Thursday, May 26, 2011

A (Regular) Day in the Life of a Calorie Counter

As promised, I am going to include a few examples of what I am eating to give you some idea of what this looks like on a day to day basis.  One thing I do want to point out is that I am not just blindly consuming low calorie foods.  The most important goal in all of this is to give my body the nutrients it needs to stay strong and healthy.  I want to have energy, I don't want to get sick, I want to have good skin, I want my body to recover quickly from the workouts I do, etc.  I want to be strong and healthy when I am 40, 65, and 87.

Here is what calorie counting looks like for me.  I usually round up if I am not sure about my amounts.  I'd rather think I had more calories than I actually consumed, than vice versa.  Take a look.

Thursday, May 19

  • Raisin Bran, 1.2 cups - 234 cals
  • Skim milk, 1 cup - 90 cals
  • Coffee, 2 cups - 4 cals
  • Half and half, 4 tbsp - 40 cals
  • Sugar, 4 tbsp - 195 cals
  • Simply Orange Juice, 5 fl oz - 69 cals
  • Cascadian Farms Granola Bar - 140 cals
Lunch - cheese and crackers, fruit, carrots and hummus
  • Laughing Cow cheese wedge - 50 cals
  • Triscuit Thin Crisps, 1 serving - 130 cals
  • Strawberries, 1 cup - 49 cals
  • Grapes, 1 cup - 110 cals
  • Peaches, 4 oz - 46 cals
  • Baby carrots, 1 serving - 30 cals
  • Athenos hummus, 2 servings - 100 cals
  • Hershey's miniature candy bar, 2 pieces - 84 cals
  • Coffee, 1 cup - 2 cals
  • Half and half, 2 tbsp - 20 cals
  • Sugar, 1 tbsp - 49 cals
Dinner- Honey Mustard Chicken and Steamed broccoli
  • Perdue Fit and Easy Chicken Breast - 220 cals
  • Steamed broccoli, 2 cups - 60 cals
  • Shredded Colby Jack cheese, 1 serving - 110 cals
  • Mustard, 3 tsp - 10 cals
  • Honey, 3 tsp - 43 cals
  • Skinny cow ice cream sandwich - 140 cals
Exercise - Ran 6 miles burning 532 cals

So here is the rundown.  My allotment is 2386 a day.  I consumed 1975 and burned 532.  Subtract and I get 1443 for my daily calorie intake. That is well below my daily allotment which means weight loss over time.  Now, some days I eat more than this and my daily intake is more but still under the suggested amount for losing 4 lbs in 4 months.  If I had been extra hungry or gone out to eat so that I consumed more, I could have eaten 2386 + 532, for a total of 2918 and I still would have met my goal.  Make sense?  MyNetDiary does some other sorts of math in there that I don't totally understand, but this is my focus here.

One thing you can see from the menu above is that you can eat a LOT of fruits and veggies without many calories.  That way, you fill up on great foods and fewer cals.  Compare the carrots and the hershey bars.  One serving of carrots is a small handful (I don't know the exact number) and it is 30 calories.  That means you could eat 2 cups or more and still not consume as many calories as 2 miniature hershey bars.  Those carrots are much more filling than the hershey bars and will keep your appetite satiated longer.  The same idea goes for all of that fruit.

Tomorrow I will post "A (Fun) Day in the Life of a Calorie Counter" to show what eating out and a trip to the movies looks like and how to manage that.  It can be done, but you have to be choosy and make deals with yourself.  "I would rather have popcorn later than a roll with lunch now."  That kind of thing.  It isn't all fruits and veggies all the time.  You can have your favorites too, you just have to plan for them.  I will also include some very helpful links and resources I have gleaned from Nutrition 200, one of UAH's in-class and online courses taught by dietitian, Barbara Johnson.


  1. I wish I could stick to a plan..... Good for you!!!!

  2. Well, it is certainly not easy every day, but if I get off track one day, I try to just keep on truckin' anyway.