Counting calories and other tips - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 10-25-2015, 09:46 AM
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Counting calories and other tips

So I'm vegetarian and I would like to lose some weight, what is the best way to do it? I thought a good way is watching my calories, but if so, my problem is that I have no idea how to count them. Let's say I have my cooked food, I put some in my plate, heat it up and eat, how do I know how much I've eaten? Also, I don't have a scale, should I purchase one?

Aside from watching the calories, is there a better way to lose weight, only by watching what you eat? I'm not interested in exercising tips, because this is something I know how to do (not that I do it often).
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#2 Old 10-25-2015, 11:00 AM
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I've found maintaining a healthy weight requires portion control of the right foods and some exercise, rather than counting every calorie I eat. Typically, I try and run rough estimates of how many calories I've had rather than trying to find exact amounts. If you want to watch them a little more closely, there are some apps that have a lot of nutrition information on foods and can track how much you are eating, I used to use Lose It and it had a lot of the foods I ate in its registry. I do not own a scale, but I also live in America where our measurement system is different. I recommend using smaller plates and bowls if possible, having the whole thing filled with food will leave you feeling more satisfied than using a large plate and only filling it halfway. What kinds of things do you normally eat? Most foods have nutrition facts, and if you are able to measure out a serving size it can help you track your calorie count. It may help to keep a journal so you don't lose count during the day. I do want to caution against counting calories, though. You don't want to restrict too much or you may end up binging on food later in the day. If you're hungry, feed your body. If I've had a meal and I find myself hungry again soon after, I'll usually snack on some fruit for example.
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#3 Old 10-25-2015, 11:23 AM
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The easiest way is to eat whole foods. Limit oils, refined grains, sugar and high-fat animal products (i.e. cheese, butter). If sticking to whole foods doesn't work, try eating a higher volume of vegetables since they have a lower caloric density. Protein, fiber and complex carbohydrates are the most helpful in terms of satiety. Try experimenting with different macronutrient levels and listen to your body. Figure out which foods hold you over the longest.

That said, how strict you have to be depends on your current weight and goal weight, and also how you are currently eating.

For me, beans, tofu, tempeh, oatmeal, quinoa, sweet potatoes, natural nut butters, nuts and avocados are the most filling. Before I was vegan; greek yogurt, plain yogurt and eggs were also very filling.

Personally, I can maintain a healthy weight eating as much as I want as long as I eat mostly whole foods and exercise regularly.
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#4 Old 10-25-2015, 01:02 PM
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@Lil' Tofu , I can track the nutrition facts, but not for the vegetables (which represent a large part of what I normally eat). Also, which nutritional values should I look at? Which ones are the most important for weight?
I think the plate thing is a good idea. Right before I just had dinner and filled my plate, but it wasn't a small one, so I noticed that I was getting really full. Next time I will use a smaller one.
@veganfitnessjunkie , sorry, I am not familiar with the term "whole foods", what does it mean? Can you give me some examples?
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#5 Old 10-25-2015, 01:57 PM
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Whole foods are foods in their natural, unprocessed form.

Examples: Olives are a whole food, olive oil is not. Brown rice is a whole food, white rice is not. All fruits and vegetables are whole foods. Beans are a whole food. Nuts and seeds are whole foods.

I also consider whole wheat flour and single ingredient nut butters (only ingredient is the nut) whole foods.

There are some healthier minimally processed foods (like plant milks and tofu), but in general, the closer it is to how it is found in nature, the better.

WebMD article on Whole Foods Diet: http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/the-whole-foods-diet

Kaiser Permanente Guide to Whole Foods Plant Based Diet: http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/wp...et-booklet.pdf
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#6 Old 10-25-2015, 05:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chou View Post
@Lil' Tofu , I can track the nutrition facts, but not for the vegetables (which represent a large part of what I normally eat). Also, which nutritional values should I look at? Which ones are the most important for weight?
I think the plate thing is a good idea. Right before I just had dinner and filled my plate, but it wasn't a small one, so I noticed that I was getting really full. Next time I will use a smaller one.
I usually look at the saturated fat content and keep that as low as I can, those are the worst for you. Sugar is also a good thing to keep low. Vegetables are really healthy and low calorie so you don't really need to track them if it's too different. Starting with a small plate is definitely a good idea! Just make sure you're still eating enough.
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#7 Old 10-26-2015, 05:20 AM
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I could be completely wrong here but in my personal experience your options are watch what you eat or (and) excersise.
I use my fitness pal I like it because if I know I am going out for dinner and drinks I can ration out the rest of my calories. I'm not actively trying to loose weight now so I don't use it as much anymore but I still do sometimes! It's kind of fun actually!
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#8 Old 10-26-2015, 07:43 AM
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You don't need a scale. Calorie information websites (such as http://www.calorieking.com ) provide calorie information in terms of "calories per cup" or "calories per piece (of fruit, etc.)".

Also, you can use this calorie rule-of-thumb:

One cup of boiled beans / lentils is about 240 calories
One cup of boiled grains/pasta is about 190 calories
One cup of fresh (not dried) fruit is 40-100 calories
One cup of non-starchy vegetables is 5-40 calories

The following foods are very high in fat and calories:

One cup of diced cheese is about 500 calories
One cup of nuts or seeds is 600-1000 calories
One tablespoon of vegetable oil is 120 calories

_________

Specific recommendations for a healthy diet include: eating more fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and grains; cutting down on salt, sugar and fats. It is also advisable to choose unsaturated fats, instead of saturated fats and towards the elimination of trans-fatty acids."
- United Nations' World Health Organization
http://www.who.int/topics/diet/en/
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#9 Old 10-28-2015, 12:09 AM
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Thank you so much for providing the great tip...
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