Any Other Calorie Counters Out There?

carrie2January 6, 2006

I've been counting calories for three years as of January 27. I'm on my second ten-pack of steno books. When I started three years ago, I lost 15 lbs. in seven months and then I gained the weight back and stayed that way for another year. During the last year I've lost 28 lbs. in about nine months.

I've weighed myself every Saturday morning and recorded my weight in my book, even as I was gaining. When I started three years ago, I measured, looked foods up in calorie books, averaged my calories, tried to figure out how many calories I would need to maintain my weight or to lose weight. I don't do any of that anymore, but I am religious about listing everything I eat and trying honestly to figure the calories. At first I tried to make a game of it, but now I just do it and it doesn't seem like a chore. From my calculations in the first year or so, I could see very clearly that if I had fewer calories I would lose and if I had more I would gain.

I try to keep my calories to 2000 a day, and if I do I lose weight, slowly but surely. I've found an additional benefit to staying at or near my limit every day. I had noticed for a long time that every night as I prepared for bed I would get a sinking feeling, not really depression or anything that would last, but just a fleeting feeling of regret and I was sure it signified to me another wasted opportunity to lose weight. Since I've been fairly consistently staying around 2000, I don't get that feeling anymore, even on the occasional day when I go substantially over. I don't know if anyone else has experienced something similar, but for me being rid of that feeling every night is almost as good as losing the weight. I think keeping it away is an additional incentive now.

Another thing that has been satisfying to me about counting calories is that I don't feel like I constantly need to start a new diet of some kind. In fact, when I look back, I realize I've gained more weight while trying to work myself up to start a new diet and dreading the sacrifice and pain that dieting involves.

It's also not like the kind of diet that falls completely apart when you eat something that isn't allowed. Everything is allowed as long as I write it down and weigh myself every week, even when I don't want to.

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Me me!
I have jumped back on the wagon after a wild Thanksgiving-NY day gorge. Just call me Mary Mary (when she is good she is very very good but when she is bad....)
I would not get on the scale now if it held a gun to my head but have kept counting 5 days (one day, one minute at a time).
I shoot for 1000 calories but if I stay below 1300 I will lose weight (I'm 5' short dagnabbit). If I get the munchies I can have a snack if I leave some evening calories open.
I noticed my jeans are fitting better around the waist already and my energy level has gone through the roof (I hated those commercials).
Anyway, please share some good recipes if you have any lowcal ones.
Thanks, Kathy

    Bookmark   January 7, 2006 at 9:13PM
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I would love to know how to count calories. I use the labels on the things that have them but as far as other things I don't even know where to begin. Like how many calories are in a banana or an apple? Things like this I have no idea what I'm doing. If you could help me I would sure appreciate it.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2006 at 2:43PM
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hi fireman's wife,

Try FITDAY.COM for a calorie list and a way to keep track of them. The basic option is free.


    Bookmark   January 11, 2006 at 7:54PM
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You can also buy paperback books with calories listed. Even carb based books should have calories listed.
Some fast food places have flyers with nutrition info in them. I know Wendy's and McDonald's do.
1 medium fresh banana is 101 calories.
1 medium raw apple with peel is 81
A fresh bartlett pear has 100
A small/medium navel orange has 65
1 T of peanut butter has 100 calories (not a fruit but I am a peanut butterholic)
1 Hershey's kiss has 25 (better to get the dark chocolate)

    Bookmark   January 12, 2006 at 8:53PM
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Calorie counting has always worked for me.... I love doing it.. because it makes me a healthy eater since I have to eat healthier foods in order to eat more quantity... I try to keep my calories between 1200 and 1500 a day. I also try to exercise everyday..After about a week of doing this, it hardly seems like a chore. Also, if I want a treat every now and then when everyone else around is eating goodies... I can just adjust the next meal to eat less calories.. It's the easiest way for me to lose weight and consistantly keep it off.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2006 at 3:11PM
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Hi fireman's wife,

The USDA has an excellent online database where you can look up almost anything and find not only calories but also any other nutrients that you may need to track, such as sodium or calcium.

It's at

Here is a link that might be useful: USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference

    Bookmark   January 14, 2006 at 5:12PM
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I counted my calories and my husband's for a while, and I may go back to it. I used I used 1400 cals/day myself. I found it to be quite necessary because I was doing the frequent meals thing and stopped losing weight. Under analysis I found that my calories were really creeping up! I think it's a great strategy, and it served me well for a time. The online service helped immensely.

Take care!

    Bookmark   January 14, 2006 at 7:56PM
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Kathy - I just got a new blender and the cookbook that came with it had a very simple recipe for gazpacho which makes seven servings with 90 calories per serving.

Put into blender

2 14 1/2 oz. cans peeled tomatoes
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, cut into chunks
1 small green pepper, seeded, cut into chunks
1 small onion, peeled, cut into chunks
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh parsley, stems removed
1 clove garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Blend for 15 seconds or until well blended, pour into a bowl or jar and add

1 1/2 cups tomato-vegetable juice cocktail
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Hot pepper sauce, if desired

This is very good and couldn't be easier to make.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2006 at 11:22PM
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Ok now explain to me what to do with it when I have the gazpacho done. Is it a topping? That's something I never had before but then you must realize I live in PA Dutch country land of plenty (of baked goods) and corn is the primary vegetable (corn cakes, corn muffins, corn fritters anyone?). Thanks for the recipe though! Kathy

    Bookmark   January 22, 2006 at 5:41AM
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Gazpacho is a soup. It may be eaten hot or cold. We have it a lot chilled in the summer along with a big green salad.


    Bookmark   January 22, 2006 at 9:06AM
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I just started last week after reading the article in the Wall Street Journal by their health & nutrition writer Tara Parker-Pope about how diet tracking software can be very beneficial. Parker-Pope is my favorite health writer: so sensible. She mentions the free tracker at and some commercial ones. I ended up buying one of the commercial ones, Diet Power, for $50 because it's very customizable. So far I like it quite a lot. I hate obsessing over pounds to lose, so the tracking software is a good distraction. It makes me focus on the quality of my diet, not just quantity, and exercise. All I have to do is meet the daily goals. Better than fretting over scale that never changes fast enough :)

    Bookmark   January 23, 2006 at 9:02AM
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I think I'm going to be on the calorie-counting bandwagon soon. I lost about 30 lbs. a year and a half ago, but have managed to gain it all back this past 8 months or so despite going back on the diet numerous times and trying other diets as well. It's very depressing. I think the low-carb diets may be partly to blame - I got it in my head that lots of meat and cheese is okay - not really thinking of the excess calories they contain. I just recently purchased the book in the link below and it has been an eye-opener. I think he has a more recent book out now as well.

Here is a link that might be useful: Picture Perfect

    Bookmark   January 26, 2006 at 5:31PM
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Okay... I've been counting calories for the last 2 weeks and I'm almost done with those last few pesky pregnancy pounds... woo hoo!! The longer I do this.. the easier it gets.. I don't even write it down anymore.. I kind of mentally keep track at this point.. When I feel like I'm messing up too much, I go back to writing every calorie down... Anyone else do this? It works great for me!

    Bookmark   January 28, 2006 at 10:19PM
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I have lost 11 pounds since January 17 thanks to the diet tracking software (and diligence on my part, of course!). I also invested in a digital food scale (Salter, $39 at BB&B, needs a 9 volt battery) & some stainless measuring cups (including a 1/8 cup measurement) to help to figure out calories accurately.
Yes, counting calories is the way to go.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2006 at 7:43AM
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I am counting calories as well. I've done Weight Watchers in the past and I think it's easier to count calories than points. Before dinner, I add up all of my calories for the day so far and then I know what I have left to use and if I have room for a treat. Once in a while I will put a marshmellow and 4 chocolate chips between halves of a graham cracker and melt in the microwave- yummy!!!

I'm trying to stay around 1200-1400 calories.

Last summer I lost on Slim Fast, but then, later, it was "Gain Fast" for me once I got off track. I still like the SF shakes for breakfast. I can drink them in the car on the way to work.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2006 at 4:01PM
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I've lost 29 lbs. now (since Jan. 4) by counting calories & exercising 6 days a week.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2006 at 7:31PM
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A great online tracker for calorie counting that a lot of people have been using is I love it!

This is my first post to this forum in a few years...I do not get anything for referring you there, I just think it is a great tracking tool. I frequent the WW message boards and lot of people there are using it as well. Interesting!

Spark does ask you for your goals and then adjusts your calorie range based on how quickly you want to lose and your activity level. There is also a lot of motivating articles on the site, message boards, recipes, etc...very well thought out.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2006 at 6:37PM
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Down 39 pounds now!

I know several women who are happy with Sparkpeople. I know several male jock types who like Fitday. I like my DietPower program because it's so customizable & computes calories per serving for recipes that I enter in. Plus it computes a daily calorie allotment for me. As long as I make that daily calorie target, I lose weight.

Nutrition trackers are terrific.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2006 at 9:06AM
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I lost 17 pounds in three months to get me back to my prepregnancy weight through calorie counting. I used the website to track mine. IMHO no matter what the calories are from (carbs, no carbs, etc etc) if you eat more calories than you burn you'll gain weight unless you have some kind of a medical condition causing weight gain through sluggish metabolism, water retention, etc. Counting calories gives you a good idea of whether this is happening. I've also started getting on the scale every morning so I don't find myself suddenly needing to re-lose weight.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2006 at 12:26PM
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I am also a very strict calorie counter, tryign to limit myself to about 2000 a day. I find that simply monitoring the foods you eat daily is most effective, and I use the USDA data in the EatSmart Nutrition Scale. I find it relatively easy to use and much better than the others I have tried (Salter and Escali). I recommended to it to friends as well and they have been nothing but happy with it.

Here is a link that might be useful: EatSmart Scale

    Bookmark   September 9, 2007 at 4:20PM
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