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5633 No. 5633
So I started calorie counting (I need to lose weight and don't have enough time to exercise and it's cold out) and it's going well so far. I found an app that keeps track of the foods you've eaten and lets you set a daily calorie quota based on your desired rate of weight loss.

But one issue is that it relies on a database of foods for calorie counts (you can scan barcodes even), but not everything is prepackaged or has set composition. What would be a good rule of thumb for estimating calorie content? I was thinking of finding a similar listed food and rounding up to the nearest 50 or 100 calories. Do you think that would be effective or misleading?

Also holy shit. I THOUGHT I knew how much I was eating, but I was severely underestimating the amount of calories I was eating. The biggest wakeup call was when I set the app to 2 pounds per week and breakfast was almost half my daily quota (and I only had cereal and OJ). I knocked that up to 1 pound per week and it turned out to be about 1600 calories, which is manageable. It actually turns out to be a comfortable amount of food - I didn't really realize how much I was overeating and making myself uncomfortably full.

The worst was looking at a smallish chicken burrito and looking it up and realizing it was almost half my day's calories in one little thing that would take me about five minutes to eat.

Goddamnit, food.
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>> No. 5636
welcome to the club amigo. I'm using one of those things myself and it's somewhat maddening when you think about things that you used to eat every morning (like say a Sausage Egg McMuffin from McDees was about 350 calories, plus a hashbrown (120 calories), and a large orange juice (200 calories) and you realize you've just eaten 1/3 of your daily calorie intake from some dinky little meal. Stick with it and try to introduce small 100-200 calorie snacks every 2 hours and it should help. Good luck!

As for the calorie amounts, I look at the list of things that I pull up (say a turkey bacon club sandwich) and try to approximate it as best as I can. Usually I end up with an average leaning towards the higher percentile when I decide how many cals I eat. Ultimately, however, if you don't have the calorie counts from the vendor, I try to eat at home more since I can control my cal intake better.
>> No. 5637
Most fast food and restaurant chains (e.g., Panera's, Olive Garden, Taco Bell) standardize their food production and have all those nutritional facts on their websites.

Probably already knew that, but. Yeah.
>> No. 5638
Yeah, I've gotten some good data on the really big chains' food (chik-fil-a actually ended up being a lot healthier than I would have expected. Still unhealthy, but not terribly so). The problem I run into is the low/mid-tier places, like the chinese place that has a spot in the dining hall.
>> No. 5639
Yeah, I think once I'm able to eat at home more it will be a lot easier to keep track of stuff.

Unfortunately, being a student means being on campus pretty late, so I often end up either eating fast food or waiting until it's way late and I'm way hungry to eat (and that's a recipe for gorging and blowing the count).
>> No. 5640

Agreed, I usually get off of work really really late, same with the ladyfriend. By the time we've cleaned up and gotten home it's usually 8-9pmish. Not much open and you're bloody exhausted from being on your feet for 10+ hours, it takes some supreme willpower to actually cook something for dinner, and the only things that are open are fast food or cruddy foods.

That said, here's some things I did to minimize the baddies.

-When ordering burgers, ask if they can make it low-carb/lettuce-wrap style. IE, they take out the bun and wrap it in lettuce and hold the mayo/cheese and replace it with say, bbq sauce or ketchup. Places like Carls Jr/Hardees do this freely; just doing that can shave 200-300 calories off the sammich. It will be messy though, so have lots of napkins handy. Also see if they offer turkey or chicken burgers as well, that will cut down on calories/fat/cholesterol

-When drinking when going out, try to drink only unsweetened Iced tea with lots of lemon or iced lemon water. The tea is loaded with good antioxidants, and will serve the dual purpose of filling ya up, and helping you digest things more easily.

-Salads, particularly with crunchy veggies like cucumbers/celery or spinach based salads are really good for making yourself feel full a lot quicker, when getting the dressing, always go for the lower calorie Italian/balsamic vinaigrette ones, and even then try to use only one ladle/spoon whatever they give you, that will control the calorie intakes by a good margin.

Lessee what else...oh...I know this may be a longshot for a lot of places, but if they're offering asian style cuisine, see if they can serve brown rice with the food. It's lot more fiber and better for you. If not, try asking for steamed veggies with a little soy/teriyaki dipping sauce on the side.

For example if you have a Panda Express out in your area:
-Steamed Veggies
-Broccoli Beef
-String Bean Chicken
-Bowl of Hot and Sour Soup

Whole thing is 470 calories and i doubt you'll be able to finish it because the veggie chunks are so huge (good god they give you so much broccoli >_<)
>> No. 5641

Lets see what else....

-Mexican/Taco Places. Go for the "Street" style tacos whenever possible. These guys are usually served on a smaller corn tortilla and only have meat+cilantro+fresh chopped onion+salsa and nothing else. On average these guys will only run you between 90-130 calories each and you can nom 2-4 of them without running up your calorie intake too much. Stay away from the beans and rice, they've probably been cooked with lard/butter and will be a massive calorie/carb bomb. Same goes for burritos, those things on average will run you 700+ calories just by themselves and they can go way higher than that easily. If a place only offers burritos, ask for them "bowl" style, that'll save you at least 200+ calories, since they typically use massive flour tortillas to make the burritos.

-Sandwich shops like Subway are deceptively easy to go over budget calorie wise. A footlong meatball and cheese will run you over 900 calories and it's not even all that big. Stick to the "Jared Approved" subs and try to eat only half of the footlong and save it for later, or make sure to put plenty of veggies and only put lo-cal dressing options like honey mustard or vinegar and pepper. Quiznos is a bit trickier to do this, but they usually have a better selection of small side salads that only run 100-150 calories which you can pair with a bowl of soup and a large drink and feel pretty darn full. Their Honey Bourbon chicken is also a good choice if thye have it, it usually only runs 370 calories for a regular size.

Good luck amigo, these are the ones I could come up with on the top of my head. I've been at this now for 2 months and have lost 18 pounds combined with working out. I know it's frustrating as all hell, but keep it at, and don't forget to give yourself a cheat day once a week so you don't go nuts. Last sunday I had a pastrami cheeseburger and it was glorious. :D
>> No. 5642
Drink water.


Stop drinking soda and shit.

drink water
>> No. 5643
Good advice all around.

Soda was one of the first things I said goodbye to. The trick was finding a diet I didn't mind the taste of, and then I weaned myself off that. I still drink diet in a pinch, but I try to stick to coffee (black, no sugar) or tea for hydration.
>> No. 5644
Yea I switched off drinking soda for the sake of drinking it a long time ago and I'm now getting into just drinking unsweetened hot tea. I occasionally drink a soda if it fits with the food I'm eating but only ever one 12 oz can per meal. Though more as of late I've been working tea into that area as a replacement as well.
>> No. 5646
I wasn't sure whether to put this here or in the fit thread on baw: One of my health nut friends claims drinking (anything, but water is preferred) before eating helps you eat less on the basis that there's liquid in your gut. Is that right? I'd thought they just go on through.
>> No. 5647
It does have a minor benefit, somewhere between seventy to ninety calories per meal if you drink two cups of water. It's not a lot, but if you're counting calories it could mean a couple extra pounds over a couple months.

Your stomach doesn't immediately eject its contents; the stuff you eat has to go through a churning and mixing process before it moves on to the intestines. Also, the movement between the stomach and the small intestine takes place in small bursts. Your body has to adjust the pH and chemical composition of each burst of liquid (the stomach contents are way acidic, it has to partially neutralize that, and the liver and pancreas throw some bile salts and enzymes in to help break up fats and digest things).

The key thing would be to monitor your sensations and stop when you're actually satisfied instead of pushing through into being uncomfortably full and finishing all your food anyway on top of the water.
>> No. 5648
Wait, how do competitive eaters manage to stuff so much food?
>> No. 5649
Willpower and the resilience of the human body.
>> No. 5650
An interesting thing to note is that your stomach generally doesn't register that it's full for about 20 minutes. By drinking water before your meal you fill up partially, well before your meal is through. So the water in addition to eating your meal means that your brain is likely to hit the "Fuck this, I'm full" trigger than it would otherwise and help prevent after meal snacking or accidental overeating because you think you're still not full. It's the same reason that people recommend eating slower if you want to lose weight.
>> No. 5651
Your stomach can expand quite a bit. It's pretty elastic.
>> No. 5652
Then I guess I'd be a lot fatter if I wasn't so prone to heartburn.l
>> No. 5672
Guys? Vitamins. Are they worth it? My family swears by them and I've started taking some to get them off my back. That was two months ago, I don't really feel any different. Far as I can tell they just pass through.
>> No. 5673
Vitamins are generally good for supplementing a deficiency in your diet. I take calcium tablets because I'm lactose intolerant and don't want to have bones like an expensive Ming vase in a comedy sketch when I'm older. If you don't have any glaring gaps in your diet when it comes to nutrition then you're more than likely just wasting your money. But if it's really weighing on your mind, why not see a doctor or a nutritionist?
>> No. 5683
Thanks. The weird thing is I'm pretty sure I don't eat a vitamin rich diet, but then these are some strong vitamins. I guess I'll have to add this to the long list of doctor questions I have.
>> No. 5697
How much healthier is brown rice over white rice?
>> No. 5698
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Be sure to have them test your urine and show you how you're peeing all those vitamin supplements out anyways!
>> No. 5707

Quite a bit actually. You're getting significantly more dietary fiber per serving over rice, and the higher quantity of indigestible material (ie, the husk portion) means it has a lower glycemic index and will cause a lower spike of your blood sugar than white rice.

Also I do believe there are a bit more trace minerals due to the presence of the husk there, but I'd have to double check to be sure.

Mostly it's a case of higher fiber and a lower blood sugar spike, those are the two big biggies.
>> No. 5715
Thanks anon, everyone tells me brown rice is healthier without saying why. Now I just need to find some bags of brown rice cheaper than white rice.

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