Saturday, June 19, 2010

Calorie Count

I made a resolve that if I was paying $450/year on internet, I was going to get the most out of it. There's so much available. I also wondered how I was doing on my caloric intake, and I found a great on-line tool called Calorie Count. There are other similar websites out there which may even be better.

I'd never had an interest in counting calories before, but despite my strong-held belief that eating the right foods and being in tune with your body will control caloric intake (from How to Lower Your Fat Thermostat), I remembered my cross-country coach saying "Don't work against yourself. Don't be doing this great workout and go home and eat lousy." I was running 45 minutes 3 days a week and it was still hard to budge the scale. (Additionally, did you know that eating in excess is correlated with cancer and tumors?) Was I eating too much? I tried Calorie Count to find out.

Calorie Count is a great on-line tool with a database of nutritional information for many common and name-brand foods. Counting calories is the biggest pain in the world, and it still is with this tool, but made slightly easier. It keeps an on-line log for you, so no more trying to find your notebook or that piece of paper; its all saved in cyberspace. It also does analysis, estimates your normal caloric burn and you can add what exercise you've done that day to add to calories burned. Additionally, calorie count provides an on-line community in which being a participant will set you up with friends, readings, and success stories to support weight-loss efforts.

Some tips I found useful:

Do not use a very low calorie diet. A typical active young woman should not go under 1700 calories. Very low calorie diets trigger the body to go into a hibernation mode and to be more stingy with energy thus storing more fat. Creating a caloric deficit of about 500 calories a day should be good, and will create a healthy, slow weight loss.

Foods that are high in calories such as rice, cheese, and peanut butter should be measured. Use a measuring cup or spoon. I found it useful to cut my cheese into 1 oz. cubes right (16 equally-sized cubes for one pound of cheese) when I opened it, and put it in a plastic baggie. Guessing on these items could mean being 100-200 calories off each, and that's enough to throw the record way off.

There's a common saying: calories in, calories out; meaning, creating a caloric deficit will result in a proportional loss in weight, and a caloric excess results in a proportional weight gain. It isn't that simple, which goes against the very object of using Calorie Count, but I'm sure counting calories has good properties, too.

Seriously! I just watched a girl in Fat: What No One is Telling You that is on a treadmill 3 hours a day! She was obese and is battling to maintain her weight, but that is a huge chunk out of her life to have to do each day. I highly doubt people in other countries are on the treadmill as much as we are.

This video shows ways that can alter weight that are not connected to calories:

Don't skip meals, or fast

Eat Breakfast

Get enough sleep

Eat on a low glycemic index

Exercise-> Burn weight while in rest, even sleeping

Hormone therapy RCH

Conjugated Linoleic Acid

Not a simple equation of calories in, calories out, although exercise will help

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