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Acing the Calorie Math

Posted by on May. 10, 2013 at 12:00 AM
  • 26 Replies

Most of us don't have any idea how many calories we're actually eating. Don't believe me? Track your calories for a week or so on something like My Fitness Pal or SparkPeople, and be honest about serving sizes (actually measure out an ounce of chips or a serving of chicken). Unless you're already quite health conscious, you'll be surprised by which of your favorite foods are calorie bombs and how many of those you're eating in a week. I almost cried when I found out my favorite coffee drink packs as many calories as I should be eating in a good-sized meal (but it did explain to me why my jeans were getting so tough to button). 

It helps to know this, though, because if you know what you're taking in and putting out, you can make better choices because you're conscious of what you're eating. For example, one of those big bakery muffins? If you weigh about 150 pounds, you'll have to walk briskly for 90 minutes to burn it off. Choose two scrambled eggs and a strip of center cut bacon, though, and you're looking at a 30-minute walk to balance it out. A fast food cheeseburger would take 65 minutes of stationary biking to burn off; a salad with two tablespoons of vinaigrette would only take you about 20. 

I'm a big fan of calorie tracking...even if you're not trying to lose weight it helps you keep track of how you're balancing calories and if you're getting the right mix of nutrients. Smartphone apps like the two above are great for this since you'll always have your phone handy to record what you've eaten before you forget. No smartphone? There are plenty of websites that do the same thing. Poke around to find one you like and will use; you'll be surprised how much the information changes your choices. 

Do you track your calories? Which app or site do you use?

Image ©IStockPhoto/alexskopje

by on May. 10, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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Replies (1-10):
by on May. 10, 2013 at 6:19 AM

I will be honest and say not only do I not count calories but I don't plan on doing it anytime soon. 

by Rhonda on May. 10, 2013 at 6:35 AM
1 mom liked this

I don't track my calories.  We don't eat typical "calorie bombs".  We avoid sweets, soda, fruit juices, things made with grains and most dairy.  My dietician had a fit and couldn't decide whether eating vegetables, meat, seeds, eggs, cheese and nuts would give us too many calories or not enough, so I tracked 3 days' worth of typical meals on and I was right between 1200 and 1400 calories a day, right where she recommended.

Eat good, whole, real foods and you won't have to count calories.

by Gold Member on May. 10, 2013 at 6:58 AM
Same here

Quoting ChancesMommy07:

I will be honest and say not only do I not count calories but I don't plan on doing it anytime soon. 

by Sarah on May. 10, 2013 at 7:12 AM
I don't count my calories but I don't eat processed food either. We eat Healthy fresh foods and I make healthy meals. I have heard good things about the app my fitness pal. I would try it.
by Gold Member on May. 10, 2013 at 7:24 AM
I kinda do. I am doing weight watchers..soooo i count all sorts of things :-)
by Kayla on May. 10, 2013 at 1:56 PM

I don't count calories anymore I always indugled when I had calories left to spare haha

by Peggy on May. 10, 2013 at 2:01 PM

I don't count calories, we eat pretty well here staying away from processed foods, sodas, and eat sweets in moderation. 

by Lauren on May. 10, 2013 at 3:51 PM

Ugh. I'm in need of some motivation at the moment.  I am in between a very long time of counting calories and consuming all things low fat and eating real food and not counting calories at all.  I'm not sure which is the lesser evil. Either way, I have some work to do to get healthy. 

by Member on May. 11, 2013 at 3:56 AM

I did this for a while. It was a real eye opener. I weighed everything and would be shocked at how much saturated fat and calories would be in things. Especially in things like salad dressing, serving sizes are pretty small.

by Bronze Member on May. 13, 2013 at 8:45 AM

No I don't count calories.

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