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Old 02-28-2011, 10:07 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How do you count your calories

Do you eat as carefully as you can all day and count the calories as you consume them, or do you plan your menu for the day and try to stick to it. I am just wondering how each of you do this and what you find easiest. I try to plan my eating for the day first thing in the morning and stick to it, adding any extras during the day as they happen (ie coffee, fruit, fresh veggies) things I will grab if I am getting hungry before meal time.
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Old 02-28-2011, 01:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Going on to my 11th month on this journey I have a pretty good idea as to where I need to be calorie-wise during the day to have enough left for evening to keep me satisfied. My breakfast, snack and lunch are always pretty close to the same calorie levels; basically variations of the same things. I have more variation to my evening meal and adjust it to keep more-or-less within my calorie limit. I don't like the feeling of having run out of calories too early in the day. This is just what works for me.

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Old 02-28-2011, 02:34 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I try to plan breakfast and lunch - I usually swap around between three "breakfast meals" that I like to make (a high-protein breakfast, a high-fiber breakfast, and a third that's somewhere in-between protein and fiber-wise and slightly lower-cal overall).

Lunch is made the night before in the fridge so I can grab it and go - it's often either leftovers from dinner (whose cals I have already calculated per serving) or some other meal I've pre-portioned.

I do this because dinner is always a crapshoot at my house We try to plan, but often either myself or my boyfriend comes home and is wanting something different to eat. If I have pre-portioned breakfasts and lunches, I can usually leave 700-900 cals for dinner (my biggest meal) and that will allow for variations in dinner planning while still keeping me within the 1500 cal limit.

This doesn't always work, but it's probably got an 80% success rate.
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Old 02-28-2011, 02:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I try to make the meals balanced first, and I like to keep each one to approximately the same number of calories as the others. Being retired, it's a little easier for me than it was when I was working and eating out, or dining with friends, or brown bagging. I make sure there's a protein in each to keep me from getting hungry between meals, and so far, it's been working fine. Also, I think that when you start making up calories or cutting back on calories at the end of the day, you're going to feel cheated sometime during the day...which is a slippery slope I don't want to get on. I pretty much shoot for a little bit of everything at every meal, and not a lot of anything (except veggies).
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Old 02-28-2011, 02:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Very smart planning taubele.

kajajo, I do a little of both: eat carefully, then record what I ate. And use the logs to plan a meal or days-worth of meals. It is especially handy when I know 1 of my meals will be out of my control, like dinner with friends, or a lunch meeting.

The key, as both Taubele, and Michael noted is planning. Because as you, and all of us, have found out, if you wait until you are really hungery before figuring out what you are going to eat, most of the time you will not make the best choice. (For me, at any rate, even when the best choice is staring me in the face )
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Old 02-28-2011, 05:02 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Great answers all, as I said I plan my meals in the morning, but then comes a day like this when I just don't feel like eating what I planned for lunch, which was tuna salad on a bed of lettuce, I am freezing and want something hot, so I am readjusting as I go, lots of homemade soups in the freezer, but now to figure out how many calories in them.

Dee
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Starting over stats
02/14/11 start weight 178.8
09/06/11 weight 151.8
26 lbs lost to date


Goal Weight 140 by 12/25/11

God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I can not change
The Courage to change the things I can and
The Wisdom to know the difference
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Old 03-03-2011, 01:30 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I usually plan my dinner the night before, sometimes it changes but most of the time it goes as planned. If I plan ahead I know what I can have for lunch. My breakfast is always oatmeal because it is easy to eat at my desk at work. On the weekends I mix it up with more variety. I have whey protein in my coffee on my way to work so I guess technically that is a pre breakfast. I try to keep my calories around 300 for lunch so I have room for an afternoon or night snack. This just works for me. Good luck!
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Old 03-03-2011, 11:11 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I sort of plan as I go, breakfast is usually 300-400 calories and I have maybe 10 different breakfasts that I go to. Lunch varies, but I like to keep it around 300-400 as well, but if I go overboard at breakfast I can knock it down to 200 and not feel deprived. We keep a cupboard full of "Lite" canned soups and most of them are less than 300 calories for the whole can. For dinner I usually plan for about 500 calories, give or take, but sometimes it's more than that. I used to struggle with dinner, but now I've worked out ways to make most of our favorites so they are within my calorie budget. Snacks are harder, the kids get home and eat around 4:00, but I'm usually hungry at 2:00, so sometimes my snacks get me in trouble.
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Old 03-03-2011, 09:40 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Hello, I am fairly new here, just a month, but I have something that works for me. I eat the same breakfast and one of 3 go to lunches, and snacks are the same. I do my logging in after lunch when dinner for the night is shopped for and organized, I work out portion sizes and details so I stick with the program. I love the way I feel when I stick to my calories which are 1500 and under, I find I can mostly aim for 1400 now and be satisfied. I am losing a pound a week so I am doing something right!
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