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Opinions Wanted Friday: Calorie balance

Every magazine or book I read makes me think in new ways about the foods that I eat. One day Mark at the Daily Apple is telling me I don't need grains and the next I'm reading Nancy Clarks sports nutrition and I better be eating grains. I think at the end of the day it's about what works best for my body...but I LOVE LEARNING ABOUT YOU ALL!! You give me such great ideas and feeback so here are the questions:

My carb intake seems high when I actually track it and compare to what I see all these sites telling me...but I don't know how I could truly run on lower. Now could my quality always be better, yes the cookies could go away. :) Do you ever think about carbs, protein, fat balance in your eating?

I love this concept of 3 meals at 500 and 2 snacks at 200 cal, but that's not how my life goes. Honestly by 10 AM I have consumed 1,000 cals...by 5PM another 600 and the final 400-600 in the evening.How do you spread your calories out throughout the day?

Now I leave you with a picture of the Red Head and I pre hill workout...I so wish we lived closer because she is a BALL OF ENERGY and too sweet!! And yes I do look like a giant next to her!
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Gratitude Journal
Feb 19
I am grateful for new running buddies
I am grateful for shared running plans
I am grateful for new running workouts
I am grateful for others enthusiasm about running
I am grateful for other healthy eaters

29 comments:

  1. Admittedly, I don't pay much attention to my nutrition. Or, rather, not as much as I probably should.

    When I lost 25 pounds in 2 1/2 months, the only thing I was doing was watching my caloric intake. And I wasn't counting calories, per se, but just being aware of how many calories what I was eating was. Seemed to do the trick for me.

    Now, I'm starting to pay a little bit more attention, but only in the regards of getting more fruits and veggies in addition to the grains I already get.

    That said, I'm in the IT field. While I try to keep a consistent eating schedule, it doesn't always work. So I still just stick with being aware of what I'm eating, and just going from there. I've found that, in my case at any rate, having a set eating plan only sets me up for failure. :)

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  2. Its hard to really count calories because some days I will be ravenous and others I wont be hungry for breakfast at all. I try to eat a decent amount of protein to help my muscles recover from runs and I know that carbs are important too so I try to eat whole grains. If i have too many carbs I feel sick.

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  3. I struggle with the same thing! Lately, I have focused on adding more vegetables into my diet. I used to take lite TV dinners for lunch every day. Now I have a Boca Burger, brown rice, and different types of vegetables. I've also started adding spinach to leftovers I might take for lunch. I have found that spinach is a welcome addition to anything. Cutting down on bread has been a major factor for me as well. Now, I'm trying to cut out after dinner sweets (in favor of Greek Yogurt or fruit). I have come to the conclusion that I work out WAY too hard to let a faulty diet mess it up!

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  4. I just try to eat mostly whole foods, and to concentrate on making sure I'm getting lots of veggies. I kind of keep a rough estimate of calories in my head (it's habit more than anything) which sometimes freaks me out. But in general I try to just eat a variety of foods, lots of veggies, and mostly all whole stuff.

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  5. I didn't realize how complicated nutrition was until I was pregnant and trying to get enough iron and other essential vitamins. If I had to do it again, I'd go to school for nutrition. It's so interesting and there's conflicting info.

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  6. It's so overwhelming, isn't it? I think we each need to find what works for us. I realized lately that my biggest meal of the day is at breakfast and all my other meals are about the same in calories. I'm a big believer in eating small meals every few hours and think that keeps off the starving feeling that causes binges, etc. As for carbs, we need them. But keep in mind, fruits and starchy veggies are carbs, too. Some of those with a few servings of whole grains, and you should be good to go! I get my whole grains each day from oatmeal (breakfast), slice of ezekiel (lunch), bulgar (snack), sweet pot or brown rice (dinner), then a shredded wheat biscuit at night w/ my yogurt.

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  7. I used to use a website and recorded all my calories each day. It just got too stressful and complicated. I have learned to listen to my body. I kinda keep a count in my head. But I now focus on eating whole foods, fruits, veggies, whole grains. I also think that when someone is active (running, biking, lifting, swimming, sport, etc.) that alters what and how much the body needs. I now think of food as fuel and enjoy it!

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  8. I am trying to get better about paying more attention to my nutrition. I find that I don't worry to much about the carbs, but I am trying to incorporate more protein and fiber, as this will boost my metabolism. It's definitely a balancing act and the more I read the more I get confused. The past few weeks I have just been really trying to listen to my body and determine based on how I feel what kind of foods I need to eat!

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  9. I've used SparkPeople.com in the past to track my food throughout the day and get myself used to what foods have what calories/protein/fat/etc. Now I just kind of feel it out as the day goes on. I SHOULD have a larger breakfast, but I'm so uncreative with food in the morning unless it's the weekend :(

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  10. I am constantly analyzing what and when I eat - too many carbs, not enough carbs, when to eat carbs, what about protein, and so on... it's especially difficult since I am trying to lose weight as well. I still don't have any answers and I often completely change my patterns from one week to the next.

    That's a great pic of you and the Redhead. Everyone looks like a giant next to her 'cuz she's so cute & tiny! At least she wore heels when we met. :)

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  11. Everyone tells you different things. It sometimes gets frustrating trying to figure out the does and don't of eating. I don't listen any more, I just eat healthy and try to get the most bang for my buck.

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  12. Information overload is what you can get! When I set out on my weight loss journey, I really had to learn to listen to what my body needed vs. what I was hearing or thinking emotionally that I needed.
    I adhere to the five small meals a day, and they all have carbs in them - whole wheat mind you, but lots of carbs. I just crave them especially during marathon training.
    But you are absolutely right - what is good for one person isn't necessarily right for the other and it can be hard to learn to listen to ourselves instead of what the media or outside sources tell us.
    Happy Friday!

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  13. I have gained and lost a lot of weight over the last several years. When I am losing, I sort of count calories, in that I am very attuned to how many and when. but the plan is almost always the same: eliminate things that are obviously bad for me. Cookies, alcohol, beer, ice cream, creams, sweets, etc. On the plus side, I seek out and eat unprocessed foods, like salads, veggies,
    I also tend to stay away from white carbs -- potatoes, pasta, rice.
    And one thing I watch is sodium intake. A lot of packaged products have a ton of sodium. Sodium can wreak havoc with a diet and daily weight gain or loss.

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  14. I feel like I could get really obsessive if I pay too much attention the cho/pro/fat balance, but typically the recommendation is 50% of kcals from cho, 20% from pro, and 30% from fat, aiming of course for whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats! :)

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  15. I pay a lot of attention to my food intake and calories. I actually eat a lot of high protein, low fat foods and a ton of veggies and fruits. I hardly eat any carbs (besides natural carbs in fruits and veggies). I think I need to add some whole grains back into my diet.

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  16. I LOVE Nancy Clark - she has such great info. As for calories - I keep them in mind (points are easier for me) however I don't let it guide me. I let my body guide how I eat based on if I am hungry or not. Like you, I am alot hungrier in the morning but not so much by the evening.

    I do focus on balancing protein with carbs and a little healthy fat plus fiber in each meal/snack because I know that combination keeps me satisfied longer versus if I have just all carbs....

    Have a great weekend!

    Danica

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  17. During the work week my calories are loaded toward dinner because I have much better control at work than at home ;) At this point I'm just trying to increase/maintain the quality of my food and try to exercise portion control!

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  18. At this moment I'm not counting calories at all. Trying to do a healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner and an afternoon snack. Low sugar and Low Carbs is what I'm aiming for right now....with no white carbs at all. We will see if my body likes it after more time. ;)

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  19. I am so fed up with reading all the "do this...dont do that" ...i read something about vegans...then its all about protein...then its all about cutting this...or doing that....i have to FORGET it...balance and sanity :)
    I do not want to obsess over it. Unfortunately i force myself to eat 6x a day , cause i need to gain (and not exercising) ...so i really dont want to obsess...thinking too hard about food is just too much thinking!

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  21. (Oops, accidentally removed my comment, trying again.) I intentionally do not focus on caloric intake because I tend to obsess about it. For me, it's more about exercise than caloric intake. I try to balance what I eat by eating a bit of everything without too much of any one thing or any one type of food. I eat fruits, vegetables, meat, fish and whole grains. I don't buy cookies, potato chips or prepared foods and I try to stay away from "fake" foods. I do eat more protein before marathon training programs and then more pasta during long run weeks. Good luck eating and running!

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  22. I've never counted calories, and don't believe it is effective, so I have no idea how many I eat in a day! But, I find if I skip added sugars and eat whole foods, my body feels hungry when it should.

    I'm definitely a proponent of sticking with fruits and veggies for carbohydrates (I guess more like the primal diet), but I do crave grains and don't like to make things to complicated. I feel better, more energetic, and am definitely more fit when I eat less grains and more fats, protein, fruits and veggies. But food is just good!

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  23. One of the main reasons I run is so that I can eat what I want, so I don't really fuss about it too much. I get on the scales once a month and usually am the same weight. But I guess, when I look at what some people eat, I eat pretty balanced and healthy (fresh rather than processed) and I think the key is in the word balanced.
    If I fancy a cream bun, fine but I don't do it every day, but thinking about it, if I ran every day, maybe that would be possible.....

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  24. mmm great topic! i really didn't think about meal balancing until this past year and now i think about it at every meal. i think it helps me make a better decision on what i want to eat for each meal. and i actually love it now and has helped my trim my body fat over the past couple months

    as for your story :) i say post it and talk about it only when you want to! that's why i did it because it just felt really good to write about it :)

    and i used to HATE lifting legs like despise it and then when i saw my bootycheeks get a little liftage well it got better :)

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  25. I totally do not pay attention to my nutrition. I hate that I dont, but I cant get myself to do it. I just cant find the time/energy to pay attention!

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  26. I used to only be a calorie girl, never paying attention to fat, carbs, or proteins. Then a while back I started tracking (on SparkPeople) to see what my macronutrients looked like...turns out I had a very high-carb diet! Recently I've started playing with the ratios again and I'm trying to figure out what balance is best for me.
    It's tough but it seems like you're in great shape, so just do whatever you know works for you!

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  27. Hi Amanda!!!!!! I hope you're doing awesomely! You look wonderful with Miss Redhead there in that pic :)
    Thanks for your comments the past couple days and for your contest entries :)
    I dont think much about food and what's what. I know I eat plants, mostly raw...and chocolate and call it a day :)
    xoxo

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  28. I recognize that fellow redhead :)

    I have a very high protein diet. I measure, weigh, everything! It seems meticulous but it works for me.

    Let me know if you want some more protein ideas!

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  29. When training for the marathon, my body was extremely particular about what I ate. I found the training so hard, that I would not consume anything that made me feel less than optimal. I never count cals, but my diet consisted of: tonnes of veggies, not much fruit, lots of fish and other protein, wheat-free cereal and yogurt. And huge amounts of pretty much everything!
    The only 2 things that were a bit strange were dark chocolate and potato chips. For whatever reason, both of these foods made my body feel good.
    Has anyone else found that a handful of potato chips is a good call the night before a long run?

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