My wife just got a car with those a few years ago and now she can get perfectly centered between the lines and pull all the way in without running the front of the car over the curb or concrete bumper! She loves it and probably won't ever get another car without them.
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Old 08-05-23, 02:59 PM
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Intuitive eating works for me. A mirror is the most effective tool for determining if I am eating too much or too little. I just can't imagine being a slave to some app and having to keep track of every single calorie I eat and burn.
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Old 08-06-23, 09:23 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 tracked every ounce consumed over a four month period, years ago. After which, I knew how my body handled various ingredients and amounts. At that point, I could mix-and-match the appropriate key ingredients in order to end up with a moderate reduction in overall calories without a serious impact upon required nutrients. Simply translated, I knew what serving size and how many of which types of meals I could do, day in and day out, in order to achieve my goals. Of course, that sort of documenting of things isn't for everyone. It's a pain, to do every little thing.

In the end, I developed a simple blended protein/veg/fruit "shake" that works. And a homemade vegetable soup made with beef bone broth. And a basic "kitchen sink" salad. Along with portion sizes that yielded appropriate weight loss. In between these key meal items, I'd add items to fill the nutritional gaps. Toss in a couple of fasting days per week, swap some of the most calorie-rich ingredients for suitable alternatives, and it's amazing how much faster and more-steady a weight loss can be. One nice thing: I knew I wouldn't overload on the "preservatives" and various chemicals that pre-packaged grocery items almost always have; with my own homemade stuff, there is none of that.

Some people prefer documenting such intake via apps (or websites) on the smart phone. Which does much the same thing. Myself, I make nearly everything from scratch, at home, so there aren't many packaged items and restaurant-type foods consumed. In my case, I liked the per-ingredient approach I did (for that 4mos period), time-consuming though it was.
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Old 08-06-23, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan
Calorie counting is harder if you eat in restaurants with any frequency. There are periods of time when I do a lot of business travel, and don't have complete control over where I will be eating or what will be available.
On those occasions, I simply eat a dozen bites or fewer, then pack the rest with me. (On a trip, it'll be placed into the room's mini refrigerator.) Heck, some of those meals have the caloric content sufficient for 3-4 adults. Hard to overload when consuming so little of such a meal. And the occasional instance doesn't blow a month's tracking, at least given how infrequent such excursions are for me.

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Old 08-06-23, 04:18 PM
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practical benefits

one of my choices today: small roast beef sandwich 330 calories or small Italian sub 590 calories
the roast beef leaves me more calories for later in the day / night

coffee from dunkins but no donuts. 2 donuts can be close to 1/2 my daily calories so it no longer makes any sense to have 2 jelly donuts once a week. boom, they're gone

ticking up the exercise / calorie burning a smidge too
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Old 08-07-23, 05:53 AM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild
Intuitive eating works for me. A mirror is the most effective tool for determining if I am eating too much or too little. I just can't imagine being a slave to some app and having to keep track of every single calorie I eat and burn.
I realise you can't imagine it, but it's actually quite easy to count calories with a good app. If you want to achieve a specific target weight in a specific time frame then IME calorie counting is a very effective way of getting there. I've tried hitting a target weight for competitive events with and without calorie counting and had much better results with calorie counting. Partly because of knowing more precisely how many calories I was burning/consuming and partly because of the psychological effect of knowing when I'd hit my daily calorie limit. I think a mirror check would have way too much lag to be of much use on a daily basis. A bit like daily weighing really.
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Old 08-07-23, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Clyde1820
On those occasions, I simply eat a dozen bites or fewer, than pack the rest with me. (On a trip, it'll be placed into the room's mini refrigerator.) Heck, some of those meals have the caloric content sufficient for 3-4 adults. Hard to overload when consuming so little of such a meal. And the occasional instance doesn't blow a month's tracking, at least given how infrequent such excursions are for me.
While I was doing cardiac rehab, the TVs were tuned to the Food Network. We probably looked like a bunch of Pavlovian People, all but drooling while watching those delicious dinners come together. Fox or CNBC? No disagreement, we all ate and loved food.

Until one day. I don't remember what the dishes were, but the first half of the show they put together a 2,700 calorie meal. The last half turned out to be a 3,400 calorie dish. We all looked at each other at that point, until one lady stormed up to the desk, explained the situation, and demanded they change the channel. Permanently. I think we watched Discovery for the rest of my time there.
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Old 08-09-23, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild
Intuitive eating works for me. A mirror is the most effective tool for determining if I am eating too much or too little. I just can't imagine being a slave to some app and having to keep track of every single calorie I eat and burn.
Dude, you've already told us you have never had any problems with your weight, so why you'd even bother contributing to a thread on weight loss is beyond me. You lucked out in the genetic lottery. Congratulations on your choice of grandparents.
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Old 08-10-23, 06:23 AM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb
While I was doing cardiac rehab, the TVs were tuned to the Food Network. We probably looked like a bunch of Pavlovian People, all but drooling while watching those delicious dinners come together. Fox or CNBC? No disagreement, we all ate and loved food.

Until one day. I don't remember what the dishes were, but the first half of the show they put together a 2,700 calorie meal. The last half turned out to be a 3,400 calorie dish. We all looked at each other at that point, until one lady stormed up to the desk, explained the situation, and demanded they change the channel. Permanently. I think we watched Discovery for the rest of my time there.
Growing up, my parents always suggested eating slowly, fully chewing then savoring each bite. As we did sit-down meals and chatted as a family, during meals, that wasn't a hardship. Funny, how that allows time for the body to flip the switches that tell us when we've consumed enough.

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."
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