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Thread: When to decide when to count calories? page 3

  1. #21
    thriveful's Avatar
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    Why vary it a lot

  2. #22
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    dilberryhoundog is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by thriveful View Post
    Why vary it a lot
    Well...
    I've written about this before and don't want to derail the thread but I will give an overview.

    1 our bodies expect variance in diet, from grok times and all that.

    2 if you eat the same every day your body doesn't get to rest from the stress of that particular eating style, can cause chronic issues.

    3 uses all your metabolic systems, not just the one's required for your particular daily eating style. This builds your metabolism, makes it stronger.

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  3. #23
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    So, I eat beef, lamb, fish, offal, leafy greens, eggs, butter, coconut oil, avocado, every day in some combination and at varying proportions.

    I would have thought that was variation enough?

    To dismiss cico totally does not take into account a couple of things. In fact, I think the calories out is the messed up bit.

    If one is making good food choices, then providing a baseline of calorific intake say 2000 cals per day, foes not mean that is all the energy you gave in the bank, obviously.

    If you are eating a relatively low carb diet, compared to SAD, you may well use most or all of that dietary intake for metabolic functioning, but stll draw on fat storage to make up any deficit, due to energy expenditure, higher metabolic output etc.

    So your body may be able to use 3000 cals for its needs, 2000 from dietary input, 1000 from stored fat.

    So of course, when you body is healthy and you are active you can draw down on those fat reserves.

    But if you eat more than metabolism and energy output require, you will add fat.

    So counting calories to find you ideal input seems very sensible if you are not leaning out.

    Just dismissing it as irrelevant seems absurd.
    Last edited by thriveful; 07-26-2013 at 06:38 AM.

  4. #24
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    Figuring out calories for recipes is actually one of my favorite parts of counting. To my geeky mind, turning a recipe into a math problem only makes it better. I use the recipe function in LoseIt, on my phone, sometimes even as I'm cooking.

    Fatty cuts of meat and other tricky ingredients, I just make my best guess based on info I found searching the web, try to err on the side of overestimating, and just go with it. I eventually got to where I was weighing everything, which went much faster. For recipes that make a large number of servings and aren't easily cut up into servings, I dump the whole thing in a large plastic bowl and divide the total weight by whatever seems like a good portion size. Then even leftovers are easy to track.
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  5. #25
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    I think calorie counting can be helpful when you get started just to understand how much you are eating. You can at least get a ballpark on calories. I tend to eat the same things from day to day. I know on days I eat banana pancakes I need to go lighter on lunch and dinner. I know on protein shake days that I get plenty of protein. It's kind of helpful to at least know a ballpark on how much you eat.

    Anytime I change up my diet, I count for a while just to know how much I am eating.

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  6. #26
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    Try SparkPeople. Their sister site SparkRecipes lets you enter the ingredients list and then gives you the breakdown by portion sizes you choose.
    I tried SparkPeople before I went to FitDay and it was maddening, with their pre-made meals and the necessity to enter the same food many times over because it was eaten at different meal
    I can't stop making meals, because I feed my family. There is nothing fancy about a stir-fry or a stew or a soup. If calorie counting pushes someone to eat itemized, that's in my view is a drawback of the calorie counting.

    Fatty cuts of meat and other tricky ingredients, I just make my best guess based on info I found searching the web, try to err on the side of overestimating, and just go with it. I eventually got to where I was weighing everything, which went much faster. For recipes that make a large number of servings and aren't easily cut up into servings, I dump the whole thing in a large plastic bowl and divide the total weight by whatever seems like a good portion size. Then even leftovers are easy to track.
    Been there, done that. After 4 years or so it somehow lost its appeal.

    The main argument for me though is that having that perfect food plan after many years of trying stopped working as a prevention of eating anything else. After a few years, if I was hungry and 'out of calories', I just ate more, added it to the counter, and... perfect plan went out of the window. If I powered through it and stuck to the perfect plan, I would break down two, three days afterwards. In either case, I wound up feeling guilty and ashamed. So, why the f**k bother? I am maintaining now higher than I want to be, but I can live without a print-out I carry along and strike items out, and spending an hour or more a day devising, planning, and endlessly thinking about food and how I can re-arrange a plan to have this or that.

    Plus, I apologize for sharing, but the # of poops a day for my body is as accurate predictor of deficit and eventual weight loss as the calculator. 1 poop a day = maintenance, <than 1 = deficit, >1 = surplus. Like the clock.

    Paradoxical, I think sometimes still that I would do anything to lose weight, but in reality, I do not want to fast for over 20 hours; I don't want to count calories or exercise; I do not want to eliminate artificial sweeteners on the low carb days or fasts, and I don't want to limit fruit. I suppose, that trying to get thinner finally grew old for me after 20+ years of trying. I just don't have the zeal no more.

    In summary, the time to count calories is probably when you are new to it, and still thrilled by the prospect of losing weight or regaining health.
    Last edited by Leida; 07-26-2013 at 06:52 AM.
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  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by thriveful View Post
    I think that if you want to calorie count, just don't make those fancy meals and stews for a while. Eat the same meals in rotations over a week, and keep it simple. Before anyone complains about the monotony of limited meals, one has to focus on the goal, get lean, lose fat etc. if the motivation is strong limited meal choices for a while are a fair price to pay.
    I can attest to repeated meals, I think they're easiest. My lunch, Monday-Saturday, is the same thing. I buy a package of three or four evenly sized steaks and after cooking them, cut them into servings between 1/2-3/4 pounds..2-4 tbsp of sauerkraut, little bit of unsweetened shredded coconut, and occasionally fruit.

    Dinner, however, I do change things up. As close to one pound as I can of steak in bone broth, wild salmon, mahi mahi, or shrimp..along with a big vegetable stirfry and the occasional sweet potato now. That's one reason I don't count calories...so maybe it was 13oz salmon vs 16oz...does that little of variance really matter? I don't see how.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by LauraSB View Post
    Figuring out calories for recipes is actually one of my favorite parts of counting. To my geeky mind, turning a recipe into a math problem only makes it better. I use the recipe function in LoseIt, on my phone, sometimes even as I'm cooking.
    See....I'm an English major...math is a dirty word..

  9. #29
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    I've found tracking calories and macros to be very useful and enlightening for me. For example, I discovered that if my carbs drop below about 50-70 g a day, I nearly faint every time I stand up. If I keep my carbs at about 100 g/day, that doesn't happen. I use mynetdiary which allows recipes, custom foods, and has a pretty good database. I don't weigh my foods, but since my predicted weight loss tracks well with my actual weight loss, my estimates are good. I am one who loves playing with data and math.

  10. #30
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    I think (know) counting calories also works well when you are at 13% bf and want to get to 10. This is the only way I have been able to get the leverage to lose that muffin top stomach. I have been eating primal/paleo for a few years on and off, vlc, etc etc. this, along with a meal frequency that suits me is providing the most consistent results ever.

    Sure, I'm a vain 45 yo male with a six pack now, but I can also move well, lift heavy things, sprint etc. but doing all that and looking lean is the icing on the cake

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