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hair_dye
11-21-2009, 02:48 PM
Do you all count calories?

Just doing some research on how many I need etc and just wondered if everyone tracks exactly how many you eat?

Also, do you follow macros? Just trying to understand what they are and how I can work out mine!

JC32
11-21-2009, 03:08 PM
Do you all count calories?

Just doing some research on how many I need etc and just wondered if everyone tracks exactly how many you eat?

Also, do you follow macros? Just trying to understand what they are and how I can work out mine!

I don't count to the letter, but I keep a close guesstimate on cal's. Macro's I follow a little more closely, at min. I make sure my protein intake is more than adequate.

If you are trying to lose weight or something more goal oriented, then I would keep a food journal and read labels religiously. I don't do this much anymore simply because everything I eat I know the counts. If you have never done this, then you will be shocked what things really are. When I first started out, I couldn't believe 17 mini saltines is something like 170 calories and waaayy more sodium that I could have ever guessed. Sometimes, it's the little things that kill ya. That one still bothers me! lol

Miranda
11-21-2009, 03:08 PM
starting to count calories is a valuable tool to learn portion sizes and it gives you a general eyeball figure as to how much you need to gain/lose/maintain.

you can start by weighing and logging EVERYTHING you normally eat for 2-3 days and see where you stand. then assess what you need to do to meet whatever goal you may have.

people tend to eat the same things day in day out, so once you have 'trained' yourself, you don't need to do it as much; maybe plug in your data a few days a week. counting calories can be a can of worms if you're an obsessive type ;)

people differ in that some tend to increase portions without even noticing if they don't track while others downsize, so counting may be essential.

'macros' usually refer to the percentage of calories from the three macronutrient groups (proteins, fats and carbohydrates) in your diet. they're not as relevant as actual grams and total calories you need based on your weight, adiposity, activity level etc.

for example, if you were to eat 50% of your calories from protein on a 1,500 calorie diet, it would be 187.5 grams. on a 2,500 calorie diet it'd be 312.5 grams - not the same thing ;)

i don't count calories. i make sure i get an ~ adequate amount of protein though and pretty much eat according to 'feel'. if i reckon i ate too much, i eat less the following day - i'm usually not that hungry anyway :p

hair_dye
11-21-2009, 03:18 PM
starting to count calories is a valuable tool to learn portion sizes and it gives you a general eyeball figure as to how much you need to gain/lose/maintain.

you can start by weighing and logging EVERYTHING you normally eat for 2-3 days and see where you stand. then assess what you need to do to meet whatever goal you may have.

people tend to eat the same things day in day out, so once you have 'trained' yourself, you don't need to do it as much; maybe plug in your data a few days a week. counting calories can be a can of worms if you're an obsessive type ;)

people differ in that some tend to increase portions without even noticing if they don't track while others downsize, so counting may be essential.

'macros' usually refer to the percentage of calories from the three macronutrient groups (proteins, fats and carbohydrates) in your diet. they're not as relevant as actual grams and total calories you need based on your weight, adiposity, activity level etc.

for example, if you were to eat 50% of your calories from protein on a 1,500 calorie diet, it would be 187.5 grams. on a 2,500 calorie diet it'd be 312.5 grams - not the same thing ;)

i don't count calories. i make sure i get an ~ adequate amount of protein though and pretty much eat according to 'feel'. if i reckon i ate too much, i eat less the following day - i'm usually not that hungry anyway :p

thanks for the replies so far :) how would I find out what percentage of protein carbs and fat i should be eating? or is it something you play about with until you find the ratio that works for you?

JC32
11-21-2009, 03:24 PM
thanks for the replies so far :) how would I find out what percentage of protein carbs and fat i should be eating? or is it something you play about with until you find the ratio that works for you?

Depends... are you bulking, cutting, maintaining...

hair_dye
11-21-2009, 03:26 PM
Depends... are you bulking, cutting, maintaining...

erm, i have some bodyfat to lose (see profile pic!), but I would also like to build some muscle!

I weight 124lb and am 5", I haven't had my body fat tested so not sure on that one.

Johnsmatrix
11-21-2009, 03:28 PM
I used to count using spark people. After a while you can estimate approximately how much you take in. I punch it into an excel spread sheet now and email it back and forth from work to home to keep track.

aussiemommy
11-21-2009, 03:29 PM
I do because I suck at sticking to my calorie budget if I don't. I don't go over by much if I don't count, but enough to stall my progress so I have to do it.

There's some good articles on the supersite here which help you figure out how much protein you should be getting. Based on my weight/height etc I need 1800 cals, being 159g protein, 159g carbs and 35g fat.

Miranda
11-21-2009, 03:39 PM
thanks for the replies so far :) how would I find out what percentage of protein carbs and fat i should be eating? or is it something you play about with until you find the ratio that works for you?

this sticky is very informative and has calorie counting websites on it.

http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=114060801

re 'percentages' - it's not percentages; it's calories and grams first.

once you've logged your current food intake for a while and come up with a calorie amount you can't seem to lose fat with, start reducing from carbs and fats, not protein (unless you eat an absolutely ginormous amount of protein, anything 2.0 x BW and above).

kimm4
11-21-2009, 03:40 PM
I do because I suck at sticking to my calorie budget if I don't. I don't go over by much if I don't count, but enough to stall my progress so I have to do it.

There's some good articles on the supersite here which help you figure out how much protein you should be getting. Based on my weight/height etc I need 1800 cals, being 159g protein, 159g carbs and 35g fat.

If you need 1800 calories, those numbers only add up to 1587 calories? Is there a typo somewhere?

Not only this, but the carb amount is too high and your fats are a tad low.

Think about switching up your macro breakdown, because more than likely this won't work for you.

I know some disagree and say macro breakdowns don't make a difference and it's all about calories. I don't agree with that, not when it comes down to getting the best results.

hair_dye
11-21-2009, 03:44 PM
this sticky is very informative and has calorie counting websites on it.

http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=114060801

re 'percentages' - it's not percentages; it's grams and calories first.

of course you will end up with a 'macro split' in the end.
follow it for a few weeks. if it works, so be it then.

thanks I'll have a look :) so just to clarify, everyone has an amount of calories they should eat to maintain, lose or gain, and macros are how you should break down where these calories come from?

aussiemommy
11-21-2009, 03:45 PM
If you need 1800 calories, those numbers only add up to 1587 calories? Is there a typo somewhere?

Not only this, but the carb amount is too high and your fats are a tad low.

Think about switching up your macro breakdown, because more than likely this won't work for you.

I know some disagree that macro breakdowns don't make a difference and it's all about calories...but I will never agree when it comes down to getting the best results.

hmm, maybe I do need to check that out! From memory I think I got those figures from someone here in another thread, it was what they suggested. But maybe I'm remembering the wrong numbers? I'll go check it out...
thanks for your tips :)

Miranda
11-21-2009, 03:49 PM
everyone has an amount of calories they should eat to maintain, lose or gain, and macros are how you should break down where these calories come from?

yup.

kimm4
11-21-2009, 03:50 PM
hmm, maybe I do need to check that out! From memory I think I got those figures from someone here in another thread, it was what they suggested. But maybe I'm remembering the wrong numbers? I'll go check it out...
thanks for your tips :)

Are you bulking or cutting? If bulking, then I understand why the carbs are up there...but the numbers you give look like you're cutting?

Miranda
11-21-2009, 03:55 PM
some disagree and say macro breakdowns don't make a difference and it's all about calories.

mass gain/loss is first and foremost about net energy input/output.

you could have the most elegant macro breakdown, but if it amounts to too many calories, you're not going to lose mass.

you need certain amounts of protein for lean tissue maintenance/repair/growth plus fats for health, but they correlate with total calorie intake, lifestyle etc.

aussiemommy
11-21-2009, 03:56 PM
Are you bulking or cutting? If bulking, then I understand why the carbs are up there...but the numbers you give look like you're cutting?

yes, cutting for now

kimm4
11-21-2009, 04:02 PM
mass gain/loss is first and foremost about net energy input/output.

you could have the most elegant macro breakdown, but if it amounts to too many calories, you're not going to lose mass.

you need certain amounts of protein for lean tissue maintenance/repair/growth plus fats for health, but they correlate with total calorie intake, lifestyle etc.

I should have worded it differently Miranda, agreed you need the right calories to begin with. What I'm saying is your calories can be on...but your macro breakdown can be off and it will make a difference.

Am I making sense? I'm tired...:)

triangle
11-21-2009, 04:23 PM
I don't count calories or macros, and I never have. I have absolutely no idea what the numbers are. I'm steadily gaining mass whilst staying lean, almost 140lbs now :D I doubt I'll ever count them. I'm not entirely sure how necessary it is, but I understand it's useful for some people.

heidismommy
11-21-2009, 04:45 PM
I don't count calories or macros really. I used to when I was sick (anorexic) so I'm pretty good at eyeballing portions and figuring out meal plans based on that. I have plugged in my numbers onto thedailyplate a couple times, just to get a rough idea and I tend to know I stay around that most days even though what I eat tends to change quite a bit. I think most people do better when they plug in their numbers at least for a while, to get a good idea of what normal portions look like and what a meal-plan based on goals would look like. But once a person really learns all that stuff counting isn't really necessary. If I person is in contest-prep or something I can see why tracking will be necessary, but for most of the rest of us it isn't once we have a general idea of portions and meal plans. I try to get in as much protein as I can which I'm guessing is at minimum 1.5 grams per lb of body weight. I try to get a good balance of everything else. Some days are higher in fats that carbs, sometimes the other way around, but I don't really plan it that way.

aussiemommy
11-21-2009, 08:12 PM
Are you bulking or cutting? If bulking, then I understand why the carbs are up there...but the numbers you give look like you're cutting?

I just found this calculator on the site:
http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/macronutrients_calculator.htm

I entered what I think is my approximate lean body mass (110 lbs) and it came up with this:

1760 cals
176g protein/day
154g carbs/day
48g fats/day

I find that with my body type, I can still lose fat eating carbs just as long as my calorie intake isn't over the recommended level. What do you think?

kimm4
11-21-2009, 08:17 PM
I just found this calculator on the site:
http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/macronutrients_calculator.htm

I entered what I think is my approximate lean body mass (110 lbs) and it came up with this:

1760 cals
176g protein/day
154g carbs/day
48g fats/day

I find that with my body type, I can still lose fat eating carbs just as long as my calorie intake isn't over the recommended level. What do you think?

I think you should give it a go and see how it works.

Good luck! :)