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HH and Others: Counting Calories

I find Sparkpeople totally overwhelming. How do you do it? Do you just eat less varied foods so calculations are easier or what? I've thought about tracking breakfast, lunch, and snacks and eat whatever (within reason) for dinner, but I don't know how many calories to estimate for an unknown dinner of whatever- 500? I doubt that is a wise strategy anyway.

I am curious what you do.

From loss and infertility to two under two!

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Re: HH and Others: Counting Calories

  • In the beginning I was really, really diligent. I was regularly putting in my own recipes from cooking light and making sure I was counting everything.

    Make sure you click the 'add to my favorites' box on anything you eat more than once a week, that will help.

    I go on and off SparkPeople, because I find that I really do eat a LOT of the same things over time and so I get to the point where I have learned more intuitively what I can consume in a day. I also do like you.....capture what I eat during the day and then know I have a certain window for dinner. My problem is then having more glasses of wine then I should or something!

  • I used fitday.com and I really liked it.? It saved all your favorites, and I eat the same things all the time, it was easy.? I wish I could get motivated to do it again.? Jenn
  • Sparkpeople.com was a little more labor intensive in the beginning for me because I did have to manually enter in foods and what not. But I tend to eat a lot of the same things for breakfast, dinner and snacks so after a little while I had a good handle on my calorie consumption without entering things in every day. The pp was right about making you save stuff in your Favorites because that saves loads of time. 

    Also, the site helps me because if I do grab something for lunch, like at Au Bon Pain, i'll look up their nutritional info. to enter it and it can be quite a shock! One of their veggie wraps was like 700 calories or something, with no meat! I ended up only eating half of it and saving the rest for next day's lunch. So, it's a good reality check, especially when you THINK you're eating healthy.

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • As others have said, over time, I eat a lot of the same things so I can now frequently find what I want in my favorites.  Also, if a recipe doesn't have nutritional info., I run the analysis while I'm doing my grocery list and meal planning for the week.  I used the SparkRecipes Recipe Calculator in the past, but now I use a program I had to buy for a nutrition class I took this spring.  That program is DietAnalysis+ 8.0.  (It includes a whole diet tracking and analysis system.)  There are probably other similar programs out there.

    You do have to be careful with recipe calculators (online or software).  For example, you'll get a different result if you enter precooked weight for meat vs. cooked weight, and I've more than once made the mistake of the weight of a can vs. the weight of the food inside. The calculators are helpful in giving you an estimate,however. 

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker

  • I agree with what other people have written and I understand how you struggle with dinner.  What I have found makes things a lot easier is if you like to cook, pull recipes off of sparkpeople.com or sparkrecipes.com as you can insert these quickly into your spread sheet.
    BabyFruit Ticker
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