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Counting Calories

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Anyone else counting calories? What have you found the most effective way to count your calories accurately? I only started a couple of weeks ago and it is getting easier, but I find it so frustrating to weigh foods, and try to find the most accurate count of calories, especially with restaurant food and homemade traditional foods. I end up sticking to eating the same safe things day after day.

I ventured out to have a quesadilla last night only to find out that a 10" flour tortilla has 228 calories. That's more than 500 calories in just the casing alone!!!!

Help I'm drowning in math and I still don't know if I'm doing it right.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #2 of 12
Thread Starter 
No calorie counters here eh? I knew this wouldn't be the best place to chat about diets :crazy:

Shall we discuss butter then? Hmmmm how I miss it.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #3 of 12
Poor Koukouvagia - it's not easy is it?

A handy pocket book calorie counter does help - eventually you'll know off by heart what weight of food has how many calories per ounce etc. Or with fruits and veg, how many cals an apple or banana or potato etc has on average.

The main thing is to watch out for is how much fat is used in the cooking. Our old friends butter, cream, cheese, oil, salad dressings etc. And to trim most of the fat from any meats. Your grill (broiler), steamer, poacher and microwave will become your best friends.

If you are cooking your veg without (or with a minumum) of oil, you can just make a rough guess of the cals. The only fruit to beware of is avocado. Yep, they are healthy, but lots of cals.

Meats - don't eat a serve of meat larger than the palm of your hand (especially if you have REALLY huge hands :) )

Alcohol can be a killer cal wise, so can all the usual nibbles that go with drinks.

Cooking spray oil is a blessing as its really hard to get lots of oil into a meal. Fresh salads will become one of your new best friends - make a big bowl of it at the start of the day, and if you feel incllined to snack, grab a bowl of it, couple of lo-cal crispbreads, a good book and snack to your heart's content. And veg soups, and stir frys - so much variety there. Use spices, garlic, ginger and so on to your foods to make them more interesting.

Keep it going - write down a list of what you eat for the day with a calorie amount (including any tea/coffee/drinks) and aim for your total allowance. Some days will be under, some will be over, then average it out over a week. Weigh yourself only once a week - day by day can be depressing :)

Eating out is much harder to guess how many cals, just try and choose what sounds the best choice cal wise.

Cheers,
Daina
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #4 of 12
Koukou'

You should find this book:

The Complete Book of Food Counts
Corinne T. Netzer
Dell Publishing, New York
ISBN:0-440-21271-5

Our copy in from 1994, but this lady has been publishing this series for a long time. Our edition has just under 700 pages, and lists

calories
protein gms
carbo gms
fat gms
cholesterol gms
sodium mgs
fiber gms

for every food, vegetable, fast food, manufactured snack and most everything edible you have ever heard of.

Obviously, you need to find a much more recent edition, since the manufactured stuff changes in composition.

Let us know what you find.

Mike
travelling gourmand
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travelling gourmand
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post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the responses, good thing I'm not alone. I've been vigilant about counting calories and most importantly writing down everything I eat. At first I did it just to keep track of what I was eating but holy cannoli I was not aware of all the extra calories I was getting here and there that could easily be cut out. I also didn't realize that my portion sizes were big enough to feed 2 growing teenage boys :lol:! I know it sounds ridiculous but by keeping the calories in check and trimming my portions I've been able to lose 21lbs so far... oh and exercise... lots and lots of exercise. Will have to check out those books, it never occurred to me to carry a book around.

I'm not denying myself all the time of course. I think that as long as I eat sensibly 90% of the time I can indulge in anything I want. It turns out though that when I do indulge I'm eating much less than I thought I would. Funny how it all turns out.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #6 of 12
Hey KKV well done on your progress. Portion size is a major issue - you can eat a healthy meal, but if its too big, the weight won't come off, as you've worked out.

Some days you'll slip up - that chocolate bar or whatever tickles your fancy is the only thing that can do it for you - but don't stress the small things and continue as you are with your main goal in mind.

Everyone falters, no-one is perfect when it comes to re-educating life long habits. It is a lifestyle change and one you'll find second nature with perseverance. Don't beat yourself up if you slip up once in a while. We all do. We be humans!! (ok well I have my doubts about some people out there hehe)

Gotta allow yourself a day off/ a meal off where you're not stressing about what you are consuming, knowing that for most of the time, you are getting it right.
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #7 of 12
I like to use FitDay - Free Weight Loss and Diet Journal
there is a free edition you can use online or you can download it to use offline. I purchased it because often at work, there is no internet.

You enter your stats, lifestyle as far as activity level, and goals. It gives you calories to lose or maintain. You enter foods and also activities. I actually often enter my meals in the morning for the day, that way I feel commited not to go over?

Nan
post #8 of 12

Watch Losing it with Jillian

 

I found out finally that its not about counting calories its about confronting emotional issues and having the will to say no to excessive amounts of food and yes to the gym!

 

Jesse

post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jessedeoms View Post

Watch Losing it with Jillian

 

I found out finally that its not about counting calories its about confronting emotional issues and having the will to say no to excessive amounts of food and yes to the gym!

 

Jesse

I don't care for Jillian, I don't discount her method I just find her mannerisms overbearing and I don't like the sound of her voice. 

 

Yes you're right and those of us on a weightloss journey do have to overcome emotional obstacles.  However I believe that for someone like me who never counted calories until this past year have found great relevance in counting calories.  I don't want to be a calorie counter for the rest of my life but at least now I am aware of how many calories are in certain foods that I never would have guessed before. 

 

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #10 of 12

hey

 

you should post some tinny tips about the subject. 

post #11 of 12

You should find this book:

The Complete Book of Food Counts
Corinne T. Netzer
Dell Publishing, New York
ISBN:0-440-21271-5

 

Netzer's books are, of course, a variation on the old Agricultural Handbook #8. As you note, the problem with books is keeping them up to date.

 

That's why I use the USDA Composition of Foods Data Base. First off, it's the basis on which many food counting systems come from. Second it's updated frequently. And third, it includes just about any nutritional info you might need.

 

I practically live over there since Friend Wife was diagnosed with diabetes.

 

You can find it at: http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search/

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #12 of 12

I don't actually "count" religiously but I keep an eye on the labels and make an estimate of a certain food's calorie content.

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